Chai by Fareh Malik

Poet name: Fareh Malik Poem name: Chai Poem: A white man called me that same tired word terrorist (don’t worry, I’m used to it) what was once an insult has become a verbal tick in frustration we were in line at the 7/11 and he had chai in his cup when he leaned into spiced steam nose first he couldn’t even recognize my scent End of poem.  Credits and bio: Copyright © Fareh Malik Previously published in Parentheses Journal & Twyckenham Notes Fareh Malik is a BIPOC man from Hamilton, Ontario, as well as a seasoned spoken word artist and emerging written poet. Fareh was named the 2022 RBC PEN Canada New Voices Award winner. He was also the winner of Hamilton Art’s Shirley Elford Prize, The 2022 October Project Poetry Award, and MH Canada’s 2020 Poetry Contest. Fareh’s debut book Streams That Lead Somewhere is forthcoming in 2022 with Mawenzi House. Fareh was named a finalist for the 2021 Best of the Net anthology, and was honoured with the 2021 Garden Project grant to explore interdisciplinary work. His individual works have been published by literary presses all around the world; his poetry has even been on exhibit in San Antonio’s McNay Art Museum. Fareh’s work has been described as critical, yet sanguine; poetry that often explores the intersection of racialization and mental illness, while maintaining a silver lining on its horizon. He loves to tell the story of his struggle, and of his community around him, in the hope that others can find inspiration and companionship in it. Fareh is currently a poet and author, working on his second collection.