top of page

Noor Shahzad

After My Father Began Experiencing Symptoms of an Autoimmune Disease

I named the old Ford Escort after Princess Diana –

somewhere I read Diana

too, drove an Escort. This one was shit, I parked it on one-

ways so others would veer

or stick their heads out and watch it, like it was a lady. A

lady whose nipples

protruded beneath fitted cotton. Diana died in a traffic

collision. After my father

received his yellow cab license from the TLC in ’88, he

drove Billy Joel all over.

Joel was a drunkie monkey, a gambler. Would sit in the

back seat and play poker

on his laptop. Driving Joel was a sort of

pilgrimage – a badmouthing

of past wives, past lives, the Third Reich, Ronald Reagan,

managers, public schools,

and America. To hell with it, they’d declare, going hell-for-

leather through

Long Island. Both Joel and my father got into motorcycle

accidents. Not together.

The junk hunk Escort has almost killed me several times,

with its failing brakes,

pinhole leak in the radiator, but it keeps alive the fail-fasts

of royalty, fame,

and all that to which my father says to hell with.


Noor Shahzad is currently an MFA candidate at the University of Massachusetts in Boston, where she is studying poetry. Between classes and writing, she works as a teaching assistant at 826 Boston, a non-profit youth literacy program for underserved students.

Recent Posts

See All

Vots de casament I hear a woman yell but she’s a bitch! She’s a bitch. I sit on the red sofas of the Monarch bar, again, a beer. La más barata, por favor. Brindo por mis tías. Many alcohólicos en mi f

THE ROAD HOME The road home is full of dusts, on your way back you would learn to take Those classes you fled from, lessons of patience, how to marry the chaos softly, How little could mean bounty som

how to banish a ghost ritual is just another name for the habits grief carves from a mourner’s tongue. you empty your mouth until you’re a rabid song knee-sunk in your mother’s garden. prayers a rift

bottom of page