from immigrants

— Aria Misha Aber

*

the bone
grows
gradual

above our heads
i pinch the back
of my hand:
little supplications.

madar’s cheeks an offering
to this
sting of light—

the green corduroy sofa, a bus, bamiyan, a scroll of fruit leather—

look, she whispers.
look.

never:
look
at me.

*

the bone strokes my
palm with leaves:
it reads its creases—

strong life. short
love. no line of fate
at all. i am

a surgeon i split their
heads open i delivered
a baby in prison they burnt
my passport they—


a gold-embroidered Qur’an, a leather handbag, the tree’s shadow like a net

of nerves
across my father’s house—it wasn’t always
like this
.

smoke curls
from a pot with crushed
cardamom, the sea of Darjeeling:

i lie.
it’s
not like this.

when
they ask
where are you from
i pause—

not now not now not now—


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