from immigrants

— Aria Misha Aber


the bone

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.

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.
not like this.

they ask
where are you from
i pause—

not now not now not now—

Read more from Issue No. 6 or share on Twitter.