Allah, you gave us a language
where yesterday & tomorrow
are the same word. Kal.
A spell cast with the entire
mouth. Back of the throat
to teeth. Tomorrow means I might
have her forever. Yesterday means
I say goodbye, again.
Kal means they are the same.
I know you can bend time.
I am merely asking for what
is mine. Give me my mother for no
other reason than I deserve her.
If yesterday & tomorrow are the same
pluck the flower of my mother’s body
from the soil. Kal means I’m in the crib,
eyelashes wet as she looks over me.
Kal means I’m on the bed,
crawling away from her, my father
back from work. Kal means she’s
dancing at my wedding not-yet come.
Kal means she’s oiling my hair
before the first day of school. Kal
means I wake to her strange voice
in the kitchen. Kal means
she’s holding my unborn baby
in her arms, helping me pick a name.
From If They Come For Us: Poems (One World/ Random House, 2018). Copyright © 2018 by Fatimah Asghar. Used with the permission of the poet.