Day 3

#3 Untitled

- Ramy Eletreby

Nothing signifies Ramadan

Like my mother running her kitchen

Barking orders at my poor father

(and poor me, but I’m used to it)

Losing her cool

Repeatedly breaking her fast

Because 50+ guests are expected for Iftar

And the sun sets in just 5 hours

With still “one million things left to do”

I’m proud of myself

I keep my cool

Refusing to compromise my fast

It’s only taken me 30+ years

To be this kind of Zen around her

And this is when I truly love her the most

This is Ramadan

How it should always be


#3 Untitled

- Farhana Jahan

Rebirth brings poetry,
stitches together the pieces of the prelude,
fills the spaces
where we lost sleep or gave portions of our hearts
to others to keep.
Slowly tongues learn speech again,
spill honey and
sing again.

Dirges were my grandmothers’ medicine,
over the loss of white sharees
in the war,
used to wrap their
husbands and children in.
They filled hunger with faith —
taught us the essence of survival.

Living is inheritance,
limbs and hair and pearl-teeth on a string,
light from a distant sun that sends kisses long after it’s gone;
prayers are poems, and
madness, and
dancing wild in an ocean,
God and
why you crossed the bridge without stopping.

To keep walking takes conviction and
I’m still trying to find the words,
newly learning this language of wholeness.

Overheard in Nebraska

- Serena Lin (read more)

corn wouldn’t exist without people it’d be extinct
what won’t come out is that spicy beef jerky that’s not natural either

and then he just stood real close to the party tray and whooosh well goshdarnit
we all bought him baked goods burnt brownies burnt cookies burnt cake

i just walk around town and listen to people i like that the best which way is the courthouse
these conversations here are the best, but Nebraskans are all married and have children

this woman comes round the corner hits my car she’s got no insurance i tell this lawyer he says she’s Black and on welfare so how you expect to get money from her so I didn’t sue her
i’m not a racist i married an Indian been 40 years she’s the hardest working person you ever seen she’s out there right now tearing up the yard

he’s a real piece of work, thinks he’s a ladies’ man
his dad owned the bar over there his name was Fast Jack

you just saw a fighter jet that’s Strategic Air Command over here got planes for fourteen levels they brought George Bush over there when 9/11 happened
because we’re in the middle of the country shorten it up you call it SAC

her kid doesn’t even know how to hold a paintbrush
you could say it’s no culture but that time i met Toni Morrison and she said she was a librarian her first job ever

isn’t Joe Volk’s taxidermy amazing i have to show you this 3 legged chick
he really wanted to reach 100 he was real sad he didn’t make it

i love your work
just like Amy Tan

that terrorist in Charleston killed 9 Black people so we’d be much obliged if y’all would take down that Confederate Flag have you seen the pictures of him wrapped up in it so please take it down


- Inas Hyatt

my barriers:
autumn-red lip liner pencils,
mascara curls,
and slow husky tones.

my barriers:
velvet tassels outline light brown silhouettes,
bare breasts,
soft fat around my sides.

my barriers are my distorted reflections of hideousness. My tongue still screams in indistinguishable foreign voices. I choke and stutter when I speak sometimes.


- Amanda Quraishi

The Past holds little charm for me.
I am a Woman of The Future!

But I worship along a Path
Laid fourteen-hundred
Years Ago.

How far forward does this path stretch?
Can it lead us to the stars?
Should we stay forever
In Sandy Tents,
Bound by Laws in clumsy a Human Language?

I see the Hilal, and by Allah!
I want to go there.

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