Brother was mother’s first and favorite. He never talked back. He never went out. His paychecks went only into her account. The headaches came after he married; every morning before work, pressing on him throughout the day. The paychecks stopped and we prayed: please, not him, he always did right.


Sister only I understood. Sister stepping on broken glass in the living room while a sitcom made laughs. Father rubbing her somehow uncut feet, saying in Urdu, no harm done/nothing happened. Sister seeing me crying. Thank God she saw.


“Aiming at my conscience with the blackest of her eyes, she asks me if I believe in God.”

Lesson One in Aging

“It's 9 am on Sunday. I know this because I can hear my neighbor having sex”