First Prayer

Poured rose syrup over my cut-apart parts
Healed my body, forced lush greenery
around me in an imagined Bombay
In Brooklyn, looked to lilac crystals my daughters
collected and cataloged vaguely
each visit to the museum
Reminded to be nowhere ever, never where
but this body
Reminded I cannot be a part or apart of history
but this body
Reminded I close my eyes
eating rice without dal down in New Orleans
or dal without rice in our kitchen
Reminded of date palms along the coast
Into my home, invited Anahita, divinity of waters
of giving me my daughters
though she broke my body and tore my nerves
like vermicelli or that marble bowl holding chikoo fruit
Reminded of my belly, its pulp
my ovaries to be devoured by cancer
possibly, as I was told, high risk
Reminded of possibility
as a hopeless thing, as defenseless, as death
Reminded of sunrises in Tanzania
where elephants eluded us
but this body
Poured rose syrup over my cut-apart parts
Healed my body

One Refugee Poet's Origin Story

Today, someone will ask me / to write about war. / And I can write about it / because I am alive now.


There are landscapes / woven only of suppression.