Bittersweet Victories

She made me a Blue necklace, And called it the Storyteller In honor of all those times When I feasted on her brain With a liberal seasoning Of romance, drama, tragedy And unfulfilled loves. Also, railing against injustice Weeping for Jyoti and Asifa, Clutching at pages from the Torah And the Geeta and the Granth…

The Tragedies of Covetland

I swore to myself I will never make another post about cultural appropriation. The very concept irritates me because it is often misused to shout down well-meaning people who genuinely want to engage in cultural exchange and appreciation. I have argued this enough on hundreds of Facebook posts before finally deciding that the CAP (Cultural…

You’ve Never Talked to a Muslim?

I was maybe eight or nine years old when an older second cousin told me to never eat at Salma’s house. Salma was a school friend who didn’t live very far. The context of the discussion was my mom’s refusal to allow me to go to other kids’ homes. She never said yes to playdates…

Eat, Pray, Love

My mother was gifted a cookbook 14 years ago. I still remember it was called The Foolproof Cookbook: For Brides, Bachelors, and Those Who Hate Cooking. The well-intentioned friend who bought this for my mom was obviously being more than a little sexist in addition to being clueless. My mommy was a busy doctor but…

Choose Life

Choose Life… Because there is a little more milk in the carton The newspaper boy will arrive in the morning There is a sale on brown rice at Wegmans Blueberries are really good this season And there’s a new Pizzeria in the neighborhood   Choose life… Because the theatre’s playing Hamlet this month Regal is…

I Say Nothing

I’m sipping cola from my almost empty can Mommy and I shared it at first But then she said I could finish it. It is hot inside the bus but we cannot get off Not yet…. We must reach the good place Where no one will shoot us for not putting Our hands up fast…

The Leftist’s Guide to Anti-Semitism

Anti-Semitism is a disgusting disease that has existed for thousands of years. This hatred against the Jewish people is entirely irrational and yet it rears its ugly head every century in a different form. And every single time, it has lead to expulsions, massacres, dispossession, and even genocide. One would think that 73 years after…

Umbrella

The worn blue canvas fades to a shimmering grey, As the first flurries of snow fall upon my old, faithful umbrella. I remember walking to school under it, sparring with Delhi’s tropical monsoon. A child’s adult treasure, Practical yet playful; my umbrella was a masterful actor. The king of make-believe Of battles and treasure hunts,…

Fatemah’s Hummus

I am munching on carrot sticks and celery with some bleu cheese dressing. This is not my usual style but sometimes, it is my only option. I make a face at the sharp taste of the off-white dressing, wondering if there was anything else in the fridge that would make my official diet snack more…

A Letter to My Ghost Mother

Dear Mother, I am writing this to you with a heavy heart. I am filled with anger and forgive me for saying this, but I don’t know if I love you any more. In fact, in this moment, I feel hatred for you. But I also wonder if this white hot rage in my bones…