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 Sahib.
Praying for a savior like Baahubali
Or Captain Kirk or Superman
Ignoring Wonder Woman
Because she couldn’t be real
Not in our world
Not where the Storyteller
Was made by a ghost.

She was flesh and blood
My very own heroine
Come to life beyond the men
Flexing their muscles
And clanging their swords in
All the four directions.

She repaired the world with
soft caresses and deftly beading fingers
low, lilting singing on a tenor ukulele
bread baked with raisins in it
and conversations that lasted
until 4:30 am, for two hours
in between waking up
and leaving for work.

We were neither sisters nor lovers
No, God Forbid!
We were that and more
We were that and less
Interspersed with chaste kisses,
We found a paradise we couldn’t enter.
But our daughters will… Inshallah.

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