Academic journal article Women's Studies Quarterly

Sweet Beloved

Academic journal article Women's Studies Quarterly

Sweet Beloved

Article excerpt

i.

I know there is no God

there is no God-I whisper it

repeat-no God there is no

God but God

but God.

He circles the bite of sky

like the crow but not the crow

like the sun that lays its finger

on this concrete floor

but greater than the sun more

fierce and more gentle.

My body tilts

to where I think Mecca might lay golden glistening city.

Tilting I hold prayers like stones. Prayers brush my lips:

divine kiss. I press my forehead. Divine

kiss. This cold concrete.

ii.

March 2005

Dear Amma,

In these weeks I have missed

your tender tea your palm

on my cheek.

Your loving daughter,

Tashnuba

Berks County Prison

. . .

Dear Tashnuba,

Are you warm child do they feed you enough?

Are the other girls rough

with you do you feel in the air how spring arrives?

Forgive the handwriting I am writing

in dawn's light. Your winter coat accuses.

I did not think it would happen like this. These days

your baba looks for a lawyer and I search

the lines on my palms for answers.

Child when you turned from your baba and me wrapped

yourself tight and tighter in the long

dark cloth I was shedding

I trembled in the yardage

between us. Time shifted sideways

and back. When I left the house for tea and bread

-scarf pooled at my shoulders, my part gleaming-

your scowling face was my mother's

risen from her Bengali grave. …

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