Ayesha Asad

Look, Mama

at the garden we grew, diseased
trees burnt down
to make room for new life.
The red-stained bricks
that blend our house,
refusing to crack
in dawn light. The ginger cat
that slunk around the backyard
before she was booted out.
Your belly, swelled like
a peach, unwrapped by
doctors & fathers. Before I sleep, I
think of how cold your
cheek feels, slippery
& wet like fish scales, with
sediment eyes. Warm
coffee & ice milk, I think,
as I touch your fingers
& find them stained with
the uncertainty we
dug out from rubble
after the tornado.
I am your daughter,
byproduct of a
byproduct of a byproduct,
the bay leaf pillowed
over rice, the job you
gave up for
certainty. I am your
certainty. The reason
you didn’t run that
red light. And now, I am
falling – a star bred & burst
in the yellow rain.


Ayesha Asad is from Dallas, Texas. Her work has been published or is forthcoming in PANK, Cosmonauts Avenue, Menacing Hedge, and elsewhere. Her writing has been recognized by Creative Writing Ink Journal and the Robert Bone Memorial Prize. She studies Literature and Biology at the University of Texas at Dallas.

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