tangled web of two states eyes brown seen
black curve of my sloped nose
hairless on my face save the one chin hair
grows thick and strong I pull out again again again
my one dimple everyone’s pinched on the right side of my mouth
mouth I used to hold like ma
all the ancestors’ stories stuck on the birthmark under my right eye waste time
my face: a kleptomaniac
afraid of being alone
at itself in the mirror screeching: STRANGER! STRANGER! STRANGER!
I tremble with disgust-fear knowing that the next time I call ma my english will stick to everything, even my face.
you should pray ma tells me
prayer feels like dirt that drowns my throat
gag try to scream
even your body wants nothing to do with you, stranger, whispers fatimah asghar to me.
the first two are urdu. but frequently used in hindi.