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Aubade at the Beginning of Time

The roadside undulates in amethyst. 100 metres ahead of me, an eternity of white fiat 500s.

The FM is Farsi. I floor the brakes. My foot scrapes a flowerbed. A djinn stares

beyond the windshield. The windshield is a mihrab. Maybe I don’t know what a djinn

looks like. The djinn is a man. This man is Khusrau. I believe what he tells me. God is

a purple hologram to the right of a Pizza Hut. The petition of daylight lies before him

as he scoops the sunrise in his palms. Coddles it in the belly of a frothing Earth,

then hangs it back. The dust stirs into mouths of ghost prophets. Narrates history

to me. The skies are teetering tarpaulin. The archangels gossip behind a gas station.

In their glow, eleven moons and a half bathe their barren bodies for a few million years.

At breakfast, I dip the half-moon in milk. It drowns without a trace. I buy a body

mist named A Thousand Wishes. Return to my diet of subjunctives. Slather more retinol

over my planetary worries. Khusrau sings me into elsewheres, feigns ignorance

about this morning—nami danam, nami danam…


IQRA KHAN is a Pushcart-nominated poet, activist, and lawyer. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Adroit Journal, Swamp Pink, Pidgeonholes, Denver Quarterly, Apogee, Four Way Review, HAD, Palette Poetry, and Baltimore Review, among others. Her work is centered around the experiences of the brown Muslim body, collective nostalgia, and the aspirations of her endangered community.


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