Here’s how I imagine it: I hear God’s voice, and then I begin to cry.

The silence that follows, my sticky face, the carpet-burn of sleeves against skin is like the

colour red.

My sister’s nosebleeds and the pillowcases she stained with her blood. Broken fasts. All the

different ways to curate a museum of Joan-of-Arc tendencies. The stampede of aggressive

battle in our holy bodies. Also known as: a heart-beat.

Souls require lifting, like balloons. From plastic to flesh. Water to wine.

Eat, we say to one another when the sun sets. On some days, forget hunger.

It gnaws bones that are required to dance. Bones that baba gives us to clean at our nightly

feasts. Fingers into marrow, this archaeology requires a bite.

God stands at the edge of the table.

He brought the dates in the bowl. He offers no commentary on the news headlines, looping

on the TV and over our heads.

The beat goes on. I don’t ask how it ends. I already know some of the answers. And when I

feel eyes on mine, I must raise my chin.

I’m no fool. I know to nod my thanks for the silence.


Mariam Ansar is a graduate of the University of Cambridge. Her work has previously been published in BuzzFeed, Catapult Story, Rookie Magazine, Dazed, VICE, Teen Vogue, Elite Daily, and others.


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