I’m spending the nine months I’m pregnant
re-learning urdu & watching every Bollywood
movie & soap opera I can find. I’ll cook kalaijee
& not let them up from the table until each chicken
bone is cracked open & all the marrow is gone.
I’ll show up at all their PTA meetings in shalwaar
kameez, snarling at their teachers while I call
them gorrahs, insulting them in their classrooms.
I’ll stain my teeth with paan & naswar, dye
our palms & hair with henna, sugar wax
moustaches. I’ll dress my bucchi in timberlands
& handmade velvet dresses, I’ll sew all their shirts
just like my auntie did for me & wake them up
at 5am every day to read the Q’uran. I’ll send
them to Sunday School with the local imam
while I down bloody maries at the brunch spot.
I’ll brush off their beds with a bristle broom
& make them use a lota & squat toilet.
Every time we get invited to a wedding
I’ll try to arrange a marriage with some doctor
from Pakistan waiting for a green card.
We’ll sit in our house kupri & I’ll oil their hair
with almonds, gather their waves into braids
& whisper don’t lose this. Please, miri jaani
don’t let America take you. This is the only way
I know how to be us. And really, it isn’t so bad.

Fatimah Asghar