It’s wine I need. Is it a sin to have another?
No harm in merlot, no harm in another.
In Ramadan, we’ll break our fast with dates and wine—
Must we pray in one room and dance in another?
Crushed blossoms at the end of the summer: teach me
how to coax nectar from the bloom of another.
Burned rice on the stove again: what’s to love
but my imperfections—you’ll forgive me another.
Butter by a kettle always melts, warns the proverb.
Heated, greased, we slip one into the other.
When, inexplicably, you enter my prayers,
I hear messages from one god or another.
Me encanta cantar, cuando estoy sola, en el carro.
My mother tongue dissolves. I speak in another.
Heart thief, enter the fields like a woman in love,
vase in one hand, shears in the other.
by Dilruba Ahmed
from Blackbird, Spring 2010