Poem

Blowing Her Lungs Out into a Clay Oven

Mother leans
against the island
in the nanosecond kitchen
at Farouk’s home
in New Rochelle,
marveling
at a Miracle Icemaker
as half-moons
tumble
into a glass bowl.
She spins

a Lazy Susan
with glee,
clicks the fire
fountains on & off.
“Atomic food
makes stomachs ache,”
she warns,
alarming
the microwave.
“I remember,”

she says,
“squatting
in front
of a clay oven
blowing
my lungs
into a slim steel pipe
to light a fire,
my smoke-singed eyes,
your father’s anger—
She pulls out

an empty tray
from the oven,
whispers,
“For 50 years
I created
a home
only to see
your father’s
new wife
inherit
it.”

by Rafiq Kathwari / @brownpundit

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