Fatimah Asghar

The Goddess of the Kitchen

when the white boys come over
         my aunt hides

behind the stove. cuts onions
         makes tea, flours

all the pans. the white boys joke
          with my uncle

laugh over some news not theirs.
          meanwhile, my aunt

loses her words. they slip
          like marbles, roll

away. she practices them under
          her tongue

as the kitchen sweats. everything smells
          like cinnamon

the white boys laugh & my aunt flinches
          takes her plate

to her room, wraps her black hair
          in gold scarf

molds the headdress to crown
          & owns

all the language of the world.


FATIMAH ASGHAR is a nationally touring poet, photographer and performer. She created Bosnia and Herzegovina’s first Spoken Word Poetry group, REFLEKS, while on a Fulbright studying theater in post-violent contexts. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in POETRY Magazine, The Paris-American, The Margins, and Gulf Coast. She is a Kundiman Fellow and a member of the Dark Noise Collective. Her chapbook "After" is forthcoming on Yes Yes Books fall of 2015.