Growing Up


Maybe when I’m older I’ll understand how religion is baked,

served and ate in batches, by mum and dad, each hour.

The Arabic slinking around gums and a sore tongue,

sifted in, drying out the mouth.


The guilt is folded in, a secret trimmed and tucked for later, for

the swelling of puberty. Ironed into long dresses, flared

to cover custard skin. And tired teenage boys

into bowing.


And you’ll see God through the holes in your toast, in the froth of your

coffee, even in the chewy meat your mum makes. Keep hushed, and

smile with your white iced teeth showing. You don’t understand

what He has that charmed your people, but


Alhamdullilah kao1

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