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of crime and love

by Aisha Ahmed

i lie in bed as a child folded

between light and dark, the stretching of my god’s hands


over the world and myself. the shift of fabric against my skin, Allah’s caress

for He knows we are not all light and


that is okay. is it such a crime to be held in mortal arms?

father kneels and prays,


cradles my darkness in the crevices of his hands

mourns me as i cherish thoughts i should not cherish


i do not need to be touched to be loved, yet is it so wrong to

glide my thoughts over fantasies? some may call it freedom


others, disgrace but

regardless i fold scandal aside and bow my head,


soften my thoughts for morning and clasp my hands in communal prayer

pay my zakat and bleed


as i move with grace and vulnerability not out of command or rebellion.

daylight kisses the nape of my neck and i rise.

aisha is a first-year at the new orleans state university. her works seek to explore the nature of emotion, relationships, and vulnerability. her work has been recognized by the Blue Marble review, Kalopsia Lit, as well as receiving a silver key from the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards.

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