Midnight in the Foreign Food Aisle

Dear Uncle, is everything you love foreign
or are you foreign to everything you love?
We’re all animals and the body wants what
it wants, trust me, I know. The blonde said
Come in, love, take off your coat, what do
you want to drink?

Love is not haram but after years of fucking
women who are unable to pronounce your name,
you find yourself totally alone, in the foreign
food aisle, beside the turmeric and saffron,
remembering your mother’s warm, dark hands,
prostrating in front of the halal meat, praying in a
language you haven’t used in years.

From Bless the Daughter Raised by a Voice in Her Head. Reproduced with kind permission of Chatto & Windus.

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