When I asked you to show the key
you showed me a crowbar and said
I would have let you in anyway,
what’s the difference?
Through the keyhole, you called for God,
a deity, a prayer, you were met with
Where were you touched? They asked
me to point to parts of my body
still left bruised.
I pointed to the bedroom, called it a prayer room.
Here hands explored, preyed on all crevices
of a body. The bathroom, here knees
met cold tile floors. Here in the kitchen
we started fires and danced in the smog.
They asked if I was okay,
if it still hurt. I told them not to bother
looking for illness inside of me—
just a boy who made himself
at home and never found
his way out.
Hinnah Mian is a Pakistani-American Muslim poet who studies at Kenyon College. Her work has been previously published in the Blue Minaret and HIKA.
Photograph by Tomas Castelazo.