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By Afra Ahmad

On the day my daughter turns three

old enough to understand fragments of

the intricate theory of love, I will unfold

my prayer rug and proudly confess to her: 


this is where you beg

beg as if there's no tomorrow

beg without the hesitation of hoboes in front of the porticos of affluent businessmen

beg like a gale that would sabotage the plans of his perpetrators 

beg with a belief that you will be awarded what you're striving for


tell as if you would perish without telling

and then continue telling your Most Benevolent friend 

how your day went, how someone fibbed to you

what makes you burn in delight, what are your darkest fears


cry as if 

you have something

to cry for


this is how I will help her practise

for I know the intense years that will unfurl

she will have something or someone to cry for


this is not a curse, I swear

this is prayer in its purest form


for I know this world will break her too

the way it broke me, the way it broke my ancestors, so I have to 

help her long before she begins believing she's irreparable like pearls that know

they can never go back to their celestial shells


but with God by your side

even the moon can be halved 


I will help her 

the same way my lovely mother did.

Afra Adil Ahmad is a writer, poet, artist and calligrapher. Based in Taiwan, she holds a 

Bachelor's degree in English Literature. She writes about everything under the sun: from 

dark issues of the society to problems faced by teenagers to imparting chunks of wisdom 

through her poems, stories and write-ups. Her works have appeared in various magazines 

including Iman collective, MYM, Rather Quiet, Ice Floe Press, Olney Magazine.

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