"In this extraordinary collection, I found a letter written on the day my son was conceived. His moment to choose earth, ours to choose heaven. In the travel between dialogues, between the lessons in these letters, maybe our past gets revealed as students floating in the other's eye." — Edwin Torres

Hammam

by Hajera Ghori

After days of looking like a crow amongst crows,
the black against black of hooded females
furtively tucked into viridian wings,
I begin to show my wear.

Plucked. Skin steamed, the vigorous tremble
of beautiful unbeautiful flesh, preened and bare.
The sallow scoured with an ocean-piece
for soot to peel off our crouched backs.

Freshly sloughed of our weight in dirt,
we don the apparel of the day,
cloak our candor from the undeserved eye,
match the flutter of flight against steady hearts.

Together, we answer the bird call to prayer.

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