i made a mosque in the mouth of

a white girl when i was seventeen

deserted myself to worship her

word already familiar with the violent

silences, or are they absences

that come after prayer

i snuck past her sleeping mother

climbed fences and crawled

through awning windows

prostrated onto her skin

as if it were velvetine janamaz

when she stopped leaving

the window unbolted

i’d stare at the mihrab of her pale back

through the only hole in the picket fence

my left eyeball is trapped

i walk around with one empty socket


sanah ahsan is a poet, liberation psychologist and educator. sanah won the Outspoken Performance Prize 2019, and had two poems shortlisted in the Bridport Prize 2021. Her poetry has been published in several anthologies, and featured by TED, Channel 4 and BBC. The Guardian described sanah's poetry as "an invocation to bare the soul." sanah is currently writing her debut poetry collection with support from Arts Council England.Her website is here.



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