Grieving rehearsal, by Akash Ali

I am preparing for an unforeseen death of my mother:
I am dressed in all red.
I am letting prayer beads dry my tongue.
I am planting devil’s helmet over my bed.
I pretend her body is not here anymore
and only communicate to her through old pictures.
I open the lid of the casserole and bury my nose
into it like it’s the last meal she had created.
And at night when my chest goes numb,
I don’t call out for her anymore.
I hug a hot water bottle and attempt to cry
myself to this daily temporary death.


Akash Ali is a 22-year-old Muslim Pakistani poet based in North West England. He has poetry published in Dryland, fourteenpoems, and elsewhere. Instagram: __akashha

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