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by Yusra Amjad

‘Abnormal Sundown’ by Andreas Tvedt Monsen

after noticing that i don’t 
say my namaz, or keep my rozas
or read my quran and thus far have
no plans to complete 50% of my faith
by getting married, after becoming
too afraid to even ask what i believe 
or rather don’t believe, anymore,
my grandmother invited me to sit beside 
her on the stainglass jaan-e-maaz
and gently asked what surahs I knew.
a meagre list: fatiha, ikhlas, qadr
each known for their brevity.
why don’t you recite just those, 
for me, right now? here, take my
I rolled each surah of my tongue for her,
concise and fluent, all the while thinking
that this – the act of cutting up sawab 
into bitesized pieces so they may be swallowed
by someone who could not palate the meat of religion – 
بالکل ویسے جیسے وہ بچپن میں مجھے لقمے بنا کر دیتی  تھیں
was perhaps the greatest worship of all. 

Yusra Amjad is a Pushcart-nominated poet and comedian from Lahore, Pakistan. She is also a Fulbright scholar, currently pursuing her MFA in Poetry at Sarah Lawrence College. Her work has appeared in Crossed Genres, Cities+Secrets, Where Are You Press, Rising Phoenix Press, The Noble Gas Quarterly and L’Ephemere Review, and The Aleph Review. She was also a finalist for the inaugural Zeenat Haroon Prize.

Andreas/SurrealGradients is a 23 year old self-taught digital artist. His artworks are an escape into surreal worlds, and by the use of photo manipulation, his artworks come to life.
Some of his collections are available on OpenSea.