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  • the irony of being in Pushkar eating porridge on a friday night,
    a haven for dreadlocked bohemians trying to find themselves.
    venders greeting me with ?????..
    they who recognize my round nose and small eyes.
    one kurta? dupatta? salvation? anything you want, you, yes you.

    sickness twisting inside me, motionless in the dingy and damp bed of our hostel
    perhaps it was a virulent reaction after having been in a Pakistan refugee camp twelve hours earlier,
    talking to a woman about her journey across the border,
    three stops to her new home, fear and unknowing, each station another stop closer to
    sand, children crying, flies buzzing, paper cups of milk chai
    We need a place to meet, a place to pray, a place to be.

    Ap se milkar kushi hui
    Ap se milkar kushi hui

    So happy to meet you.
    tears, tears, tears
    why are you crying? you have a kurta, dupatta, a Jesus.
    I want a space to call my own, warmth and softness, a place to rest my head.
    shush, don't cry, look into me:
    my dark skin is not so different from yours,
    my nose smells, my eyes see.

    It is nice to meet you too my crying child.

    Her name was Jumana,
    and she was beautiful.
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