When the body is [breaking] [revolting] [tumour-ing] I can count on the counting –

the making of dhikrs on long beads of tasbihs.

When the WhatsApp voice notes from my beloved aunt in Windsor pile up, I can count on the listening –

Beti, daughter of Shireen, recite Ayat-e-Kareema a hundred times a night and pookh it towards your left ear and then pookh the prayers upon your sleeping daughters. I love you, I love you, I love you in this lifetime and in the thousand lifetimes beyond this one …

Poem, in its entirety, is available in the printed version of the current issue.



Salma Hussain is a former lawyer. Her fiction has appeared in Canadian literary journals, including filling Station, the Humber Literary Review, and the Fiddlehead. Her young adult novel The Secret Diary of Mona Hasan (written as an homage to The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, Aged 13 3/4) was published by Penguin Random House in 2022. She lives in Toronto.

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