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Mother by Zoheb Khan

My mother doesn't know tables.

She burns her hand

on the tawa

to make two rotis each night.

One for my father who coughs

like a dog crying for bones to

suck on.

One for me.

I couldn't gift her a tong

on her last birthday.

Cough syrups

don't come cheap.

She adorns herself

every Karwa Chauth

praying for the man

who lost all his gambles in life.

She is his biggest ace.

She sucks him every night.

Her beauty paints the skies.

She applies kajal and conceals

her dark circles to stop

cars on the highway.

She pleases different men

every night.

Some rape her.

Some fall in love with

her innocent eyes.

If only my mother knew tables;

things would have been different for her.

Read more poems by Zoheb on Instagram.


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