Saturday, August 11, 2012

Ramadan du'a for a house, for a mouse, for a spouse


It was the thirteenth place I saw that week, and the best one. 
To prove it I took pictures of all of them.

Breaking bread for a housewarming, I hummed a familiar tune like, 
"I wanna live in a pretty pink kitchen. And raise chickens."

I said a prayer over the new table and saw a tiny shadow escaping.


"One of the hardest things to do is to catch a mouse." 
I explained it the way I do to my mother when I'm trying to smooth something over 
by insisting that it's a "thing" in American culture. 
"It's always on TV and stuff. There are all these sayings about it, like, 
'it's as impossible as catching a mouse.' 

She asks me about them daily and calls them "Mickey."


I found a book at the local halal mart with a chapter of prayers for a spouse
extracted from longer prayers for a strong heart and a good home.
It took me three days to memorize them.

My mother read them one thousand times over water 
and told me to use it to bake bread for dinner.


There is a recipe for love potion somewhere in Kishtawar.
It only works if you say your prayers morning and evening.

I brought it to the table using shoulder pads as oven mitts
to celebrate hearth and home in a seamstress's kitchen.
I pretended the mice were pets and gave each of them names
after famous celebrities and they kept me company.


A good home with a heart that won't quit.
I'm getting better at getting to the point of the prayer.
They are succinct and pronounced with both hope and fear in near perfect Arabic.

"OH, GOD! I am in absolute need of the good You send me!"
times one thousand, times thirty days and thirty nights.

waiting out the days

No comments: