Seema Yasmin is a poet, doctor, professor and journalist. She lives in Texas by way of England. Her writing explores how religion influences sexuality and the ways in which women of color reclaim their bodies, sexual agency and power. She trained in journalism at the University of Toronto and in medicine at the University of Cambridge.

Seema Yasmin

Ishra'aq (aunty's prayer)

my aunty is a psychic who taught me to pray
for protection
from black magic and white men

to soak mangoes in ice cold water before peeling
to roll limes between my palms before squeezing
to rub soap into pubic hair before shaving

that ritual began age thirteen
pink hot skin, white cold tub
mangoes bobbing in the kitchen
girl bleeding in the bathroom

aunty shrieking over lime juice
God protect the mother who does not put in her daughter's hand a razor blade

This poem is part of the chapbook, For Filthy Women Who Worry About Disappointing God, forthcoming from Diode Editions.

Glass: A Journal of Poetry is published monthly by Glass Poetry Press.
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