an aunt teaches me how to tell
an edible flower
from a poisonous one.
just in case, I hear her say, just in case.
This imaginative, soulful debut poetry collection from One World/ Random House captures the experiences of being a young Pakistani Muslim woman in contemporary America. Orphaned as a girl, Fatimah Asghar grapples with coming of age and navigating questions of sexuality and race without the guidance of a mother or father. These poems at once bear anguish, joy, vulnerability, and compassion, while exploring the many facets of violence: how it persists within us, how it is inherited across generations, and how it manifests itself in our relationships. In experimental forms and language both lyrical and raw, Asghar seamlessly braids together marginalized people’s histories with her own understanding of identity, place, and belonging.