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  • Zara Rahman

What a Name Holds

By Zara Rahman

when baba called me to sit

I peeled my ears off

and let them mold in his walnut palms

for him to begin

While your Daadi and I were living in Canada together, and she had her last toes dipped

into heaven; we went to visit the doctor. The doctor was a stout Italian man, with butter

blotched teeth and a brown suit. He asked my mom what her name was. I sounded the

syllables into Bangla and she replied,


baba begins to laugh.

The doctor’s eyes rolled into round roti. He stuttered shock waves to say that was his

daughter’s name. His daughter sat on the corner of his ebony desk with a graduation

cap slung over her head. I swear electricity must’ve stunned his organs and white flesh

when he talked to your grandmother. They were family now but he still spoke with a

salted tongue. What else ya expect from Doctor Butter Teeth? Someone like us could

be like him.

once baba told me this story

I start to write

maybe because I am tired of thinking

maybe to bring back Sophia from the dead

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