On long drives, he slices them open and shares the fruity flesh with his children.
There they find pious Prophets with happy endings and young boys from villages of Pakistan who dreamed in American.
When the pain starts, the driving stops and so do the stories. But they live inside him, I know. Inside the wide chest, where when I put my head down on, and hear the beating of the heart, telling the stories, his tongue no longer tells.
When the pain subsides, the words bubble back.
I listen. Carefully. Capturing each word in my hands, as they threaten to spill. I eat the words. Keeping them inside.
That is when he tells me again about the green valleys and gushing rivers
the fields of wheat where his father worked to put his son through college
I miss home, he says, knowing he will never go back.
Baba, home is you, I say. My lips on the back of his hand.
And I hope that is enough.
Sabina Khan-Ibarra appreciates the art of storytelling through all types of writing. Her poems have recently been accepted into anthologies in iO Literary magazine and the book, Show us your Papers, which is about being othered in America. An essay has been published in an anthology, Faithfully Feminist, published by Whitecloud.