The Summer My Cousin Went Missing

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MQR now records audio editions of poets reading their work. Hit play below to hear Tariq Luthun read his poem “The Summer My Cousin Went Missing” and scroll down for the full text.

I should have asked how our khalto was holding
up, but I knew where she would be: her body

weary & unkind, buried in the day’s tasks; back
turned to the home she grew up in; seeds in the

farm’s soil, like miracles, sprouting as
she tends to them. Is this not always the case?

Child upon child goes, and someone’s mother
is no longer that. My aunt looks,

for a moment, away; nothing she plants has roots
long enough to hold. She turns back anyways, looks

ahead. If we are too caught up in the end—like boys
fleeing from the day’s news—eyes worried

about that which we cannot control,
how ever will we stay fed? How ever

will we live long enough to grieve?