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14 April 2023

Jummah by Sanah Ahsan

Wasafiri is pleased to publish the pieces shortlisted for the 2022 Queen Mary Wasafiri New Writing Prize. The poems, essays, and short stories in this series showcase the best new writing from the best new writers across the globe – in all their diversity and complexity. In this poem, Sanah Ahsan brings love, companionship, devotion, and religion shoulder to shoulder.

The 2023 Queen Mary Wasafiri New Writing Prize is open for submissions until 30 June 2023. You can read the full terms and conditions and submit here.

after Jericho Brown   


although I have not covered my head  

nor tucked free-flying hairs   

friday comes to me like it did back then  

god’s kiss on my forehead tiny  

my lover presses   

her lips on bare temple   

whispers Jummah Mubarak   

before playing Omar Hisham’s Surah Al-Kahf   

his voice pools around our cave    

like the smoke from    

the palo santo she circles   

we take turns to do wudu   

rushing three rounds of rivers   

over familiar routes   

our water meets   

at the bottom   

of the plug hole   

in a paint-stained sink   


with still wet feet 

we lay the janamaz horizontal   

wide enough to hold us both  

shoulder to shoulder   

we are two sundered suns   

kneeling into the horizon’s holy mouth   

The 2023 Queen Mary Wasafiri New Writing Prize is open for submissions until 30 June 2023. Submit here.

Photo by Leo Rivas on Unsplash      

Sanah Ahsan is a poet, liberation psychologist, writer, educator and presenter. She won the Outspoken Poetry Performance Prize (2019) and shortlisted for The White Review Poetry Prize (2022); Bridport Poetry Prize (2021). Her non-fiction writing has been featured by The Guardian.
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