Las voces de los muertos me dirán para siempre - Borges
he kitchen smelled of pine nuts and flour roasting in butter. The windows had steamed up against the dark November evening but the room bathed in the
bright light from the fluorescent tube.
We stood around the stove, three women, our eyes on the oversized pot. My oldest aunt Nermin kept stirring the flour with a wooden spoon, agony on her face and in her breath. My mother and I stood motionless, hypnotized by the rhythm of her hand drawing circles over the pot. Nermin’s daughter was sitting at the table where Ameli used to serve us chickpea stew, pilaf and pickles most weekends. She was reading aloud from a prayer book with curled brown pages. She was wearing a silk headscarf but the way her auburn hair spurted out of it hinted that she was not used to covering herself. She had already finished several suras and was now on Al-Falaq, one of my favorites:
I seek refuge in the Lord of the Daybreak from the evil of that which He created, from the evil of the darkness when it is intense, from the evil