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Sitting on a plane, just three-years-old, I asked my mother: are we in heaven? She said: no, I don’t believe in heaven. Three years later, I said my first prayer. Not to god, but to the earth, I prayed: please make my mother stop crying. She cried for so long that there were no more tears, so it was no longer crying. She told me she felt empty. I picked her a rose from our garden and brought it to her bed. I held her hand, but her fingers felt like stems, and so I prayed once more: please make my mother happy again. With our palms touching, the pink of my mother’s cheeks returned. I remember watching clouds wisp behind us, disappearing the way I disappear into my mother’s long black hair when she bends down to kiss my forehead. I am a part of her again. She is full with me. Sitting on a plane in my mother’s lap, I asked: where else could we be?

Saba Keramati is a multiracial writer from the San Francisco Bay Area. She is currently an MFA candidate at the University of California — Davis studying English Literature and Creative Writing. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in re:asian, Michigan Quarterly Review, and Santa Ana River Review.

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