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I cannot be good until you say it

Sanah Ahsan

14 March 2024 All day

Intricately weaving Quranic verse, psychology, and the hip-hop soundtrack of their childhood, Sanah’s poems reach for divinity in the body; an archive that refuses erasure.

These poems traverse unruly emotional and physical landscapes, Whiteness, islamophobia, homophobia, intergenerational suffering, and the politics of therapeutic processes. In these pages, belief and unbelief, goodness and badness, the material and spiritual are intertwined, reclaiming queer love and desire as holy.

How are we incarcerated by others’ gazes? Who gets to be good in a society built upon hierarchy? How might we embrace each other’s madnesses? Sanah Ahsan asks questions that travel to the heart of our humanness, bending the lines between psychologist and client to show us the sacred nature of our wounds. These poems kneel to the messiness of being alive, building altars to complication and presence.

Refusing binaries of gender or religious doctrine, I cannot be good until you say it finds what is to be revered in the grey spaces of morality, advancing imagination and self-compassion as sites of communion.

This debut collection is a call to prayer, fearlessly complicating what is good, and what is god.

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