Fatimha Asghar is a nationally touring poet, photographer, and performer. She created Bosnia and Herzegovina’s first Spoken Word Poetry group, REFLEKS, while on a Fulbright studying theater in post-violent contexts. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in POETRY Magazine, The Paris-American, The Margins, and Gulf Coast. She is a Kundiman Fellow and a member of the Dark Noise Collective. Her chapbook After was released by Yes Yes Books in fall 2015.
Here, Asghar discusses mouth-watering memories, gorging on tootsie rolls, and heavy snacking.
On her all-time favorite meal:
My auntie is the most amazing cook. I love her keema, which is Pakistani spiced ground beef. Growing up, she’d make fresh roti every day. She also makes kofta, which is spiced meatballs and curry. I’ve tried to make that a lot but usually my kofta fall apart.
But randomly, I think a lot about this steak my sister made once when we were in high school. It was just coated in spices and really good. But, looking back, I’m sure it wasn’t actually that good, because it was overdone. But, at that time, it was the best steak I had ever had and when I think about that memory my mouth waters.
On snacking while writing:
I’m a big snacker and a big fan of flaming hot cheetos. I don’t like big meals usually, but I usually snack consistently throughout the day.
On what the light looks like during a favorite meal:
When I was in Jordan, we hiked Petra and then were starving by the time we were done. We had met some amazing Bedouins who took us back to their families. We all made a fire outside in the desert and started cooking. By the time we could actually eat everything was pitch black and the only light we had was the light from the fire. Everything smelled smoked, and the fire was providing us with everything: light, heat, food.
On her go-to late-night snack:
Microwave popcorn. It is so good.
On her love of candy:
I eat a lot of candy. Like, a lot. The other day I ate a whole bag of tootsie rolls right before I went out to lunch with my friends and then only could eat half of my burger. I love sour candy.
On her final meal request:
I think it would be kofta, daal, roti, and aloo ghobi. The desert would be pink coconut chum chums and kheer. And we’d have the fancy kheer, the one that’s decorated with edible silver leaf that we can only usually eat during Eid. It would all be cooked by my auntie. And my whole family would be there, just like when we were children, and we’d all be eating together. When we all finished, there’d be a big bed, just like there is in my auntie’s living room, and we’d all take a nap.