My Little Heart Mender

To a little man I love, my little nephew, the very first.

I don’t like those t-shirts

The way that they look

They say that you’re a little heart-breaker

My dear boy,

I want to tell you something

I hope you’ll remember

When you’re older

When you meet that girl

 

Who ain’t got a big brother

Like you are

To protect her

To remind her she’s beautiful

And to your little sister

I hope you do

So you’ll be the best big brother

This world has ever seen

 

The little boy that you are now

Is the kind I hope you’ll grow up to be

 

Because my dear boy

You’re not a little heart-breaker

You’re a little heart mender

Your sweet toothy smile

Makes my world light up for miles

Like I don’t see anywhere else

But the sun

 

You’re a little heart mender

You bandage my cuts

And you kiss my invisible bruises

With your sweet tiny arms

Around my neck

 

Oh my dear boy

I hope you’re never a heart-breaker

With your tiny scraped knees

And funny, good dreams

I hope you become

The little heart mender that you are

Oh you’re a little heart mender

 

You’re the little boy

The one little man

In my entire fam

Full of boys and men

You’re the one that can

Heal me

With your childish love

It’s like nothing else

I hope when you lose your innocence

You’ll replace it with wisdom

And kindness

And love

 

 

My dear boy

Life will tell you something

About hurt

And who gets there first

But I don’t care

About the race

I care that you’ll stay with the

Kid who fell running.

 

The world will say that

You have to be tough

To be strong

But I don’t think that enough

Is said about love

Knowing you’re wanted

Making others feel safe

And loved

That is a strength

Of which I will try to give you.

 

My dear boy,

The kind little boy you are now,

Is the kind I hope you’ll grow up to be.

Why Did You Do it?

Nothing but black and white
To paint my stripes

I was born a zebra

In a world of stallions

With no point of return
I can’t change, can’t unlearn

How does this happen
All these roads I get on
Just fall back off
You said to do my best
What if I’m not up to it?

Why does this happen?
All these battles I’m fighting
I wasn’t meant to win
You said to be good but
What if I’m not?

Where do I go now?
My friend is so sick now
Why does this happen?
When does this end, will it be soon?

I promise I’m trying
Won’t I say I don’t believe in You
But some days
Some days when I say
“It’s okay,”
They’re symbols strung together

Labelling pain with no gain

Why does this happen?
I held up my end of the bargain
Was I never worth it?
This little girl’s fighting
For a life she can’t fix
But will You?
And she is so little
The sky that You painted, so big
I just want to understand

The whole world around me
Is just so loud
When I walk these halls
They say my name
Whispers, I can’t
Seem to escape
I feel like an alien

I’m always so different
But You put me on Earth

There must be a reason

When I look in the mirror

They see something I don’t

I was a young ‘un
I tried to know
The difference between
Sunsets and rainbows
Why do colors spread
Or stay in one place?

Why are all nights the same, yet never quite so
Some so much longer, some way too cold
Some I can’t sleep through
Some I don’t wake up from
Some where the sun wouldn’t rise
Some where the love
Ain’t enough for them,
To make up their mind

I cannot sleep now
And everybody else eats
I cannot breathe now
And the others are laughing
But I am still gasping
for air.

I don’t miss a beat
I see every color
I feel every moment
I know before it has happened
I know because I hear it all even
When I’m not even trying
Not even thinking
But I’m taking this in

And so the world has to be
Quiet
So I can breathe
And now finally
I find this puzzle piece
I don’t need to know
I don’t need to understand
I just need my paintbrush back
And give me colors that
I can mix away

The animals out there, they like our silence

Our quiet lull, the hum of Quran

Words under my breath

Open the window
Birds singing louder
Squirrels, scurry slower, lower
Because the world has stopped
And they are unafraid
That we will come home
Because we already are

And maybe we lose
And maybe we are weak
And maybe we’re not as good
As we had assumed
But why do we have to
Be perfect to believe

I believe it begins now
Without the control
With not needing to know
Because you’re already sure
You just have a shred of hope,

Or a whole lot of reserves

From bad days that are better days

With believing in being safe

Letting it go now
For good to come on its own

We pray, but we won’t stay in place
And hope we’ll arrive
We pray, but we won’t forget love
And hope we’ll still be together
We pray, but we don’t gather round
And hope that we won’t fall down
With COVID going round

We reflect, but we won’t halt humility
And expect we’ll know what we truly need
We reflect, but we won’t believe in miracles
And say they’re not from Allah, our Lord
We thank our heroes,
Remember they are given.

We mourn, but we won’t all lose something or other
And then ever grieve alone

Letter from a Dying Girl

In a hundred miserable miles
I lied with smiles
Left trinkets and gifts lying
Around hoping to deflect the light 
Revealing the deceit and the decay
As I continued to disintegrate
But never did I stop to speak the truth
 
Watched rivers go by
Carrying my life
And all the world turned to fight against me
And here I stood, a one-woman army
On knees before first fire
 
Ya Rahman, Ya Arham Ar-rahimeen
I need you now
I need this call to be heard
I was stubborn, I know, I know..
I was rigid, I was defeatist
Gathered to die a fatalist
Pessimistic complacence
Hardly believing a tragedy like this
Would be this manner in which I’d exist
But subhanallah,
Never have I seen a sunrise such as this!
 
But You beckon
Sent beacons
You sent him, her, them
You sent kindness, love, compassion
Then you took it and showed it
Was never a given
Not from those sources
But of Your many graces, surely
 
A time came
My pain aged
Soon so crusty and peeling
I soon cried, stripped raw, exposed
Crying, cayenne in old wounds burning anew
Under my crumbling ceiling
Bleeding but this time I was under pressure
From a house I buckled under
Holding my breath
Not a word, to keep it together
And you kept me together
 
You hold me, tight–so tight
Chest heavy, pained to breathe
Finally, exhale heavy
I had never died,
It is You, I soon realize
 
The drought stripped me of tears
And soon after years of misery and uncured fear
Came the rain of mercy
First in dreams where the home was the backyard
And the house the world I escaped
 
And at the downpour I jumped backward
I put my hands up to shield from the pelting
But instead it was just the sky melting
And through the cloudless rain was sunshine
Healing, easing into light so soft and velvet-like
 
Opening up my heart to You
And all I did was take a step towards You
When them demons stepped to me
I walked to You
And your silver lines rained down
I couldn’t paint what I saw
I couldn’t word what I know now
 
Water gushing over me
Floating inside a sea
This forgiveness formed for me
Oh only, Your Love and Mercy
 
Lifted forlorn, parched skin to the sky
Facing your rainlight
Water from my eyes,
Water and ice and warmth
Rinse my heart,
Love unadulterated, new times
Tears slipping with dripping rain
To a inner world, parched
All rejuvenation here juvenile
A soul still seeking to be quenched
Young in its early quest
Older than the world itself
Repeated realignment,
Only from the One, Perfect
 
And all you did
All you said was Kun!
.. Fayakun.
And here I come, here I come to Ramadan
Your broken, healing servant
Impossible to be deserving
But where is the need
When your compassion and mercy are such perfection?
 
Ya Arham Arahimeen.
I know You’ll always be
But never again, never let me leave.

All the Way

All the way into a place

It really couldn’t be a race

All the way

To my destination

All the way to my goal

I feel so fully whole

 

There is no hole

In what He gave

I don’t need to wait

Not for a single day

These words, they penetrate

My soul, break

Down the walls

Outside, around my heart

 

All the way into a place

Where it really couldn’t about race

All the way

To my final destination

All the way to my eternal goal

I feel so fulfilled and whole

 

What if I make a mistake

What if I start to regress

Forget Him in my distress

Neglect Him when I am blessed

 

Even if I cross the boundaries

Even if I take steps back on this journey

Even if I get stuck in my mind

Or even if I go far from gratitude

He will forgive

If I turn back

When I realize

What other way can I go, but to Him

When He is All-seeing, and I know?

 

So

All the way into a place

It really couldn’t be a race

All the way

To my destination

All the way to my goal

I feel so fully whole

 

Everybody falls sometimes

We cannot press rewind

But we can choose to replay

 

All the way into a place

Where it really couldn’t be about race

All the way

To my final destination

All the way to my eternal goal

I feel so fulfilled and whole

 

It isn’t about where you come from

Or who you were

It’s about who you choose to be

Today.