Time has stretched over the frame of my story like the skin of a large animal, a cloak, a worn in quilt. Somethings are not granted that kind of elasticity: food, sleep, the brief transition from summer to winter where it is cool and light and the air smells like it rained but it didn’t. … Continue reading prose// sleep songs and other things
I remember London. I think I was the first student in a long time to go to London and not go to Paris. Sometimes I wish I had gone to the Mona Lisa. See if she looked anything like me. Namesakes are funny. People tell me, oh, I know a Mona, or oh my wife’s … Continue reading prose// things i have learned to write and never say
The thing is, I don't really know what I'm doing. They say the Sunnah is a blue print for how to live your life but there's nothing in there about how to deal with vitriol on social media, how to manage panic attacks, how to not fail your intro philosophy course senior year. Sure, there's … Continue reading prose// why i need water. often.
There are many things in life you cannot rehearse for. I know this, of course, at an intellectual level. But still yet, well, I rehearse nearly everything. The conversation before a meeting, the smile I will grace at the event that evening, the conversation I want to have with my father the next day. I … Continue reading prose// volume
Sometimes I wish I could build a bonfire for my phone and my computer, book the earliest flight to the middle of nowhere, and live there forever after. I am too sensitive for my own good I think. I hold too much, take to many things personally, walk through the world getting bruised my too … Continue reading prose// the worst thing I ever did
There is something else beyond nostalgia that accompanies me whenever Facebook recommends a memory. You know, where they show you what you wrote on this exact day maybe a year ago or even more? I am in that phase of life where things happen so quickly sometimes you forget just how much you have grown, … Continue reading prose// the cost of growth
I am in this funny phase of life where time moves quickly and so do I with it. The amount of growth that takes place in even a week astounds me sometimes. I don't know if I were to meet the woman I was even six months ago if she would be able to recognize … Continue reading prose// on swelling and other things
On this night, 1400 years ago, the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was taken from Makkah to Jerusalem in one night. Space shrank in an unprecedented way. Distance dissolved, the barriers between life and death grew blurry and soft. Prophets who had long been dead rise to pray, Adam and Abraham and Jesus and … Continue reading prose// the night of ancestral longing
Often, when I force myself, while biting my teeth and clenching my joints, to peer inside me, I all I can see is a deep, dark tunnel stacked neck high in old failures, missed opportunities, a recorded snapshots of moments when I just couldn't jump high enough, or didn't, or forgot to try at all … Continue reading prose// on mediocrity and ordinariness and letting myself down
I think about the ways I want to gather up the sounds of my family, pile on as much as my hands and hard drives can carry when we expend ourselves to the very maximum. What lengths for lineage I would leap in a heartbeat! Memorize the laughter, the inflections, the accents, the words they speak in a dialect that is crisp and yet silky in my ear. There are few things as beautiful to my ears as Sudanese Arabic, shuffling its way across the tongues of women who smell like heaven. Everything flows effortlessly from my father's people and the place they proudly represent: the drape of the toub, the bright and blooming karkade that tinkers in glasses, the cold water of the Nile, the long tresses of a laughing girl who flounce her way past me in the masjid foyer.