prose// a portrait of wudu (the story of my great grandfather)

jiddu HagMusa, preparing his wudu pictured here, is my father's paternal grandfather, Hag Musa, may Allah have mercy on his soul. this is the first image i have seen of him, as he passed away the year that my parents were married, the same year my mother's paternal grandmother passed away, (a year of sorrow/ … Continue reading prose// a portrait of wudu (the story of my great grandfather)

prose// for Mama Nafisah

the people i love are dying. my great-grandmother, a great-aunt, my father's eldest sister has too been tucked underneath the earth. i clench my jaw laying in my bed. it is all i can do to save myself from jumping out of my blankets and running to the airport to leap on the first flight to Khartoum that i can book. i wouldn't even know where to go looking for the right graveyards, for where to lay down on the earth and press my heart as close as I can to where theirs used to pulse. i want to be loved by the people in my family who knew Allah.

prose// birth anniversaries and the witnessing of classrooms hallowing

I have felt it today, maybe for the first time in four years, maybe not, it is hard to recall. The texture of knowing, the feeling, “oh wow, this is what I have been doing for four years”. You know, the part of the Toni-Morrison-novel-reading-journey when you finally catch a glimpse of “it”: the arch, … Continue reading prose// birth anniversaries and the witnessing of classrooms hallowing

prose// the length of love

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.