Starting a PhD program from your childhood bedroom is incredibly lonely. Never mind that you painted the walls over and bought new curtains and new furniture and never quite finished, it will always be that bedroom. Never mind that you like to be alone, that you don’t want to talk on the phone and haul … Continue reading prose// on the beginning of a second semester (where can i find the river?)
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.
To believe Allah is enough for you and to actualize it are very different things... I know one and sometimes cannot even conceive of the other. I know that people are people, but people can sometimes seem like mountains. Move! Move! Move! (But they only speak sedentarism) perhaps, to believe that wholeness can be felt … Continue reading poetry// funeral after funeral After Funeral
Last year was the best Ramadan of my life. I am afraid of what is supposed to take place on Thursday, the birth of a month as old and as familiar to me as my own family. I keep thinking, was that the peak? Will I never experience a Ramadan like that again? When I … Continue reading prose// ramadan, ya ramadan (please, be gentle, I am fragile)
Today, I cried. Over many things (life is heavy, I am fragile, tears are easy to self produce), but one of them was seeing the faces and names of the elders in our Muslim community who have passed away over the past few weeks, days, and even hours. I am in shock I think, at … Continue reading prose// time and its selfishness, death and its callousness
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
These days, winter comes angrily. Or maybe not. I project onto the weather sometimes, you know. Am I an onion? Strange question, I know. Obvious answers are evident, but who could possibly be that interested in the obvious?! I've thought about onions a lot. Vegetables that peel away, layer after layer, until there is nothing … Continue reading prose// seasonal produce
I want things I do not deserve. how awful to be choked by your own idle and uncertain hands? Maybe that is the punishment: longing with no reciprocity. it is impossible to know the dead the way I need to-- so take me to Medina! I just want to taste it for a moment, (what … Continue reading poetry// distance(d)
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.
i wait for God here between the night and the rest of all things i know. i teach myself not to ever say my own name without folding in God does not arrive because that’s just not how it works. and i learned that. but still i struggle to teach my bones submission without fracturing. … Continue reading poetry// to know mortality in theory but to be in a body designed to reject it in actuality and why that always leads me back to God which I suppose *is* the entire point.