Golden Shovel after Maya Angelou's "On the Pulse of Morning" In the last third, there is no one to speak to but You,and still, my mouth is unable to perform what I was createdto do. Prayer, an oasis in the midst of the nighttime desert / If only I was brave enough to resist sleep, … Continue reading poetry// tahajjud (taking measurements)
I have written before, about my longing for a prophet, for The Prophet ﷺ, for the Messenger of Allah ﷺ. The weight of the path, the millions of micro-decisions, and the hundreds of large and consequential ones, that we each make as we traverse along our spiritual journeys, overwhelm me. I just want to have … Continue reading prose// tender archives
I promised myself that here, I wouldn’t fold. The sun is a giant, blistering nectarine in the sky, hung just above the horizon, a marionette on a divine string. I am a tense driver, furrowed brow and eyes unafraid of so large a star. This little town is like a storybook. It is artificial and … Continue reading prose// lake street
Everywhere I go, my palms are never large enough: the anamnesis of my sorrow tumbles into the wetness. Soaked through is everything in me I had hoped to re-read one day. Soggy pages disintegrate beneath the murkiness; me, covered in mud, my mouth, stuffed with grief. Each new place brings its own funerals, its own … Continue reading poetry// like i told you, this world is a bayou
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 come from do not linger in the sky. after all, where would they go as the rain comes down, leaving everything hollowed and open? all at once, i have the desire to begin making wekka in my american grandmother’s gas oven, granulize the dried okra in my grandfather's american coffee grinder. there … Continue reading poetry// the day after my great grandmother’s funeral
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 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.