Jun 03

five senses

Kindergarten sounded like 
small voices singing
together on the bus, 
a brunette next to a blonde. 

First grade tasted like 
ghorme sabzi that my mom makes, 
and the bitterness in my mouth
after the other kids made fun of my 
foreign food. 

Second grade looked like 
cards in a calendar, 
flipping a different one each day, 
the look of polyester on the chalkboard.

Third grade smelled like 
Elmers glue and old magazines, 
the shick shick of the scissors as 
they cut through the shapes. 

Fourth grade felt like 
the rush of adrenaline you get 
when the teacher starts the timer on 
your times tables, racing through
so you could get to the next number. 

Fifth grade was a blur 
of memories and cloudy days, 
fight between friends 
and arguments, 

Sixth grade tasted like 
stale airplane air and 
May 28

Caravan of stars

We were stargazing the other night
when we saw something that wasn't right 
against the starry, starry, lights. 

A train of sixty satellites were 
drifting in the sky that night and 
my father and my cousins complained, 
said it would ruin 

the night sky. 

A lot of people are saying that, 
that this will ruin the night sky. 

And I looked up, 
and I thought....

how beautiful it is to know 
that we are out there, 
that we can go, 
out to the stars and maybe beyond, 
a little movement among the stars, 

and if I look up one day 
and see that the night sky is alive 
I don't think I'll be suprised, 
I'll look up at the stars and smile 
and know that humans are out there. 

Chunks of metal among burning fire, 
crude constructions of wires and lights, 
satellites that shimmer and twirl, 
May 19

omnes nos machinis

omnes nos machinis. 
we are all machines. 

whether we want to admit it or not, 
we are all machinges, 
grinding away day to day, 
cogs spinning, 
gears whirring, 
keeping us breathing, 

we are all machines. 

we try and we try to 
keep ourselves upright, 
for as long as we can, 
but even machines fail, 
our hearts skip a beat, 
and we beat a hasty retreat, 
trying to recode the instructions of our genes, 

we are all machines. 

machines break and they fall,
and they work and they crawl, 
they keep trying to fly 
save themselves from the fall, 
building others like themselves 
and looking among the stars 
for other gears and cogs like us, 

we are all machines. 

we bleed motor oil 
and harsh salty tears, 
when out skin breaks, 
our back breaks, 
May 02

It's a little more complicated

Climate change. 

We all know it, 
we know that it must be stopped, 
and we're trying, we really are,
but let me give you a different persepective, 
a kind of 'yours truly' from poor people 
and people of color. 

we care about climate change, 
we all live on this Earth after all, 

but it's easier for you to care in your
suburban houses, 
being able to afford solar panels,
and those reusable straws, 

people are living in the neighbourhoods 
you abandoned, 
'white flight',

and instead of telling her son to 
compost and recycle, 
she's telling her son not to wear a hoodie outside
at night because 
she wants him to survive, 

because instead of working on making
government offices more sustainable, 
she's focusing on the dread she fells in her stomach
when she sees police lights, 
Apr 24

White Guilt

So you scream that you're proud
of your pale skin 
and there's no reason that you 
shouldn't be. 

But remember that you were allowed
to be proud from 
the moment you saw the light 
of the afternoon sun, 

your spine is stacked straight
because centuries of people 
told you that you were superior, 
whether or not you believed them. 

And you did not ask for this, 
I see your slouch when we 
talk of what your ancestors have done, 
guilt like bricks on your back, 
for something you did not do, 
you had no choice in, 

and you may complain 
of anscestors' guilt, 
but at least you do not feel
an ancestor's pain.

Our backs were broken
until crooked and our eyes
forced to the ground, 
the moment your people saw us 
in the afternoon sun.

Our spines are stacked crooked
because people tell us we are not good enough, 
Apr 18


History is burning around us, 
history is burning around us, 
the shattered stained glass shards
raining down around us. 

History is being bombed around us, 
crumbling architecture, gods
that surround us blowing up, 
ancient gods blown up with modern weapons,

History is being erased around us, 
I can see the little eraser crumbs scattered 
across an entire people's story 
wiped blank, like they were never there.

What is going to be left over for those who inherit, 
smoking ruins of robots and computers
that we used to destroy ourselves?

Will they know about their ancestors, 
will they know how they fought, 
how they lived, 
how they loved, 
or will they look at the remains of the Earth and decide
they are ashamed of anyting that came before them? 

If aliens come in the future, 
will we be left to greet them? 
Apr 12

Take a wish upon a star

Wishes are for fairy tales,
Wishes are for dreams,
Wishes are for pretty things
In between what we think.
Wishes are for people in love
On sunless summer nights,
Wishes are for three-leafed clovers
And comets streaking high.
Wishes are for burning stars
So that they can’t sleep,
Wishes are coins in a fountain
While we silently weep,
Wishes are for sleepless people
Who stare into the void,
Wishes are for troublemakers
Who just got tattooed.
Wishes are for lonely people
With tears in their eyes,
Wishes are for empty people,
Trying not to die,
Wishes are the delicate things
Between the stars and the sky,
Wishes are for all the people who
Want to feel alive.

Apr 02


Home is a complicated word. 

Home has history,
home has time,
home has the entirety of a life, 
home is long 
and bittersweet 
and longing. 

Home is so many things. 

Home is your parent's arms around you, 
home is the call of the mosque winding through air
home is the spices in the bazaar, 
home is kabaab cooked over the fireplace, 
home is the family get togethers in the gardens, 
home is the dining table 
home is large blankets that swallow you whole
home is dragonflies drifting in the breeze
home is the feeling of a glowing summer evening. 

Home is so many things. 

Home can be houses spread 
over land
home can be wherever you are 
at the time,
home can be one place your
entire life, 
home can be some place you have 
never been.

Home is so many things. 

For me, 

Home is my body. 
Mar 25

I won't lie

I will not love you until the end of time, 
because I can't. 

None of us will see the end of time, 
the end of the universe as we know it. 

we will never see when the stars go dark 
because of the expansion and we can
no longer see the galaxies that were once so close. 

we will never see future civilizations rise and fall, 
a clash of wars across a desolate Earth. 

we will never see when the human race dies and there is simply 
a lonely planet with the remains of computers that long fizzled out. 

Maybe there will nothing there to realize that 
it is the end, and the entire world simply goes 
in a quiet sort of peace. 

We will never see anything past our maybe 80 years of lifespan, 
so I will not love you until the end of the universe because I can't. 

And maybe I won't even love you the rest of my life 
Mar 18

To all the people who hate Muslims

To all the people who hate Muslims.

Do I scare you? They call it Islamophobia after all.

Do I scare you? Does my family scare you?

Let me give you a summary of us, in case you didn’t really know us all that well.

Standing at about 5 foot 2 inches,
With big, bushy, fuzzy hair
And a penchant for zoning out and
Always having graphite-stained fingers.

My sister,
10 years old, who once made
Her own little snack dispenser
Out of a cardboard box and some tape.

My father,
Who makes us pancakes in the mornings,
Who loves gardening and prides himself
On making food out of our own vegetables
In the summers.

My mother,
Who drinks more tea than seems humanly possible
who’s just finishing up her dissertation now,
And loves dancing to any song, anywhere.

Are you scared of us? Because that seems a little silly at this point, doesn’t it?