Nov 04


This American Dream we live in 
is a nightmare, 

a nightmare from which we cannot escape, 
twisting and turning into horrors around us. 

This American Dream is a nightmare, 
where the sounds of gunshots twist our bodies 
and our screams catch in our throats, 

so that we fall into puddles on the ground
and we realize that it's our blood surrounding us on the 
linoleum floors. 

This American Dream is a nightmare, 
where people are so afraid of the police because
they don't give you a warning, they shoot. 

This American Dream is a nightmare,
where because of the color of your skin, 
you're already viewed as a crime before you commit one. 

This American Dream is a nightmare,
where your religion is viewed as a threat to the country,
and your name sets off security alerts. 

This American Dream is a nightmare,
Oct 19
poem 0 comments challenge: Creature

Don't shoot

They see me as a terrifying creature
they look at my skin and they are afraid
because it is as black as the concrete
and because i look different,
so they shoot.

They see me as a terrifying creature
they look at my hijaab and they are afraid
because i am different,
i represent a religion that they are afraid of,
so they shoot.

They see me as a terrifying creature,
they look at me with my lover and they are afraid
because our love is a different kind of beautiful,
we are not what they are used to,
so they shoot.

but we are not terrifying creatures 
that live only on the news 
that warns you to stay away from us. 

we are different
this is true, 
but we are kind. 
we are people. 

so give us a chance. 

please don't shoot
Oct 16

what would you do for this country?

Here's a lesson, kid: 

you're gonna
for this country.

you're gonna
for this country. 

you're gonna 
for this country.

you're gonna 
for this country

you're gonna 
for this country. 

you're gonna
do everything and more
for this country. 

but don't expect it to do anything for you. 

because you'll die for this country
and then they'll laugh as dozens like you
cover classroom floors. 

because you'll lie for this country
and then they'll turn around and tell you 
that you aren't one of theirs.

becuase you'll bleed for this country
and then they'll watch as your blood seeps into the asphalt, 
police sirens wailing in the distance. 
Oct 07

bone tired

I feel so tired. 

So so tired of being

I am so tired 
of fighting for everything 
for the basic rights I should 
be guaranteed. 

I feel so tired 
of having to explain that
i deserve to live in
this country. 

I am so tired of 
the protests, 
of the speeches, 
of the votes,
i feel so tired

i feel so tired of 
explaining that my body is mine
and nobody else’s. 

I feel so tired of 
having fire, 
and fighting
and fighting
and fighting. 

I feel so tired of explaining
that racism exists 
and that it’s important we stop it. 

I can’t find the will to 
keep fighting sometimes,
barely dragging myself up from the floor. 

i’m so tired
Sep 30
poem 2 comments challenge: Morris

We don't want to

Oh, we could do better,
yes, we could,

but we don't want to. 

We could learn tolerance,
we could be civil, 
yes, we could, 

but we don't want to. 

Because all that matters is the 
anger we have and the fact that we can 
scream now. 

Oh, we could hear you, 
yes, we could, 

but we don't want to. 

Because all that matters is that 
get to speak my mind, get to lash out
because i'm afraid of being the minority.

Oh, we could celebrate diversity,
yes, we could, 

but we don't want to. 

Because all that matters is 
my voice,
my anger,
my thoughts,
my rights,
my position, 


Because we could do all of these things,
we could make the world a better place,
Sep 30
poem 1 comment challenge: Almost


Everything was almost perfect.

but everything was off.

by a step.
by a smile.
by a perfectly flipped hair.
by a giggle. 

Everything would have been perfect,
If it had just gone the way 
that she had planned it.

But nothing had gone the way
that she had planned it, 

because it wasn't perfect. 

It could have been perfect
if he had paid attention. 

It could have been perfect
if she didn't keep her tears inside,

It could have been perfect
if her smile wasn't fake.

It could have been perfect 
if she didn't have to be there, just to see. 

It could have been perfect
if she didn't care for him so much.

It could have been perfect
if she didn't have to be a friend.

It could have been perfect
in a million other ways.

But nobody else could tell. 
Nobody else knew.
Sep 25

how to write to a stranger

Dear (Absent) Dad,

Guess what?

You missed it.

Time goes by so fast,
(you blink) 
and then it's gone.

You missed
the birthdays 
and the graduations
and the colleges
and the parent-teacher confrences
and the signatures
and the weddings
and the kids.

You missed it. 
Where are you now? 
Are you married?
Do you have kids? 
Where you there for them through it all?
I hope you were.
They don't deserve what I got.

We miss a lot of things in life. 

the (beat) of a hummingbird's wing,
whispered words,
a day of work,
glances in the dark. 
how the sun 
off of the waves
setting them on fire
even though they are wet. 

But (only) strangers miss 
each other's lives. 
Sep 12

A Reference List for 9/11

What to do on 9/11 if you're Middle Eastern or Muslim.
  1.  Look at the ground, breathe steady in and out, hope that nobody notices the occasion.
  2. Wince whenever anyone mentions the date and the chorus of sympathies and 'oh man's' that follow.
  3. Flinch at every word coming out of everyone's mouth because you're afraid that it will be another comment that jabs at your skin, jabs at your very being.
  4. Notice that not many people notice the occasion but you, because they have that privilege, to forget, oh, to forget everything it brought on.
  5. Be extra careful with what you say. No wayward comments appreciated. 
  6. Avoid the news that day.
Sep 10

The In-Between Place

Have you ever felt in 

Have you ever felt like you
don't belong?

Have you ever been stuck in the middle of stars
and earth?

Have you ever wondered if there was ever going to be
another like you?

Have you been stuck between two countries that both
hate each other?

I am not quite white, 
and I am not quite black.

I am not Christian,
and I am not Jewish.

I am not hated,
but I am not loved.

I am a stranger in America,
and a stranger in Iran.

I am not quite here,
yet not quite away.

I am not quite good,
but I'm not quite bad. 

I'm not quite Arab,
but I'm still Middle Eastern.

I am always,
but not quite
in between.

So if you've ever been 
not quite something in your life,

join me in that in-between place,
Aug 30

Go out

let me tell you about pulsars.
In binary star systems, 
there are two stars that 
revolve around each other.

they form pulsars.

this is when one of the stars
starts taking materials 
from the other.

It takes and takes 
and spins faster
until the two beams of light
came out of either end.

and the other star?

it's gone.

that's what you are to me.

a pulsar. 

you stripped away my layers, 
and i thought it was only because you wanted
to know the beautiful core.

but as we lived, 
in the light of long-dead stars whose
silent screams never echoed,

you ate away whatever was left of me,
and shined brighter yourself.

bursting in bright beams,
the light you had taken from me radiating 
so nicely on your skin.

and everybody told you how good you looked,