“What’s your favorite sound in the world?” you ask.
On Fridays, it’s the sound inside the masjid
When everyone’s clothes rustle in sync
As their faces touch the ground
In awe of their Creator.
It’s less of a sound and more of a feeling
That slowly fades into the euphoria
Of finding the purpose of life again.
On most other days
It’s the crunching of dead leaves
Or the rattling of keyboard keys
The roar of a fresh breeze
A very very loud sneeze
The ‘ting’ of a text message
The rustling when I turn a page
The splash of a waterfall
The clamor in a shopping mall
Thunder right before the rain
The rhythmic chugging of a train
The revving of sport cars
The silence of a million stars.
But at nights
It’s the imaginary laughter
Of an imaginary person
Drowning the rest of the world away
Turning into a blanket
To wrap me in its cocoon
So that all the cold I’m afraid of never finds its way.
There’s a light switch
Constantly being turned on
Too much noise in my head
A void in my soul.
What a colorful universe!
Full of black holes.
I’m laughing like a maniac
Talk to me and you’re dead.
Let’s go for a run
I’ll just lie in my bed.
Pretty shop windows!
Grey metal gates.
I want to go home.
I want to escape.
I make garlands from words.
I tear them off.
Butterflies in my stomach
I don’t believe in love.
You’ll have a bitter taste in your mouth
From something someone said
Something someone didn’t say
A memory coming out of nowhere
The thought of a missed chance
The guilt of living too less
The guilt of living too much
The guilt, guilt, guilt, guilt
For anything and everything
And something and nothing
Some days, you’ll feel every atom in your soul
Weighing you down
From the guilt of existing.
And you’ll know how it really tastes
To be alive.
sitting by a campfire
in the darkest of nights
and the softest of breezes.
As warm as I could get
yet not warm enough.
And as I slowly drown in this cosiness
i know i can never get too close
without burning myself.
There are so many things I have to tell you.
Like how I rode a horse this morning
How it almost jumped off the bridge we were crossing
How good it felt to hold on to its smooth mane
And to recover from the anticipation of falling.
How disappointed I was when I woke up
How shaken I was at the realness of the dream
How I can still feel it’s smooth neck
Brushing against my tensed skin.
There are so many dreams I have to tell you about
Dreams that no one cares about
Dreams only you would hear about
Dreams that help me go on
Even on sunless mornings.
Like that one time I was looking for a key
Hidden under layers of reality
On some cold night covered with vivid constellations.
And under the stars I felt like I saw you.
And although I couldn’t remember how you looked
You’d never looked more perfect or true.
Someday I will tell you all about these
All about every thing I ever dreamed
While your eyes get heavy with sleep
Your voice gets blurry and weak
And we’ll dream together
Of all the horses
We never rode.
العالم هو غريب
و كل الناس عجيب
كنت وراء الجميع
The world is strange
And all people are marvelous
You are beyond all.
You’re a pixelated reality
A handful of insanity
A trigger to some vanity
The unuttered profanity
That threatens inhumanity
An uncalled for calamity
That drills through my sanity
Falls before no immunity
And pulls stronger than gravity
Drenched in its naïvity
And merciless audacity
A rebel ‘gainst felicity
A display of monstrosity.
A people-less community.
The darkest part of this dark city.
Like dark matter
And one day,
Something in the universe shifted.
As if a long forgotten veil had been lifted.
The winds seemed to shiver in awe
Of the new life she had been gifted.
No one else noticed.
No one had to know.
Perhaps it was the soft, ultrasonic laughter of the angels
At the mighty way their Lord answered a shabbily constructed dua
Of a slave drowning in sins.
My eleven year old hand frantically swishes the mouse around
As the pixelated face of Harry Potter bobs around the computer screen
Both of us trying to remember the next spell
Both of us stuck in the surrealness of our perfect worlds.
10 points for Gryffindor, announces my stereo soundboxes.
I pause the game to tell my sister that I’ve made it through the “tough level”
And save the moment in my head as a perfect memory.
A dark skinny boy dressed in a superman costume
Stands at the edge of my bed
As his red cape defies gravity
I explain to him what to say whenever anyone enters the room.
This is going to be the best party in my life, I think to myself
Not knowing that would get accepted as a prayer.
All these years down, superman never visits anymore.
I hear he’s doing quite well
Coping with studies and incurable disorders that make him weak to the bones.
I wish I had kept his cape when he left
But all I have is a perfect memory.
I stand in front of my front row bench
Waiting for the next teacher to come.
At the other side of the classroom a guy sharpens a pencil
And just when it is sharp enough
He decides that it never was a pencil
But a rocket that deserves to tour the length of the classroom
And before I know
I have a pencil sized rocket Slashing my right cheek
Just missing the eye.
Just a little cut, the teacher says.
And now every time I look into the mirror and notice the tiny scar that not even my mother knows about
I smile at the irony
Of how perfect the memory is.
I stand on the concrete floor of the school field
My large eyed and perfectly ponytailed friend calls me over
A ritual is about to take place.
On the count of three, five fists bump against each other
And the field echoes back our unflinching oath
“Best friends forever.”
And now every time I tell someone that forever is the most delusional word
I crunch my forehead skin
In a failed attempt at blocking the perfect memory.
You are the storm on a calm sunny day
The scarcely traversed bend in the way
All the constellations at the end of a starless day
The wave that touches every sand grain as it crashes at the bay
The bright ring of light around a full moon that pushes the rest of the sky away
The smell of hay
And burning clay
A wordless day
A rainless May
A black-less gray
The word ‘okay’
A bottled up ray
A wild display
Of every thing I fear and every thing I crave.
Are the brightest speck of stardust in the entire Milky Way.
I want to buy some happiness
Wrap it in paper and tape
Put it at your doorstep
And then ring your door bell.
And then I want to run away
With clumsy footsteps on the stairs
Some muddy boot marks here and there
So you can follow along and yell.
But I’ll be gone before you see
The smirk across my sunburnt face
The cape flying behind my dress
The explosion inside my heart.
But it won’t matter anymore
‘Cause you’ll be holding happiness
Wrapped inside my shiny mess
And never again be torn apart.