when you first left i didn’t drink coffee for one month. i couldn’t imagine feeling more anxious and jittery than i already did. So i cut coffee completely out. maybe a part of me didn’t want to feel awake. maybe a part of me did not want to feel energized. i wanted to stay sleepy and tired and groggy. i cut out coffee but i picked up cigarettes. i could’ve gone through a pack a day.
i didn’t wear make up for 5 weeks. i didn’t see the use in wasting it when i knew it would just come off after i cried. it felt better to have bare eyes because i could rub them as soon as there was a tear. it would make it so that it was less obvious that i had been crying, i hate that runny mascara damsel in distress bullshit.
i cut down on alcohol too. you probably think i didn’t because you still got my text and my calls but that happens because your number is already on the tip of my tongue and on the edge of my fingertips.
in this situation i have no pride. i left my dignity outside. i couldn’t play games, i couldn’t do the “no contact rule”, i couldn’t pick up the pieces and move on like so many of my sisters told me to do. i didn’t care how sharp the edges of our broken mirror were, i wanted to put it back together, i demanded to put it back together.
and you just sat there. immobilized by what you’ve done to me, filled with guilt with the thought that you broke my trust. even now i’m working so hard for both of us and you just sit there. my back is starting to break from carrying the weight of us both. my knees are starting to buckle because it honestly just feels like too much. i don’t want to throw in the towel but i also don’t think i can move on. and if you don’t throw me a line soon then this is just going to fade away.
“the period of waiting patiently for release from suffering is an act of worship”
It’s an incredibly eerie feeling to be celebrating a holiday that literally commemorates the genocide of an indigenous peoples. Coming from a refugee family whose current countrymen are systematically threatened in the same way, and especially being of Pashtun descent, a diaspora peoples whose self-determination and agency has literally been strangled by imperial and colonial powers, I can’t help but feel disgusted partaking in this day. simultaneously, I am stung with the remembrance of my privilege; that I should be so lucky to even despair about having an incredible feast on my table; that who am I to consciously object to this event when there are individuals literally starving to death. So I better fucking eat that food and sit down and shut-up and forget why I have this incredibly hypocritical gut wrenching feeling, knowing I am on Tongva land, that the San Fernando Valley has for millennia – NOT been my home, and that my spirit is still somewhere on the Durand Line while my body is lost & confused as a hyphenated child. This is the rage of being an American, of knowing your life is owed to the natives and blacks murdered to give us space. How can I eat this food in joy, while my ancestral brethren are being slaughtered across the sea, and while the real Americans are being murdered at Standing Rock? All while a misogynistic, racist despot in now the leader of this “free world” and his words are the validation for thousands of lost white youth to violate the bodies of black and brown people just like me? I can’t help but feel paralyzed over the millions of lives I will never live, over the trail of tears, I’ll never see. What a debilitating pain.
From Pakhtunkhwa, to Palestine, to Standing Rock, we are one. Our struggles are interconnected. Our enemy is the same oppressor. I beg you, wake up. Wake up and contribute to the cause. For safe water, for self-determination, for the right to live and breathe with dignity.
most people do not want to become shells
but what if you wanted to purge yourself of who you once were?
if you couldn’t stand the empty eyes staring back at you?
what if you could never solve your own problems, so you extended your hand out for everyone else?
then being a shell wouldn’t be such a bad thing
if i could empty out my rib cage
create a cavity for everyones sorrow
because mine; i couldn’t just unpack
then i could be a shell
for everyone to visit
to place close to their ear
to see if they could hear the ocean
when they wished they could empty their hearts out too.
I always burned. From the bottoms of my feet
To the hair on my head, I burned.
Whether it was love or pleasure or pain or joy that drove me insane.
I burned with it.
People who are shells
Cannot handle the woman that burns
When your heart is an ember
It will melt the man who is hollow.
The small spaces in between my ribs Are where I keep the lies you told me
Every breath I take
The lies expand and collapse
Because I believed you,
I kept them near my heart
And thought I’d unpack them
Every time our love was supposed to grow
But now they sustain me
Because I know
I could take your lies
And your deceit
And I could use them to fuel the fire
That burns so deep
I have no choice but to change.
My body sheltered your fraud
I gave it to you every night
But now those lies are mine.
I feel strong
Because I know I can go on
Even when my body
Was a house for your lies.
I remember when they said this man became president, I fell to my knees in the back of the Zara stock room (where I worked) and cried tears of joy. My first time voting as an adult was for our first African American president.
Now I am extremely apathetic and indifferent to it all. It doesn’t matter what face is on the commander in chief, Bc people who look like me and speak my language will still get killed everyday at the hands of this government. I am extremely distraught and internally torn when it comes to whether or not our votes mean anything. Whether a candidate will do anything for my people here and my counterparts back home.
I am only voting tomorrow Bc my mom is making me drive her to our polling place. I can’t help but admire her for believing in the political process, after fleeing her country, after living life as a refugee, after living in a nation that is complicit in the destruction of her motherland. How she can be optimistic and believe in the power of the people is an ideal that I currently do not possess.
Whatever the outcome, I pray for our citizenry to remain safe. I pray that my fellow Muslims do not have to walk in fear. That immigrants can still call America a beacon of hope. That diversity is celebrated and compassion is multiplied.
God bless America, and the places it bombs.