Thursday, 18 July 2019

Even as sometimes here we fight,
though love in the act
that all the iniquity is swept away by it,
and I look into thy lovin’ eyes
my duty to behold you
either by words or gesture’s signified;
therein the sparkling of the love I cherish.

You’re more than a thousand lights that rise
O gentle star!
My moon and my sun
Thence no smoke to vitiate thy rays;

O King of My Heart,
So steadfast my desire 
Is unto you who willed to live with me,
And to you I shall walk to the altar
That I know no other love foreswear
Make jubilant the interwoven souls.

And upon earth we shall leave our memories
Such that the naysayers here commend it,
and tell of our story
that from two hearts did single love
Make itself felt,
issued a single sound from out that one love.

Thursday, 9 May 2019

You’re light, 
          the kind that came in through a crack on the wall.

You’re hope,
          the kind that hung around when all was gone.

I was happy,
          the kind that you knew was somewhere deep within,
          even though you didn’t feel it then.

You’re mine,
          the kind that I wasn’t supposed to keep but knew I would never leave.

I was the one you never wanted to be with. 

(A pastiche adopted from A Curve of Darkness by Munira Hussein)

Saturday, 16 March 2019

The last time I saw Maimun
words poured out of me like water squeezed from a sponge.

She covered my mouth with hers
as if to swallow a terrible curse that would come back to afflict us.

“Forget us, forget me,” she said.

Upon us was
the moment of partying—
my heart cracked.

“I will come for you, my moon,” I said.
“I will get you away from your Imam father
Even Allah.”

“Goodbye, my love
I cannot help you with my love.

Forget, my love
I love you more than life itself.”

She shimmered away—

And I was alone. 

Saturday, 24 November 2018

We are fighting
To save us
It doesn’t mean
I didn’t say I love you
I will miss you.

Sunday, 4 November 2018

I used to date a beauty Queen
Now I see her in magazines.

When the Army came calling
          they took away my ragged, faded jeans
          and gave me their Army greens,
          put me in a barber’s chair
          and took away my hair.

They took away my school certificates
          and put them in a kit bag
Taught me how to kill
          and say “Yessir”.

They make me walk all the way with 50-kg luggage and 20-pound guns
          then feed me on Army biscuits and water.
They send me away into the jungle;
          make me walk in the desert
          and sleep in a body bag.

They sent me to the battle
          killed for them
          now they wanna kill me
          because I survived—
Mama, I can’t take it no more!