Poetry

The war within

A Warrior on the battlefield
She stands with her sword drawn
Ready to kill
In this war one must die
Or all will die.
The fight between who she is
And who she should be
There they are
Shouting and stabbing
Kicking and pulling
Each sings its battle song
‘The world is cruel child, assimilate’
‘No. let your kindness dilute the earth sweet girl’
They beg that she listens
They demand that she choose
But how can she decide the voice to obey
Who to be
How to be
How can one be kind when one has only known cruelty.
How does one judge hate when one has never felt love.
The warrior thrown down her sword
She decides
No part shall dies
Every part shall live
She will be both
Who she is
and
who she is

I pride myself in being authentic. I am completely transparent. I understand that in this world you have to hide the best part of yourself so as not to lose all of yourself but I refuse to do that. If there is a part of me fragile enough to die from exposure, I’d rather it be dead and leave room for the stronger parts of me to wildly flourish. I guess it would be easier, more rewarding even, to ‘assimilate’: be one with the world and massacre my authenticity at the altar of societal acceptance. Or perhaps I could ‘be kind’ like my mother and holy book tells me to. Be like the prophet and the angels: the perfect Muslim girl. It has afterall been guaranteed to make Life easier and heaven secured. I can’t be either of these persons because I despise these persons and I am both persons. I am like everyone but unlike anyone. I am a juxtaposition of opposing complexities so incredible. I am broken: I am whole. I am strong: I am weak. I am open: I am closed. I am glorious: I am hideous. I am everything: I am nothing. But the beauty of it all is that in spite of all these, because of all these: I am Hafsah.

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Poetry

A Constellation of Me

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I fold cycles into stars:

dim; bright.

I hang them boldly

in the shape of me:

a constellation in my image.

And the stargazer will look

and he will say

‘Oh how divine! A majestic collection of misery’

I don’t make birthday wishes, I make birthday reevaluation. I consider the changes I’ve made in the past year and quantify the gains and losses: most times than not the scale have tipped in favor of loss. Year after year I promise myself ‘This is your year Hafsah’ but year after year it never is.
This year I started a new birthday tradition: pride. This year I decided to be proud of myself for everything I did and everything that was done to me. I reveled in the blessings and curses of the past year, I embraced all the scars and all the kisses, welcomed the monsters with the angels and i displayed my pain alongside my joy, I completely and with exhilaration emptied myself and I can say with absolute conviction that this year is my year. Not because something amazing is going to happen but because something incredible has happened: I am here.