Identities and Images 

My Body is Me 

I don’t wear my nationality 

Like a hijab veiling my hair from unnecessary vanity.

Misplaced perceptions aplenty:

From where I am,

And the cloth that I am wrapped in.

I am painted red white and blue,

Inside I bleed green and white.

Bombs blow,

In my dreams.

A stranger approaches

And asks of me:

Are you a terrorist?

Placing a mirror before me,

I see:

buildings collapse around me.

I feel fear sink in,

I quiver as bullets rain down around me.

How have I become an object of terror?

Scene changes:

Rose petals Fly

As people point to my skin,

They call it yellow

But I believe it’s brown 

Just like the soil we sink

Our feet in

Muslim they don’t call me,

Based on my face

And my clothing 

Indian they say 

Upon first glance 

And I say no

I’m Pakistani 

But you are on American soil

They accuse

And I reply

Yes I am a citizen too 

Yes I am human

I thought this soil

Was rich enough

For more feet 

To trudge through

Why has my skin

Become a nametag?

Like a star placed on a Jewish body?

Will I have to undergo

A violent 

Ethnic cleansing 

Religious martyring

Just so the world 

May become

Pearly white?

There will be stains 

Of blood 

And the ache of hate 

Throughout the world 

Soon we shall see 

The others turn upon 

The sympathizers

And hate will stop hate 

A vicious cycle 

Of nooses and war 

There is no peace 

Because the world 

Is not just black and white 

But full of color 

Just like my body

I don’t need a 

Mirror to tell me 

What my body is made of

My heart is full 

Of my identity 

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Everything, Everything

I could be really nice and let you have 

everything of mine 

Then you go ahead and complain 

Tell me I don’t know the concept of no 

I know my boundaries 

Tell me do you know yours? 

Do you know when enough is enough? 

That it’s time to start giving not taking?

Is it wrong of me to want to help you out? 

Maybe then you should stop asking 

And demanding more and more 

Because if I can’t stop 

And I just let you be your selfish self

Then what does that say about me?

I don’t need luxuries 

They won’t follow me to the grave 

Take it all if you want 

Just let me live my life 

I don’t care 

Hearths 

The hearth with the warm fires 

Is sitting out brightly in the dark night 

I curl my arms around myself 

I’ve got a hearth 

It’s within me 

It’s in the smiles of my family 

It’s the laughter and noise of my home 

It’s in the pets that we keep 

It’s in the jokes and stories we tell 

I don’t have anyone special to share 

My stories with or my hearth with 

I have many special somebodies 

All the Stories 

All the stories I read 

On Romance 

Are all the same 

The guy gets the girl

They decide to get together

After some hesitations and troubles 

They choose to get intimate and close 

They experience pain 

They experience happiness 

All the stories I read are boring 

It’s not the real thing 

The real thing is 

Wondering if your partner farts in bed 

Tossing and turning but not getting comfy 

It’s not all Daisy’s and dandelions 

It’s sneezing when the flower gets too close 

It’s wondering what the other is thinking 

It’s not enjoying the sex you’re having 

It’s doubting each other 

It’s messy

It’s hard 

It’s not make believe 

All the stories I read 

They could use a dose of reality 

On Kissing 

I’ve never kissed a guy 

In my life 

Yet I wonder why 

People get so close and intimate 

What’s so great about sucking someone’s 

Tongue, lips, stealing their breath? 

I find it uncomfortable 

To imagine a deep 

Make out 

Tongues in each other’s mouths 

How intrusive that could be? 

Plundering and conquering 

Just to show some affection 

Maybe I’ll start with a hug 

Fires 

There are days 

Where I wish to do nothing 

Yet everything but nothing 

It’s hard to stick 

To a passion 

Because fires don’t burn

Forever 

Empty 

I felt so empty 

Yesterday night 

I was in the midst of sleep and wake 

Yet I could feel my heart 

It beat slowly

My soul is a blank page 

Deception and manipulation 

Tearing me up inside 

Past experiences make it hard to trust 

I’m empty now 

I’m empty now 

Not enough love to forgive the pain 

Couches

You’ll find me roaming 

Sitting and napping on different couches 

I have no community 

To call my own 

Birth 

mathematically necessarily 

a flesh once, then multiplies instantly 

acknowledges the possession of marvels 

not known to males 

time heavy in a room 

humanity made in 

birth 

a secret only 

women know sweetly 

Hades’ Palace

will the steps, miles, 

intersections, of the journey

sparkle like all these

amazing gold realities?
while the beauty of the grave 

leaves your steps powerless against bodily moment?
wide regret sounds far, expected 

from the loved ones who followed light, leaving others in a dark home. 
while even one absence to the journey like faltering hikes up a mountain 

to beauty of the coffin, never one misstep. 
you’ll silent yourselves, 

to nature, peacefully. 

Against such 

detailed, unimagined fate adapt. 
given into explanations from  

inspiring 

dazzling 

oracles below the world 

from the steps, miles 

intersections
to the dark palace 

earth and jewels behest 

Hades’ palace