Blessings and Lessons

To be faraway

From the land that

My mother and my father know,

As if it were the back of their hand

Is a bittersweet reminder

Of all the sacrifices

We have made.

To be faraway

From the cousins, aunts, and uncles

That have created their homes

Is a bitter reminder

That our struggles will never be the same.

To be faraway

From a country where patriarchal views

Dominate

And education while present

Is lacking quality

Is a sweet reminder

Of what I have gained.

To be faraway

From the land where

Our religion is prominent,

And the language is spoken

As if the wind and the air carried it

Is a bittersweet reminder

Of all that could be lost.

A sea so vast and treacherous separates us,

We sail away from our country

To be faraway from the land

Known as a terrorist hub.

Misguided opinions and misinformation

Aplenty by the media,

I swallow a bitter pill and

Become cautious and careful

Of where I come from.

I must not show pride.

I must not show care.

For I don’t belong there

Any longer.

To be faraway

From the place where

Traditions and customs are so ingrained

That breaking the mold is not an option

Is a bittersweet reminder

That all freedom comes with sacrifice.

As I sit still,

In the land of the free

And the home of the brave,

I wonder if

We even deserve these names?

For I have family,

I have loved ones

In a land faraway.

I hope to God

They are safe and sound

As we throw threats and assumptions,

Destroying the home

And destroying the lives of plenty.

For who am I

Without the knowledge

That I come from

Faraway?

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Naked Yet Clothed

And while my adorned shalwar kameez 

Drapes around my body 

It’s not an invitation to admire me 

While my long Niqab  

Covers me completely 

It’s not an invitation to judge me 

While my hijab covers my hair 

From plain sight 

It’s not an invitation to assume about me 

While I wear shirts and jeans 

It’s not an invitation to catcall me 

While I wear dresses and heels

It’s not an invitation to grope me 

While I wear a saree

It’s not an invitation to ogle me

My body is not: 

A viewing pleasure

A touching pleasure

Your pleasure

An object 

Existence 

My body is not a transient being 

It does not solely exist 

When you place your hands upon me 

For then it is only because you choose 

To let me exist 

For your pleasure 

For your touch 

Instead of the fact 

That I 

Exist.

On Bullying

I abhor violence 

I will never 

Intentionally harm 

Another human being 

Because words hurt 

And actions whilst 

Powerful 

Can destroy others 

Inside and out 

I will always 

Apologize when 

I unintentionally 

Cause harm to another 

For I wish to 

Not be judged nor assumed about

In return 

If I don’t speak an

Apology 

However,

You should seriously 

Consider 

The actions 

And the words

You have spoken 

We all 

Have a part 

To heal each other 

And ourselves 

Living 

Let me explore the dark side of the moon

Make my way around endless 

Everlasting galaxies 

Let me sink deep into the ocean’s depths 

Let me fly higher than any bird or airplane 

Let me sleep until sleep comes no more 

Let me breathe until my chest expands 

Let me live

Let me live 

For I have just

Enough of the same value

As everyone else on this world 

Invalidated 

It’s amazing that 

You could share 

So many things 

With a person 

And they still find

Ways to hate you 

It’s amazing 

You could understand 

So many things 

About a person 

And they still find 

Ways to accuse you of misunderstanding 

It’s amazing 

you could know someone very well 

They still find 

Ways to assume bad about you 

It’s amazing 

You could

Be tolerant to many things 

People still find ways to judge 

It’s amazing 

You could not do any harm 

People still find ways 

To insist you’re evil 

It’s amazing 

The lengths 

We go 

To invalidate

Each other

Stepping on our souls 

Instead of proppelling 

Each other forwards 

Influence 

Social hierarchy 

Is such a funny thing 

Because I always see

People gravitate 

Towards the ones with 

The most money,

The best clothing style,

The most popularity.

If you always 

Listen to the kids 

Who have all the attention 

Then complain 

About receiving none

When you are 

Marginalized 

Made an outsider 

How can we create true change? 

Stop following the crowds

Make your own damn

Change 

Truthfully

Honesty 

Is actions 

Because while a picture 

Can be painted 

With a thousand words 

It’s in the eye of the beholder

Who always mistakenly assumes 

The worst of others