Pakistan

Peaceful nights are 
Awaiting ahead
My momma tells Me 
the whistle man
Is nowhere close by
To take my slumber 
I fall asleep to humid fans
The smell of dust 
And of clothing coming out 
Of suitcases after long days
Not sure when
Wretched heat will take over
I sleep close to a withering body
And a youngster 
Trying to find that thread 
Between reality and peace 
Slowly sinking 
The smell of cooked Bryani 
Hovering over my brown skin 
My belly full
Humid air circulating 
Across the wide bed 
With Limbs splayed 
Here is the hearth 
Where I was born 
Here is the language of 
My ancestors 
Here is the land 
We have drawn blood and arms for
To cleave ourselves from 
The motherland 
To claim a home 
For the downtrodden 
A crescent moon shines in the sky 
The stars hidden still 
By smog and pollution
I know they shine upon 
This green land 
This prideful country 
Still I stay 
In the midst of sleep and wake 
It’s a land far from imagination 
If I just open an old suitcase
I’m once again 
In the place I could’ve been 
Yet I’m farther away now 
Than I’ve ever been 
A blessing 
And a lesson 

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 and aunts and uncles 

That have created their homes 

Is a bitter reminder 

The struggles faced will never be the same.

To be faraway 

From a country where patriarchal views 

Dominate

And education while Present 

Is lacking of quality

It 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 

We sail away from our country 

To be faraway from the land 

Known as a terrorist hub.

Misguided and misinformed 

Aplenty by media,

A bitter reminder 

To be cautious and careful

Of where we 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.

It’s a bittersweet reminder 

That all freedom comes with sacrifice.

And I sit still 

In the land of the free

The home of the brave 

I wonder if 

We even deserve these names?

For I too, 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? 

This is how I understand 

I was walking down the street 

Minding my own business

When I noticed the car

Passing by was moving 

Way too slowly

Men in the front seat

Ogled my body 

Honking their horn

And making me wonder

Why 

I was wearing jeans 

And a t shirt

I wasn’t even showing off anything 

This is how I 

Start shaming myself

For no good reason 

This is how I

Become more wary 

Towards the intentions of men 

This is how I 

Realize the world 

Is very broken 

Mentally Checked Out

I am neither here nor there 

No baggage left on the claim area 

I blink unseeing 

Nor thinking 

I am an empty vessel 

Occupying a region of space 

I am not human in this moment 

I can only think 

Of my basic function:

Breathing 

In. Out. In. Out.

Being Present 

I am here.

I have compassion for myself.

I let myself learn.

I let myself spend my time.

I let myself live.

Let me do this again.

Let me give up the control 

I seek and that I perceive

And let me free.

I wish to live 

Not on wasted time or money 

But live based off 

The generosity I gave 

Myself

To be genuine 

To others 

And unshackle myself

From pain and misery 

That I burden

My heart with 

For no good 

Are all these worries 

Lost 

And I try so hard 

To control my emotions 

To control my reactions 

To control my thoughts 

I’m a raging hurricane 

And all I am 

Is lost 

To what I could be 

There is no calm 

In this eye 

And it’s beholder 

Is lost to their fancy 

I am lost 

In my own life 

And I can’t live 

Till I set myself 

Free.

Self-Aware 

I try to cinch 

The noose around 

My thoughts tighter 

I try to cinch the waist 

Of my body 

I try to quell the 

Curiosity in my brain 

I try to remain calm 

When I’m raging 

What I have learned 

Is to 

Be hard on myself.

One Moment at a Time

Today I got to 

Spend time with someone 

Different.

I wholly 

Put myself out there 

With no restrictions 

I didn’t worry 

About the time 

Nor about what I wanted 

I listened 

And asked questions 

I walked with them 

side by side 

And chose to hear 

Their story 

I don’t regret

A single moment

Be Still

Stand still

Let your feet plant 

Firmly.

To the ground 

Let not the water nor the wind 

Unground your roots 

You are still here.