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.

Reality of Asian Representation 

Someone mentioned 

That they thought 

Representation 

For Asians 

Is so hard 

Because as a community 

We will never have enough 

People to represent our 

Social Justice Causes 

It’s so sad because 

That’s true.

It’s all due to 

Model Minority 

Creating so few of the scholars

And activists 

We need to inspire change 

Questions Unanswered 

I’m hurting 

Was it worth it 

I’m hurting 

Was it worth it 

I can’t answer this question 

And it leaves a bittersweet taste 

In my mind 

I could try to explain it away 

But something about

Keeping it close 

And keeping it company 

Makes me feel good 

I feel like I have understood 

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