prayers fall on deaf Ears
in mosques where women cannot reunite their hands with the maker
Allah Akbar, but bars me from meeting him face to face
Venus has never been so far from Mars
and he carries on his war alone
so the Jihad is
As the night
in a neighborhood
different from the ones I grew up in.
The silence hides secrets
searing into skin
bruising my body the brittleness
of glass slippers.
I wonder if Phillip ever laid hands on Cinderella
if I should just
clocks as time stops
and Outkasts aren’t the only ones sending bombs over Baghdad.
My tongue cannot perfect the complexities of rebellious language
so I communicate by blinking and nodding
the silence is the most powerful scream
so I yell at the top of my lungs to a husband
who fights against himself.
Is he coming home tonight?
Or does the patriotism have him bleeding his true colors?
The intuition says yes but the logic says
and don’t ruin a good thing with doubt. . .
He’ll be better tomorrow.
Rough day at the office. . .
he’s under a lot of stress.
And I will not forget my place
even if it’s a square peg forced fist-over-fist
eyes painted the color of the midnight
a knowing nod to the lipstick stains when I do the laundry. . .
What would your mother say?
Probably say the same thing as she did then.
“Sometimes all you are is a trophy.
Be grateful for what you’ve got.”
like I always have, and listen to the radio for news.
Locked within the confines of volume knob and military code;
I forget how old it is sometimes. The realization
that this war just turned 9 and the knob only goes to 10
makes me hopeful that the conflict will soon end.
Send home those prisoners of war
and let the wives of war stop being prisoners
to the din of gunshots and hollow eyes.
There is no turning back.
You can’t go home again
after terrorist attacks
and the conflicts that spark them.
I just want the walls to
He says, lest I wake the neighbors.
“Wipe your own blood from the floor.
I don’t want to hear it anymore!”
I wonder what I’m worth.
Too sweet to be arm-candy
hanging on for dear life
as the ghosts of social circles
that look at each other but never see anything
provide the backdrop to backhands behind closed doors.
But how much more will you take?
You can’t go home again
but I’ve got to get the Hell out of here.
I was not made to
the raindrops in the desert and shake the dust.
These dust-devils toss and turn my landscape like bad dreams
but my position won’t allow me to say anything
though it’s just a jumble of syllables to me now
my vow is as broken as my crown was the night he took me
but it won’t break the seal on the back of my throat.
These words spoken through whispers and coded language
and my cipher can no longer decipher them.
Am I ready for the change?
Or am I just ready for the day when I don’t have to
Let me figure things out.
Pack my things into a single suitcase
Where am I going from here? In dead of night,
In silence. In medias res
because I’m so confused right now.
I am louder than this.
You are louder than this. . .
And load your guns with slugs made from tatters of my hijab
AND I WILL PROVE TO YOU FISTS DO KNOW GENDER ROLES
as the explosion sounds like a storm and pierces your heart
TO BURST YOUR SOUL INTO A PYRE OF ACKNOWLEDGEMNT!
I WANT YOUR FIRE TO BURN AS VIVIDLY AS MINE DOES
BUT YOU NEVER NOTICE ME. I BITE INTO SHOULD BE
BUT I NEVER GET A TASTE!
Never get a taste. . .
As I sit, silent, wondering what’s next
I AM LOUDER THAN THIS
I AM RUCKUS
AN EXPERIMENT IN NOISE
From Allah all the way to the tip of my tongue
Pursed lips, cocked back, LET GO
READY, AIM FIRE
BREAK THE SILENCE!