show me who I am (2014)

Today I smooth out my dress;
I comb my hair and apply oils

I want to be so radiant that you cannot bear to look at me


Will you be my mirror?
If I look into you, show me my beauty


How much of me is lost in translation
How much of you, revealed in my reflection

You are nothing without me
Only a servant
Waiting to be called from the wings


Show me who I am

And I am gold!


Husniya, I will name my daughter;
Latifa, I will call her; my love

What comes from me should be me
Should be beautiful as me
And more heartbreakingly so
Because she will be you, too

Husniya, I will call her; Latifa, my love!

May she never need to look further than herself
To find me.


(I use Husniya and Latifa to loosely correspond to “beautiful” in English.)

come into me (2014)

what is this relationship we have?

all i have to do is keep myself open,
and you slide yourself quietly within

you are so gentle with me;
i don’t feel your arrival until you are well within my blood;
until i am ready to receive you

then suddenly i become aware

you have come!

you are here!


if i am speaking, the words are yours
if i breathe, the rhythm is you

i become a vessel
through which you manifest


if you want to write, i hold myself out as your pen
if you want to dance, i keep myself loose to take on your shape
if you want to breathe, i rise and fall for you

let me be your hand, your face
let me be your eye, your foot
let me be an extension of you


into me.

we broke free (2014)

disenchanted with the tarmac we knew so well,
we began to run.

something made us feel that if only we ran into the horizon
we might somehow vanish

into infinity,
into a point.

we ran so much
we ran so fast

we looked to the left and right

and suddenly we were
higher than before,
feet no longer gripping ground

we began a steady ascent
breathing more deeply the longer we looked,
the higher we flew

we began to dream
forgetting the city of our departure,
holding steady, getting to know,
until in one hail Mary push

we said, we’re not ready but it’s time!

we broke free of the cloud!

gasping for air,

finding there was no need to breathe;

we were imbibed.

we have never been more close
to the sun; it blinds us.

our pupils shrink out of humility;

we lower our gaze
to see even more beauty.

search not / simply give (2014)

search not for perfection in the one you love
unless that one is the One.
search not for anything in the one you love
simply give, simply give.

that One is the well
if you look down into it, you see yourself
a perfect self, so beautiful
that you have to turn away.

if I could love him to such depth,
I might turn away from myself and come around again,
anew, the most beautiful,
a droplet in the well of the One.

the holy book (2013)

Have you sat down with yourself lately; have you opened yourself up to yourself?

Have you read yourself like a Bible, recited yourself like a Quran, known yourself like a Torah?

You are a holy book unto yourself, and each reading surfaces a new interpretation; a new dimension. Is this not what it means to have a living text?

The answer to everything is within you, and everywhere you look there are signs, signs that tell you that you are exactly, and only, the book and the reader unto yourself.

bedouin (2013)

I am a Bedouin. I travel with only the clothes on my back, seeking a place to rest my head.
Why am I not worried? Why do I not feel anxious? What will happen to me today and tomorrow?

Everywhere I look I see the terrain of my master. This earth, these trees, the stars and navy sky.

Everywhere I go, I am in the realm of my master.

I walk across deserts and over dunes and still I never leave the palm of his hand.

you have already loved me first (2014)

i looked up from washing my hands, and
for a moment
i glimpsed your face in my face,
you, in my eye

i see you everywhere
but where are you?

in your love my shuffle becomes dance
in my every step, you are my audience
i don’t go north or south, east or west
but i move in all of your directions

am i in you
or are you in me?

am i you
or are you me?

i press my palm to your heart
until i feel you are holding mine

everywhere i go,
i am in your house

every time i love,
you have already loved me first.

all of my doors / your season has come (2014)

your touch has undone me;
your caress, my key.
in your absence i gather myself to myself,
a blossom shy to bloom.

i want it to be you, you, you,
you beside me, your fingers embracing my throat,
your thumb following the fragile sinews
to their inevitable union with the base of my heart.

the heart of my body listens for yours,
echoing beat for beat.
the heart of my heart spills over from its cup
trickling into places i never knew i had within me.

this heart is knocking
on all of my doors,
open up!
your season has come!