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Cage

I took one step forward
and your words
pulled me thirty steps back
In every moment
your words pulled me more back
pushed me more to the edge
made the hole a little bit deeper
and I just didn’t seem to know how to stop

until I lit the bridge on fire
made sure only ashes remained
I cut the string
and the voices stopped
your voice stopped
you stopped hurting me
and suddenly the walls came down

and I saw you were the reason I was in a cage
and I had the key to free myself this whole time
and I felt freedom welcoming me back
I saw the demons vanish away

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Fool

It started with him
calling her beautiful, sexy
admiring her body
telling her how she fulfilled his fantasy
and so she thought it was love

then he started the insults
to get her to lose weight
to get her to change and form into
what he wanted

foolish girl fell for it
because she didn’t want to hurt him
didn’t know how to stand up on her own
thought it all comes with being in love

he then took it a bit further
wanted her to check in with him throughout the day
but never told her a word about what he was doing
only messaged her when he felt like it
but was furious when she did the same

she still stuck
she thought it was in the name of love

he never listened to her ideas, her thoughts
told her to stop making him sound dumb
so she stopped, she didn’t want to mess it up

she thought it was all love
and slowly she gave in to
every abuse he threw at her
into every game he played with her
slowly she was no longer herself
she was a fool
she was in a foolish love
a fake love
a toxin that killed her soul

 

photography by @chadmadden

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Ghar ke Kaam

in between washing the dishes
Ammi yells at me
curses her life
all I did was accidentally leave the
glass by the tv
I roll my eyes and lock myself in the bathroom
until she’s done the cooking in the kitchen
I come back outside
and plug my brain into the tv
so she can’t throw more side comments my way
Her anger is for me not becoming the person she wished I be
My anger is for her never defending me
but we push it down
we swallow it, chug it down like a bottle of whiskey
let the damage be done inside
all we notice is the burning madness
showing in our swollen eyes
from crying all night
from betrayal

 

Photography Credit: Chip Johnston

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High School Days

It went from bad days
to bad weeks
until it was years of melancholy
dark patches of guilt and regret
all night long crying
and hating every morning
not having the energy
i lacked the energy
to love myself
to love living
i felt shame
i felt fear
i felt anger
i didn’t feel like living
it was circling around me
it became the only best friend of mine
it knew me so well
it became my companion
it was depression.

 

____________

Photo Credit: Lanaya

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Since You’ve Been Gone

Lying on the carpet

the color deep sea

As my tears fall down my face

I don’t know if it’s from Adele’s angelic voice

or the fact that you’re not here anymore.

So I lie there, and I listen to Adele singing about

my broken heart

and I want to call you,

I want to tell you to come back,

even though I know you’ll hang up on me,

and tell me to move on.

So I listen to Adele

and I cry.

 

 

______________

Photo Credit: Jon Bright, Jr.

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No More Explaining

Some lunatic decided to kill 22 people

And it breaks my heart hearing those stories all over the news

it breaks to know the trauma all of those are going through

a mother lost her child

a child lost her mother

friends lost each other

But I won’t say sorry

I won’t condemn his actions

because it’s not my job

not after condemning them for so long

I am tired of the articles that pour in right after

talking about Islam being misogynistic and extreme

And then the worry about all of the mosques that get burnt

all of the hijabis that get attacked

the kids that get bullied

the Muslim men harassed.

One attack and a whole group get double the harm.

Have you thought of the countless Muslims helping?

The doctors, cab drivers, the ones who donate blood

not to mention the ones who were probably in the attacks

going through the same trauma as you

So no more worries, no more explaining

I don’t have ISIS as a contact on my phone

neither do any of the other billions of Muslims worldwide

it’s time you take off those ignorant glasses you’re looking through.

 

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Promise Land

When I was born, my Ammi was full of promises. I was born with promises. I was born to be in this country full of light. But some people made me feel like a burden. They shamed me, made fun of my name, of our differences, of our accents, of our skin, our clothes, our hair, our body. They clambered on me, they stomped on me and left their prints on my heart. So I started saying sorry a bit more. So I started to wear some American clothes hoping I belong more. So I started to feel ashamed of my parent’s language, stopped eating samosas and biryani and food that exploded with flavors from the hands of my mothers. Then a few years passed and I realized they were all wrong. Who were they to mock me? I too was just as much American, even in my cotton kurtas and my floral hijabs. Now I put my hands into fists and get up, not to stomp on them but to walk away from the crowd. I’m my own, I’m not ashamed, I’m a new promising land for my parents, I’m their better future, I’m their hope their dreams, and I will settle down and plant myself and they will be able to rest there.