Of maybe’s and a possible forever

I remember you like waves foaming at the shoreline, sometimes up to my toes, most times knee deep. Just like a visible scar with no memories of its formation, there is a familiarity to you. It’s a certain nostalgia, like the theme song of my favorite childhood show, or the scent of a soap my mother washed me with.I must have known some semblance of you, or read you in my favorite stories. Maybe heard you in the whispers of urgent winds, but I understand you. 

Almost as if we existed before our existence. Maybe whatever we were wasn’t enough to save us back then. Instead it preserved us within tales throughout history, of two people who almost got it right, who were so close to the perfect ending. Maybe that was the problem. I am beginning to believe we were lovers in past lives, reincarnated each lifetime to do better than before. But in the tales I’m drawn to, our ever afters are more entwined in tragedy than happiness.

Maybe this time we apply lessons from our past. We will swear to not be so hasty. To not be so consumed by the embers of lust that we become animals and lose to desire. You are not Romeo, neither am I Juliet. We do not have a feud to quell, so be patient loved one. I am yours as you are mine and whatever I am will always find you. 

And Honesty will be our host while we dine with Mercy. Love is a regular guest, but forever requires the sustenance that will only be governed when we share a table with all three. May our Love be governed by Honesty and Mercy.

This time we also learn the language our love is most fluent in. A thousand roses are nothing if your heart cannot communicate it’s secrets unto mine. Whatever darkness you fear to let out, I have it too. Whatever ugliness you think your soul harbors, mine is the same cloth of ugly. Whatever you have, I am sure I was born with. We accept each other only when we accept ourselves and we cannot do that if one does not understand what the other speaks.

We will love to the cusp of madness, but we will learn to keep each other sane. If we succumb to the madness then let us only be Qays (Majnun). To love so much that we become void of temptations of this world. We will begin with God and end with God. We will know nothing but to love each other through God.

Maybe this time we will be greeted by old age with my fingers wrapped around the atlas of your arms. I want to know how deep your wrinkles run when you smile at whatever fruits the patience of our love would have labored. I cannot wait to love you until we are dust. 

But even if we fail in this life again, may I still be given the honor of loving you a thousand different ways in a thousand different lifetimes.

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A hint of purple to be poetic 

You were a holy city which I had been ordained to keep watch. With laws I had sworn to uphold and traditions I had continued to enforce. I was the cardinal in your kingdom and the caretaker to the stairs of your temple. I loved you in ways that would make any angel hide in shame. I loved in in the simplest way, I loved you because you were you. 
I pride myself on my objectivity, I accept that we are human and prone to mistakes, our perfection peaks when we understand our imperfection. But you fit me so perfectly and all that made me human made you prophet. Your voice my holy book. You, the water of my baptism. You, also the well of my tears. 

The best thing to come from us is a color that I’m still trying to understand. I don’t know if I wear it out of defiance, desperation, or both. Too black to be bruised purple and yet here I am. Black, bruised, purple. And not enough.
You sorry selfish piece of shit. I gave you sunset, I commanded winds to watch you sleep, I slit blue veins and bled you new. Of all the things you could make me do, you made me cry.

I am a daughter from the coven of women whose tongues are stained with enchantment, who spit fire and are embalmed in ice. My mothers speak the language of wolves. They are fucking hunters and healers. Ask about the graveyard of men’s bones scattered outside our terrain. They were as silly as you. Proud, stupid, and forgetful. They tried to rip our souls and hang them as cabinet ornaments. Thinking they could do with women as they wished and walk away triumphant. Did you really think the universe would let you hurt her child?
Even God cannot save you from a broken-hearted woman.

In preparation for the 22nd year

If this year has taught me anything, it has been to embrace loss. To acknowledge it, not as emptiness, but as another chance to grow & an opportunity to reflect. To not be so dependent on anyone or anything and accept that life is so much bigger than me, but to also understand that I am an integral part of this galaxy. This year I’ve learned to shed dead weight, be it leaving relationships behind, or not being afraid to tear down pieces of writing from scratch and start again. Whatever fears I’ve had of not being brilliant enough, I’ve also said goodbye to. I know I will always be enough. I’ve stopped making room for self-doubt and have instead made peace with my flaws. We are all flawed & to believe yourself untarnished is the height of foolishness and a symptom of reluctance to grow. Learn to forgive yourself, you must leave space to breathe, and to try again. As human beings, we are wired to err from birth. Our mistakes don’t define us, rather it’s how we chose to move on from them that makes the difference. Our mistakes only remain fatal if we refuse to derive strength and meaning from them. So fail if you have to, cry yourself to sleep if need be, but wake up and try again. Repeat for however long you need to, just know that you’re going to be alright. 

This year I’ve stepped out of my comfort zone in more ways than one. I’ve visited beautiful cities, loved wonderful people, laughed till my belly hurt and also slept with a clear conscience. I’ve been the best possible version of myself to other people, especially towards the ones I love. I’ve been quieter and more gentle, but also stronger in my truth and convictions. I’ve had my heart broken and I’ve survived it, if anything it’s made me softer and more open to the possibility of loving other people deeply. It’s also made me smarter, I’ve learned to trust my instincts and know how to be better to myself. I’ve done everything I’ve set out to do this year, including finishing all of my requirements for a Master’s in Public Health before my 22nd birthday. 
I am so honored to have been surrounded by supportive people who care deeply about my wellbeing and are dedicated to making sure I accomplish all that I want for myself and more. To all the ones who’s hearts beat the same as mine, I pray that the only darkness you see comes from the blinking of your eyes and I only hope to be as good to you as you have been to me. 

By willing to grow and accept all the lessons life has to offer, I’ve realized that growth is not a static concept; it’s as fluid as a river stream. Growth is cleansing and growth is painful, but growth is necessary and I accept that. I don’t know yet who I fully am, but for now I know that I like taking pictures of sunsets, buildings, plants and burning coal. I enjoy dancing to Bailando and coming up with corny jokes. My idea of a good day consists of watching criminal investigation and house renovation shows on Netflix. I also wake up every morning convinced that this is the day I stop eating cheese, but cheese is the one thing I’m unwilling to let go off. I am so relenting when it comes to the defense of my critically analyzed beliefs and I simply do not have the time to play stupid. I’m saving up to afford a better life for my future cat & I am deeply invested in the protection and preservation of my space.

First Rain and Earth

In anticipation of the first summer rain (which finally fell yesterday)

Summer had settled and the earth was expectant. First rain was due at any moment, and earth was ready to welcome her love back to her. The earth continued to lay in wait for his arrival, but the moon had come full circle, and he was still nowhere to be found.
Getting worried, earth consulted wind “my dear friend, do you know when rain is due to fall? I should’ve felt his comfort by now or at least knew of his estimated arrival. Perhaps he has left word with you to send to me? I’m afraid if he doesn’t show up soon our children will have very little for you to carry.” The wind smiled at the earth and said “do not worry much earth. For as long as you both have existed, rain has never let go of the opportunity to touch you. He longs for you as you do for him and swears that he gives only to you. He cannot wait to be received by you, so fear little when it comes to the loss of your love. He will soon be here to usher in the comfort you seek.”
Hearing those words, the earth lay patient again until another moon passed, then she made way to fire. “Fire,” she said “I have come in search of rain, my love has left for long this year and I come to ask if he has left word with you?” Fire too smiled and at once felt pity for the earth. “My friend, the facts of life are few, and among them is that rain will always find you. Even if for a moment, his reunion is eminent and being separated from you is painful for him. You and your children are all that is dear to him and your beloved will soon be here to kiss your every corner at peace.”
Again earth lay patient, but the wait for first rain grew longer and earth started to crack with each passing day. “Oh Creator of my love and the friends of my love, tell the rain that I’m afraid he has left for too long this time. Our children are hungry and I am a hollow carving who has been left almost dry. Please tell my love to hurry, tell him the earth needs him.”

With that, the rain started to pour, “oh Earth” he said, “I have kept myself from you for so long and I apologize for lengthening my return. You have laid in wait for me, you have bore my children and have been patient with me since our becoming. I promise to never keep you waiting again and to always keep you and our children at ease. Please forgive my lateness and I will spend our eternity with you, so no matter how little, you will feel me each day. I will stretch far and wide for you and you will never have to miss me as much as you do now. You are my home and all I exist for. My earth, you are my earth.” 

Lost in Translation 

As much as I love writing, there’s a void I have been unable to fill, and a guilt that I’ve only tried to in English. How do you put into words feelings that do not exist in the only language that folds itself for you? 
Lately I stop mid-sentence trying to remember translations and pronunciations, having to dilute the richness of my mother tongue in hopes of being understood. Wolof is demanding and yields specifications, yet it is a soft romantic who has multiple manipulations just for the word love. It is articulate in ways I will never be. It is the thoughts that lull me to sleep and keep me awake in disappointment. English is undeserving of me, but I cannot write in the language that knows me best. It is literary purgatory and I do not know how to get out. 
I am expressive with my love because Wolof requires it. With her, it is not a feeling, but instead, various acts that could never be condensed into a single syllable. I have chosen you, I am used to you, I care for you, I want you, I need you, I only need your peace, I have taken a liking to you, you are good to me. Her love is a jealousy that only deals with protection, the most visible intimacy. It is hard to voice her sentiment because it is drawn so well there is no room for mistranslation. You have to see what is felt in Wolof. 
I document my shame well in English, there is no need to pinpoint my transgressions when I can breeze through admittance in a language that is not the primary occupant of my conscience. It is impossible to say sorry without asking for forgiveness, without admittance of wrongdoing and a will to make it better. My language doesn’t tolerate halfheartedness so English becomes my escape when I am not ready to be my best to others.
For my grandparents, the people I write for and the people that inspire me, English is fleeting, it is a hello and a goodbye. Not the apartment their granddaughter rents to hide the brokenness of a first language that is no longer able to stand on its own. I don’t remember the last Wolof sentence I constructed without the crutches of ‘buts’ and ‘ands’. The most sentimental piece I’ve ever written is about my grandfather and I cannot read it to him because it is in a language that has never accepted him. Even my love cannot heal that. 
I am worried that Wolof will one day stop accepting me. What if I become anchored to the ease of English and lose my truest self; the self that has yearned to be whole for so long. I cannot write my soul in Wolof but I also cannot speak my heart in English. I wish I could wear the language of my love like the beads on my waist, a marker of my belonging with an non replicable closeness. I want to be able to dictate how fast and fluent her vocabulary rolls of my tongue. But she is the mistress and I only do her bidding. I am reconstructing a language in attempts to close the gap within me. To not have to lose what is simple, and to also not lose the transcript in which I dream. 

The Universe and You

I want to be my own and still belong to you.
Like the night sky I will not be lost to you,
but I will not be yours at every hour.
Like the moon I will light your every path,
but like the moon I only come in cycles.
You and I are pillars of the same temple,
Guardians of the most sacred.
We are one in heart and spirit,
all of me I have pledged to you.
But I am also a child of the universe,
who is at all times, everything and nothing.
If we do not give space to breathe then we deprive life of its most essential truth,
love is not love if love requires the shedding and morphing of entities and dwindling the embers of once stimulated souls.
To be in love is to be free,
to simultaneously be the flames and wind.
To be loved by you means that I will never be burdened by choice.
To be yours means that I am still mine,
that the nomad in me may journey as far as her dreams lead her.
We love not to be stunted, we love so that we live on.

A Manual For Nights You Just Don’t Know 

•Your purpose is not to be tame, or beautiful, or elusive. You are not some mythical anything who has lost all ability to feel and does nothing but float by.

•You are a multidimensional woman who is entitled to sadness at the most sporadic instances. 

•Who cares if you danced your morning away and laughed yourself drunk by sundown? It is now dark, your demons have laid the table for supper and your heart is heavy. 

•You have every reason to be a recluse, pretend to hate all the people that love you. 

•Ignore the boy who’s made it his mission to care for you. He’s stupid, you’re saving him now.

•Be destructive, by that I mean deleting pictures off your phone, nothing you can’t get back on iCloud.

•Sometimes rationality isn’t what you need, that’s fine too, you have a playlist for that. 

•Cry about anything and everything. JK Rowling killed Sirius black and that will never be okay. 

•You’re scared, that’s okay.

•Breathe.

•Sometimes it’s fine that you don’t want to do things for shallow reasons. Your skin is perfect, stress will ruin it.

•Shower only because you’ll stink if you don’t.

•Don’t call your mother, she always sees through the smiles and will want to make you talk about things.

•You don’t have to talk about things.

•Stay in bed.

•Eat chocolates and drink water because you’re healthy.

•Cry again.

•Sleep if you can.

•You’ve made it through the night, you are invincible.

•Good morning warrior, may the sun always rise in your honor.