Nuha Fariha Sep 13

"don't go, stay please"
hands around waist
body pressed against
the doorframe your
tongue tracing my
the back of my ear down
to the neckline as we
show ourselves layer
by layer and suddenly

it is five am and I am
tracing the outline of
dawn on your back
and you turn to hold
me again and our fingers
interlace and suddenly

it's two weeks later and
i am staring at the dots
on my phone at two am
whispering alone again
"don't go, stay, please"

Nuha Fariha Aug 7

Yesterday we drove down past the
Thickest thickets in the garden state
Listening to whine of The Shins with
Our windows letting in the tiny bugs
Dotting the sky between twilight hours  

You had sticky chocolate hands and
Salt specks from unfinished french
Fries on your plaid shirt tucked into
Your khaki shorts secured with a firm
Brown belt around your small hips

In the rearview mirror I watched the
Sea shore tuck itself into the small
Sea town tuck itself into the green
Fields until darkness enveloped us
And we could not sing anymore

Nuha Fariha Aug 7

Some days my bones weigh heavy and I
Can hear creaking down the back of my
Spine it sounds like my grandmother's
Chair in the middle of the night when
She sits in an empty room and knits
A spool of thread jumbled forgotten
Slowly unraveling this body of mine

Some days my bones weigh heavy from
The lives I am not living and from the life
That I am and my chest constricts my
Heart thumps as fast as the hummingbirds
Wings and my ears fill with the sound of  
waves crashing on some distant shoreline
washing dried remains of a moored whale

Today I am carrying my bones forward
Pressing out the air bubbles between
The ligaments and presenting them to
You in a porcelain case bound with a
Scarlet ribbon darker than my blood
So you can wash them with a new light

Nuha Fariha Jul 21

I don't remember when we stopped
Going to the grocery shop together
When the silence grew too loud to talk over
When I'd stopped trailing after you with the rattling bones of canned soup, clutching the well rusted handles of the shopping cart asyou pioneered your way
Down the discount aisles proud and dusty
Stopping to pick up another sugar laden piece of the American Dream

I do remember my first day grocery shopping alone, squeaking with my empty cart hesitantly down the aisle waiting for you to come and tell me to put back the extra box of chewy chocolate chip cookies
The scuffed tiled floors shone, the fluorescent lighting cast a dull glow and I swear I heard soft angels humming over the white noise from the refrigerators
As I headed home to our white picket nightmare, the blue bags in the backseat shone like medals, subtle victories.

Nuha Fariha Jul 20

"Oh Tata you're crazy"
Almond shaped eyes pointing in
Two directions, hair still frizzy from
The static on your two toned wool
Sweater, your glasses askew hanging
Precipitously on the edge of your nose

"You're crazy" I saw again when
You'd show me notebooks filled
Earnest hasty lines naive to prove
Their worth to the world, stumbling
Figures eager to spread world peace

"You're crazy" I repeated as you
Gingerly combed the remaining strands
Of greying hair and tuck your collared
Shirt into your pressed khakis but left
ice cream splotches drying on your arms

Too late I realized that you weren't crazy
I was just too small to it was the world
That was crazy so strict with their lines and rules about who could and couldn't be
And you existed in between spaces yet undefined

Nuha Fariha Jul 11

Brown girl dreams of love
that feels like drowning  

Warm oceans will heal
bruised muscles clinging
onto her rusting bones
a balm for the marks
on the inside
of her open thighs

Brown girl dreams of
a love that is drowning

Warm oceans will flood
hallowed hollows pushing
onto her collapsed walls
sinking air rises slow
in a murky tide
small noiseless cries

Brown girl dreams of
a love that drowns her

Nuha Fariha Jul 4

When I was thirteen my mother
Took a rose and crushed it
Letting the thorns prick into her sides
Pinpoints of blood blushing on her arm

“This is what a man does to a woman,
What he takes and what cannot be
Restored, this what you must endure
This is what your family must endure
Because you are a woman.”

So is it any wonder that when you
Pushed yourself inside without asking
I did not stop you, that I only closed
My eyes and saw the image of that
Crushed red rose lying limp
Between my mother’s feet

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