Poetry: a place

ask 

how can I be in love with a land I have never stepped upon
a land I have obsessed over since the first breath I have taken

how can you not be infatuated with a place that created your essence?
a place that brought your mother and father together, passionately as one
a place the bleeds for thousands of years under the footprints of every invader who raped
a place that bears witness to the strength of your people who may be scattered,
scarred, but will never give into fear

how can you be dying to enter a hole that every man, woman, and child
is living to crawl out of
through feet, feral, trucks, broken boats, seas, smugglers, and more?

how can I not be madly in love with a place
of phantom pain
whose inheritance is a soothing ache from
never feeling the wet dust or dry tears,
and touching her,
raw and unclothed?

-S.K.

Poetry: Sustenance

How do you sustain your day?

He plans to fill himself with water and prayer
each dawn, but he sleeps in
missing
fajr, when a suicide bomber, strikes the mosque across the ocean.
The train is impatient for the spiritual
so he packs his iStuff instead, swiping away the push notification
azaan, unheard, he walks into the hallway of this temporary earth.

She begins with coffee, black, please
and finishes it in sips of three.
First – to forget the night that has past, sprawled on her back, under cruelty
sip two – a tear slips to cool the scalding roast
the final chug – the paper cup she cannot crush because it is the essence of the cycle.
This very cup bought from the coins the previous one filled
empties quickly, self-inflicting singe.

They scramble early
fat free milk is more expensive, scratching their itchy eyes,
they douse their Fruit Loops with floating growth hormones.
They didn’t finish reading
but their bodies carve enough letters to publish a lifetime
of sorry, if they get called on in class to discuss
they plan to lie, again.

For me, each alarm rings in a new poem
I choose the night before so lethargy does not succeed
sustaining breakfast with an apparent literary genius
thinking the written text will suffice

. . .  every passenger is at unease by his beard which I admire
my foot almost knocks over her cardboard invitation
they jay walk, and I run behind, protected by small humans in traffic ahead . . .

I go hungry
naive in a facade of selfishly published poetry
because I know the sufferers of the real world
are the ones who breathe the truest mixtures of words
waiting for the right ones
Who will listen?

-S.K.

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Poetry: Human Flight

Did you know that in ancient times, all humans once knew how to fly?

Time, guilt, selfishness, anger, and fear over thousands of years caused us to evolve into creatures who no longer fly … except for a select few individuals who still believe in the impossible. Still, many do not notice that children are all born with wings. The adults around them who still possess the secret skill of flight must teach them how to best use these wings.

Otherwise, children will remain caged, their wings susceptible to damage, their hopes of something beyond the ordinary ground-level-world relinquished. Some children grow up with their wings set beside them, ripped apart by sadness, confusion, or great force, as they or the adults around them only saw the wings as an abnormality or nuisance that could not be tolerated and needed removal.

Never underestimate the influence of a caring adult who mends a child’s wings. And, if an adult is really lucky, sometimes it is the child who reminds him or her to pick up their weathered, tossed aside wings, and believe in their rusted dreams once again.

Now, imagine a world where we all learned to fly . . . Together, we could find our humanity again.

-S.K.

Prose: Pieces

We don’t own ourselves. We don’t posses ourselves. But we don’t know that just yet. Instead, we belong to the people whom we have given pieces of ourselves to. We have trusted them with these fragile yet colorful pieces of ourselves, hoping they hold onto them for us and never let go. Never break it. Never lose it. Never destroy it. We expect, we hope, we pray they will safeguard our pieces. Nurture, comfort, and care for our pieces. Then one day, a person comes along and takes that piece of you and does everything you ever feared to it. That’s the day you realized it- you are not you, but rather the connections and interactions and markings and fittings of all the people who were ever bold enough to own a piece of you. And you thank that person. Because they make you realize your pieces should fucking belong to you and only you.

-S.K.

Prose: Misinterpret This

My writing is expressive and therapeutic. As human beings, we move forward from situations, people, and emotions; however, sometimes the pain and memories need to be reawakened to share in a creative way. In the hopes that the entire audience can relate and heal, the poet places his or her mind and heart in the most vulnerable state. If you over analyze, under value, misinterpret, or personalize the language, then that becomes the flaw of the reader.

– S.K.

Poetry: My dear, write

Write to heal, not to sell
Write to connect, when your mind is in utter disconnect
Write to evolve from the conflict, not to solve yourself
Write to invoke emotions, not provoke tension
Write for revenge against all those who burdened you with hurt
Write to commend all those who inspired you with hope
Write to burst free
Write to spread your essence and fly
Write every day
Write, because any day now, your words will die
Write, to fabricate the fiction of everything in your life which was a lie
Write, because every sign and symbol reaffirms what you already know
Writing is the only way to go
Write, because out there, someone is waiting for their soul to be awakened by the flow of your words
So write, my dear
Write, even if it is the most painful act you fear
Write, my dear
That is why he is so near
Watching over you, transparently trembling, because he sees every story, idea, emotion, spark, sentence, slip away with each earthly second
Write, my dear
Because it is becoming so painful to breathe without a release
Write, my dear
It is the only way you will be complete.

– S. K.