You’re everything that I am not. Thank Allah for that, because I love being me even when life becomes difficult.

3 Ways Breathing Helps Me

When I find myself beginning to struggle through a triggering moment, I will consciously stop what I am doing and take my first deep breath.

1) the first breath always helps to calm the anxiety/excitement that I am feeling. #breathe #repeat

2) my second breath helps to slow down any racing thoughts. #breathe #repeat

3) my last breath makes it easier for me to listen & remain present. #breathe #repeat

Do You.

When you stare into the mirror

Do you see yourself?

What do you look like?

Do you like you as much as I do?

Do your eyes still laugh

Even after the memory of his hands on your body rapes you for the millionth time?

Your smile. Does it shine? Does the corner of your mouth still sparkle as the memory of his attempts to break your face shakes you out of your sleep for the 3rd time tonight?

Tell me. I want to know. Where?

After the memory

Of all his rage,

Choking the life from you,

Reminds your lungs how to stop breathing,

Where does the air come

Allowing your eyes to open the next morning.

How have you remembered to breathe?

When you stare into the mirror

Are you alone?

Does mother look at you,

Eyes still covered,

Cuz your mouth remains mute,

To the reality in which you’ve been living.

Has mother been allowed to see all of you?

Do you see father peeking around the blindfold,

hoping to catch a glimpse of you,

Or does his front look very much like his back,

With no avenue for sound to reach him.

Tell me. I want to know. When.

When the last born came crying,

Announcing itself,

Was it then?

Was it then that 3 became 1,

And you the outside participant to a unit

That felt complete enough for them.

When you wake up in the morning,

Dragging yourself nakedly to the mirror,

Tell me. I want to know. Do you see you like I do?

Have you fallen in love with each,

Permanently newly placed decoration,

Healing on your skin?

Are you trippin off that mouth, Like I do,

With its capacity to cause just as much damage as it seeks to create & heal.

When you let go and move to the drum beat

Do you feel as free as I do?

Did you know that freedom taste as light as I feel when we’re in sync?

Tell me. I want to know.

If you’ve married yourself yet?

Have you given every inch of self validation?

have you given you worth? Have you let yourself into every crevice of your humanity, so I could find a home there too.

Tell me. Do you know? Cuz I need to.

Part III

I didn’t understand it.

Where had she gone?

This little girl

Who looked so much like me

Is smiling.

reaching out her hand

Waiting. For me.

I want to smack her hand away,

I want to cover her eyes,

Make her look away from

Who we be.

I don’t want her to know

How we got here.

Without my consent

She grabs a hold of my arm

Dragging me down to her level.

‘I want to see you’ she says.

So I tell her ‘truth. You make me want to run’.

I move her hand away,

So she grabs a fistful of skirt

And her warning is clear.

She will tug, allow herself to be dragged

If she needs to.

Still smiling she tells me

‘This is too important.’

‘I need you to smile now.’

‘I need you to remember joy.’

So again it cracks. Effortlessly this time.

That fine mask,

so well polished,

painted to perfection

is peeled away by small fingers

Hoping to keep you around this time.

Piece by piece,

She does away with the falsehood

Apathy created,

Leaving you bare.

Naked as the day we were born.


This little girl

Living in the joy of my smile.

She tells me ‘welcome home.’

I am the before and I am the after.


i haven’t told her,
and the truth is i probably won’t.
the truth tends to take on its own translation
once it lands in her ears.
so i settle for watching the inevitable,
completly still when it all begins to implode.
she tends to takes them on;
tells me not,
take the world off your shoulders,
but with her its like
the one thing she always want to do.
they ask me where i get it from;
so i settle on silence –
its none of your business, nah i dont want you to know me.
so i settle for resting my eyes on her.
she doesn’t see the wears and tears
that are beginning to form around
the corners of her eye lids.
but there they are there. they exisit.
softly smiling,
i am reminded again
that there isnt much time left.
that one day this too will end.
so i tell her stop.
lets share that last little drop of sunshine
that’s been fighting to come;
take the world off your shoulders for a minute.
ease some peace back into your heart
before the last of blistering blues
threaten to snuff it all out.
she pauses for a minute.
she’s still learning to find the softness
underneath the bite of my tone.
she huffs at me. i don’t want her on eggshells. again.
i shrug my shoulders
out of the tension,
break out a sigh,
cool the eyes
and im present again.
i unlench my jaw and smile,
because again im reminded that this too will end.
there isn’t much time left.
so i help her place the world on a shelf for a moment,
i watch meak become tall,
crying lungs cry even harder in thanks for the ease of breath,
i can feel her heart pounding again;
less intensly this time,
less like it’s gonna drop any minute now,
because quite frankly thats a tough pill to swallow
and the truth is i don’t ever want to.