Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Immigrant Diaries (4): Allah In English

Last month your family walked
to europe
last month
the bombs went off in Paris.

now you pray in english
you don't say "subhanallah" when you trip
Mary sneezes in class
you quickly bite your tongue
so you don't say "yarhamakillah"
your father shaves his face
calls himself Mark instead of Musa
your sister packs you a p and j sandwich
it tastes like puke
in the cafeteria you lick your lips

your mother only shops in supermarkets
she refuses to go to the local bazaar
your uncles spread their sajjadah
in the garage
the athan calls
but you refuse to hear it
now you only read books by
Danielle Steele and JK Rowling
you hide your
Kahlil Gibran and Suheir Hammad
under your bed

your teacher says
A minute silence for the dead
and after exclaims
"curse those arabs"
you find some lightening cream in the store
(this accursed brown)
you think
you rub it at night everyday
but the sun has made a promise
on your skin
she simply will not
let up.


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