You left yesterday. Flew back to your country of current residence while I stayed in mine and thought about how ironic it is to be born from you and yet live continents apart.
You left, but you also forgot some things behind, like that T-shirt I got you, which you told me was your favourite. Also, the handwritten card you wrote for my birthday, which is still months away, telling me how proud of me you are (yes, I already read it). And of course, the extra food you cooked, and the watermelon slices you cut, telling me to eat them in these next few days when I'm missing you.
When am I not missing you?
You left your scent in my bedsheets. You left echoes of your laugher bouncing off my walls. You left trails of your souls walking through my hallways. Your souls are so far away now, and it is so quiet without you. Fragments of you still linger.
I miss you. Please come back soon.
Dedicated to my Amma and Baba.
I've had enough
Life has been too rough.
I'm tired of pretending,
My misery is never ending.
The pain won't go away,
I can't keep trying.
Stop asing me if I'm okay,
I'm just so tired of lying.
It wasn't you, it was me;
I was the problem, so I'm sorry.
No one could have saved me,
I had drowned too deep.
I have quit now; I didn't think I
would do it.
Most people feared death,
But I prayed for it.
Parents in England, one brother with them,
all three with bellies full of my Amma's food.
Another brother in Dublin, on a dinner date with his lady.
The last brother in Mechanicsburg, celebrating Labor Day
complete with a a pool-side BBQ with his new
family: his wife, son, and in-laws.
Me: Alone, hungry, with cold feet, in an only semi-unpacked apartment.
My phone is glued to my ear; I'm on hold with a British
Airways representative. He keeps failing at flirting with me.
His Desi-British accent is making me laugh and cringe, while
I am dreaming about my next getaway.
"See you in Islamabad," he eagerly says.
"Yup, see you there," I reply, while counting down the days until I can go home.
Eyes heavy and closed;
Brain light and hyperactive.
I'm trying to sleep,
But your words keep swimming through my mind.
I am a child of the moon.
She watches over me as I sleep.
Her glow reminds me that I am safe.
Sometimes I stay awake,
watching Her, in awe,
thanking Him for birthing me with
eyes that can see more than just sights
so that I may bask in Her glory.
You were Spring during my Fall.
Was I a fool to have thought
you'd be Summer during my Winter?
Isn't it magical how
if you look up at the day or night sky
you aren't just looking at the
fluff of the clouds, the rays of the sun, the wings of the birds,
the shine of the moon, the sparkle of the stars, or the black of the dark,
but you are looking into infinity, eternity, history, and the future?
You're looking into the universe.
You are looking into everything that has ever existed.
You are looking at something that has no ending.
You are looking into the farthest depths of the space.
And even if you don't know it,
even if you don't care,
you're still looking.
And it's looking back at you.
They tell me that I am a coconut.
Brown on the outside.
White on the inside.
The roots of my palm
tree are ingrained across the
span of the planet Earth.
The leaves that shade me
would shade you all too if you let them.
My mother's love; my father's strength.
So why am I a foreigner to all?
To my own people; my shell.
To the white culture that raised me; my meat.
If I am a coconut
how is it that no one wants me
to grow in their home?
They tell me, "You aren't one of us."
You are an American.
But how can that be if I lived there longer than I ever lived here?
They yell at me, "Make America Great Again"
But wouldn't it be more great
with more coconuts around?
They celebrate "Punish a Muslim Day"
But don't they know I punished myself enough
everyday of my youth, while wishing I was
a lychee, an apple, a potato even,
but not a coconut. Never a coconut.
Because being a coconut meant
remembering that I would never completely
belong. Not here. Not there.
But they can't break me.
No, not this coconut.
I've continued to grow, and ingrained my roots
in all, while fruiting and flourishing
And learning to belong within
the palm tree I call myself.