as i type eid mubarak it makes me nauseous. like throwing up. it makes my heart sink. for all those Ismaels who werent invited at the altar but straight away beheaded. for all those Ibrahims whose children never returned. not eveb for final goodbyes. for all those mothers like Ismales mother. whove been gasping at their safa and marwa and yet wait for divine intervention.
as i stare at my mehndi for long it turns into blood. blood spilled while i had my uninterrupted sleep. blood spilled while i had my morning walk. blood spilled while i devoured my evening chai. blood spilled while i backed coffee cake for my nephew. while i painted flowers to adorn my bulging walls. blood spilled in south while i went up to north to witness the beauty nature offers. while i wrote odes to those lands on my way back.
and as i sort out my chooriyan their khanak fades away somewhere. all i hear is the sobbing of my people. their freedom prayers. piercing through their prison cells. i hear the weeping of those who are left alone to fight their battles. battles that are already lost. battles that are made for them to lose. not only what they had. but who the were.
and as i continue to write eid mubarak laughter echos somewhere. as i continue to write eid mubarak i find myself only staring at the bulging wall.
my mother says, i no longer have to learn or practice compromise. that she had endured it all for her daughters. she has a secret drawer of despair. where things turn into weapons. things thrown at her. things she bled in darkness. during day she sews her life together. at night she builds armor for her daughters.
my mother says, her daughters no longer have to pluck flowers for someone elses canvas. that we should carry thorns with us. she has a secret garden of agony at her back. she waters it with the reservoir she keeps behind her pale eyes for us. she wants us to pick them and keep with ourselves to make the fingers raised against us gnaw.
my mother says, her daughters should be armed with rage. she reiterates, rage should be our dresscode. she has a secret dye shop where she dyes our wardrobe with rage. our rage, she insists, should be pigmented. bright and fiery enough to blind the accusing eye.
my mother says, her daughters should never soak their grief in. that our grief should never reside in our hearts for long. that it must take a leave once mourned. that we should pour it out to the skies above to see them shatter in pieces if needed.
my mother says, her way of strengthening her daughters is her small vengeance upon the world that left her hopeless once. she has a secret heart. a slightly broken one. she hides it from her daughters too. its almost barren. she buried it somewhere. but is very crowded. my mother says, a daughter should never worry about her mothers ailing heart as long as her daughter doesnt have one.
my mother says, a daughter should never worry about anything. as long as her mothers heart beats. or even after it stops.
my mother says, as long as a daughter lives, her mother lives with her.
closer and closer
a final blow
and silence unrolled
things at halt
the body at ease
the eyes at rest
the last breath