On Behalf of Atheist Muslims Everywhere


We exist. Trust us.
True as ark in flood

half imbalanced animal
half eyespot for mimicry,

deception, startling the predator
pre-attack. Case in point:

Salman Rushdie among
أحاديث on my shelves

and I was hollered at
hollowed out

for unlearning
how to burn giants.

We are proud as
we are sorry.

Our parents don’t know
a thing, or they do and are quiet

or they do and our dreams
are black sorcery stoppered

in the tiniest, dustiest,
least reflective bottle.

To be less or fewer than
is our destined equation

that we exponentially
muddy and sexualize

to the great horror
of old, dead men:

well. Deep, dark well.

Lightning begins and ends
in our hearts.

We are the willows that bow
before nothing on no decreed night.

Our death masks will show
the weight of what we spoke

to fireflies
before we released them.

We say, go be
the little, impermanent

light you are. You’ll die
yourself, you’ll die beautiful.


My name means sublime. Exalted.
Noble. A list of things I know how to do:

              photograph the moon               hitch dead loved ones onto it
              insert birds in everything
              house in the nailbed | a history splintered
                                                   yet divine.

It will hurt to know me.
Diaspora is my favorite word but so is migratory.
Our entire romance will be based on unsure footing on infertile land.

Grief is a lot like this:
Your feet will sink and emerge as the herd around you
watches the uncertain pattern. Interfering with nature is detrimental to ecosystems.

So say the saviors.

And so we, you and I, will walk the right path to water
or we’ll thirst and thirst during the monogamous journey of separation.


الحمد لله and إن شاء الله‎
roll off the tongue so easily
except to those of us whose mouths
are harpoons and sea monsters.

It’s blasphemous never to thank
the skies for their painter, but the hand that falls
is the same hand that sweeps hellish scenery.



When the world ends
purple smoke will put us all
to blissful, painless sleep.
The sun will rise in the west
and set in the east.
النبي عيسى will come back
to die as a man.

We just want to know
how many catastrophes
it will take before humans
obsess over life
the way
they obsess over the significance
of a mustard seed.


إن شاء الله‎ soon O Sisters and Brothers
no one will judge our odious desires.

Our breath is a star.
Our breath is a fire.


Published in Rigorous.

The Blue Pearl