Desperate Purple

I finished the day with yearning,

Wished the day stretched further,

The violent orange glow and

desperate purples of the sky screaming, reaching

for another breath as the night yawned awake

and smoored the fires of day.

I remember, my head against the pillow,

my hands reaching to clasp some far-off dream.

So content in sleep, so self-absorbed in wakefulness

So conscious somewhere in between.

I remember myself so vividly.

As vivid as the excuses I made for problems I should not have had,

As vivid as the pure emotion that drove my decisions from day to dark.

I loved my beauty, whatever of it I owned, I loved my mind, for it was vast and filled with

enchantment.

I loved the small blooms of wisdom that grew there, that I would pick and share with others.

And so I am unclear, uncertain as to why

this dark, thick fog has descended.

Settled neatly between my confidence and optimism,

Smothering with its full weight upon what defines me.

What I could have been.

Nesha Usmani

April 23, 2015

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Sunday

Sunday came,

and with it rose a slow, bright sun.

Dragging rays of exhaustion over cities,

over houses, over beds,

and over her.

And she awoke with heavy-hearted fatigue

that kept her body still,

but her mind in a frenzy of thoughts

and regrets.

Her eyes were wet and red

and her head pounded with a rhythm

of having slept fitfully.

Nightmarish beings wrapped their cold,

bony fingers around her heart

and squeezed.

Crushed it, stabbed it with the thorny past

that’s come back to haunt her.

She rubs her hands together,

and remembers the way you held them

You didn’t know

And she didn’t tell you,

but when you held them,

You were keeping the nightmares away.

You were holding all of her together,

and you kept the darkness at bay,

By the grace of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful,

you were the brightest star in her darkest sky.

Nesha Usmani

London

London, you’ve taught me a couple things.

One is, that you’re probably better looking

and in a better mood when the sky is heavy with

passionate rain clouds.

Heat does not suit you, nor does the blinding sun on

your cobbled streets.

And the mighty Thames looks

well…weak.

And your bright red double deckers are charming from afar,

but inside them, the constant stopping and going

makes the mind wander, in its frustration, to leaping

out of the window in a sweaty, claustrophobia-induced rage.

But your markets, landmarks, gardens, and shoppes

made up for transportation woes.

Another valuable lesson is that

heartbreak can reach even your ancient fortresses,

your hundred-year-old buildings, bridges, and houses.

I keep expecting to see his face,

and the smile that still makes my heart weep,

the eyes that cause my pulse to race,

and the love I thought I’d always keep.

Nay, not London, not an ocean.

Not a marbled arch or preserved parliament

can keep the pain at bay.

But in the crevices of my palm, to which I whisper

my du’a

Filling my hands with prayer and repentance,

it is only then that I can cope.

The extra beat in my heart is solace.

Only then can I feel some hope.

 

Nesha Usmani

July 9, 2012