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


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

Sunce Moje

You have bled into me,

Like the day which bleeds into night,

The change is subtle at first,

But, indeed, I blink

And the world is brighter.

From black dusted with stars,

The corners begin to turn

A blue that only time can provide.

Time and the natural order of things.

A darker blue, like your eyes

Is shot through suddenly

With a plume of pink

Like sweet kisses before the sun’s arrival.

It bids the moon farewell,

With warm orange hands that pierce the blue.

And I still see the stars, twinkling, reminding me,

I give a last respectful nod before my eyes begin to water,

Everything has turned bright.

Gold, like your hair.

Warm, like your heart.

Slowly, surely, making its way to the top

Is the sun,

And I feel my heart rise.

Sunce moje.

Nesha Usmani


“Allah `azza wa…

“Allah `azza wa jall said: ‘Verily, from amongst My slaves is he whose faith cannot be rectified except by being inflicted with poverty, and were I to enrich him, it would surely corrupt him. Verily, from amongst My slaves is he whose faith cannot be rectified except by wealth and affluence, and were I to deprive him, it would surely corrupt him. Verily, from amongst My slaves is he whose faith cannot be rectified except by good health, and were I to make him sick, it would surely corrupt him. Verily, from amongst My slaves is he whose faith cannot be rectified except by disease and illness, and were I to make him healthy, it would surely corrupt him. Verily, from amongst My slaves is he who seeks worship by a certain act but I prevent that from him so that self-amazement does not enter his heart. Certainly, I run the affairs of My slaves by My Knowledge of what is in their hearts. Certainly, I am the All-Knower, All-Aware’.” [Tabarani]

Ya Allah, the love I feel for your slaves is nothing compared to the love I feel for You.

Allahu, Allahu Rabbee laa ushriku bihi shay’an.


The Walk

With hands clasped together, they walked;

Their shoes leaving deep prints in the mud.

Upon reaching a crossroads, they stopped,

And, between them, small white puffs of

breath gathered and scattered, like

regret which comes and goes as it pleases.

Above them, birds sang,

Reminding them that life, indeed,

does not depend on the severity of

their loss, not on their hearts’ painful

breaking, healing, and breaking again.

But for the moment, both were content

to drop the world, if for another gaze

in the other’s eyes,

Another moment of laughter, or a moment of love.

But neither had the heart to find Hope.

The reason for their parting suddenly

became unclear, unreal, impossible.

But to bring again the storm of questioning

was no longer something they could do.

They let go.

One more look back, and then another, and again

until each had gone from sight.

But with them walked the other’s Absence.

Absence, the silent emptiness left behind,

the delicate perfume left in a lover’s wake.

And with them Absence walked, a tireless presence;

relentless and stubborn in its demand for attention,

who walked until both had the strength to leave it behind.

Another companion joined. And this was Memory.

A strange fellow, who showed only the bright, iridescent facets

of love the two shared,

and often conveniently stood in front of the darkness, the blemishes.

But Memory grew and evolved with them, and matured

and eventually became a part of Love.

Love, the unseen, unheard companion

who had taken root inside their hearts.

And only when the time came, only when Absence

had been abandoned,

Only when Memory had infused with it (Love),

did Love reveal itself.

Bloomed within them like a whispered comfort,

a warmth against their frigid flesh,

And they knew that they had indeed loved each other well.

And within that comfort, a spark was lit

And this companion was Prayer.

And Prayer had come to find Hope.

Nesha Usmani

Stubborn and Irrational

‘Child’, she said,

Her index finger turning into a spear of generations,

with which she shook, both threateningly and with love

‘Your heart has made you a fool, now look how you suffer!

It is time to wake and shake off your dreams, and bid goodbye

to those irrational romances you hold so close.’

Outside, the sun poured light and a wind shook the

branches of the trees.

And the Child felt a peculiar sensation,

as though the ground fell away,

and she shut her eyes and imagined

opening them, and finding herself

in the arms of her love.


Nesha Usmani

The Wear and Tear

Bismillahi Ar Rahmani Ar Rahim

I sat down and I had, in my head, visions of heart-aching beauty.

In which memories of the sum of the years folded themselves

into beautiful, delicate shapes.

They cleverly hid the sadness and misery.

I guess that’s what they mean by having those

rose-colored glasses.

Oh but, I realized today, both an icicle in the heart

and a fluttering of the soul,

that in taking you away

Allah answered my best prayer for you.

My best prayer!!!

One of the most difficult ones I’ve ever made.

Everything else…He grasped my hands tightly

and it was as though I heard it in my heart,


“No. But you can have this.

You can have this and smile when things go wrong

When things go wrong, and you are crying,

And everything is changing,

You will have this. And you will know

that I always do the best.”

What can I say, Allah?

Allah, what can I say except,

SubhanAllah, Alhamdulillah, Allahu Akbar.

I’ve cried until my eyes turned red,

The skin around them stinging.

Gratitude and sadness mingling with

each other.

Don’t lead me astray, Ya Rabb,

nor the ones whom I love.

You will take them from me, as You have in the past,

if it is Your will,

But do not lead us astray.

Above anything, I want Heaven.

A Home close to Your throne.

A forest of date palms,

A house of treasures.

An afternoon with a Prophet.

A hundred-year sleep.

The garden underneath my feet

Underneath which rivers flow.

The ever-youthful smiles of my parents,

And the eternal skies of Your blessings.

I would take any pain in this world

for the promise of Jannah.

My moment of truth revealed,

The wear and tear of my heart

healed with Your mercy.

Your Grace.

Your Will.

Forgive me, Ya Allah.

Allahumagh fir lee.

Allahumagh fir lee.

Allahumagh fir lee, Ya Rabb.