How quickly we dip our fingers into the pools of blood
of our Muslim Brothers and Sisters,
and bite into the flesh of our dead Brothers,
The ways in which we use our sharpened nails to pinch
Through the skins of esteem and floating dreams,
Through the hopes that soar above our eyes and heavy shoulders
Within the quiet mistakes that our voice slips among silences and uneasy politics.
“I am the better!” we haughtily wink
Leaning to our left shoulder
Bow our heads in submission,
painting words of calligraphic beauty and untouched piety
Then, place our hands upon the laps of our closest friends
and shut the brown creaking door to silence the voices of spinning tales,
Looms of brightly fabricated portraits of blemishes and whispers
to match the delicately sewn threads of jealousy and threatened egos.
“Did you hear what she said?”
“Did you hear what he did?
Claim our righteousness,
grab the prayer rugs hiding about the dusty corners,
And raise our hands upwards in piety,
But quickly finish, wrap the rugs!! Positions, my Brothers and Sisters!
Turn once more to our left shoulders,
Ever defined in contours by righteous comments and sneering glances,
biting our brothers and sisters, quivering naked
arms folded across bare chests and wavering voices
Over and over
Until scraps of flesh quickly unravel
into the remains of our Sister’s public image.
Heaps of broken bones and untouched silences.
They say only sticks and stones can break our bones,
but empty words and metaphorical stones can only make you socially alone.
Hear the sounds of words twirling and tumbling
Twisting and falling,
Across the spans of wide foreheads and quaking hands
Pressed together as if in prayer.
Place us together,
and we’ll play our parts: shake hands, kiss rosy cheeks,
and let our tongues slither from their bottomless pits
into lengthy lies and false assurances
I am your Sister in Islam,
and you are my Brother in Islam.
And of course, my dear Sisters,
I will watch for you in the face of politics, rumors, and gossip
Won’t I now?