Copyright © 2019 Nur Hassanain. 
All rights reserved.

Arabic

I write a poem and align it to the right

The point of direction my mother tongue starts from.

“Nur, what does your name mean?”

The Uber driver asks me.

“Light,” I answer proudly,

gleaming like my name was a compliment engrained into my very existence.


My mother dressed me in light long before she met me

Held me for nine months before debating my father over my name

And eventually, they drafted me into Nur.

Baba wanted me to be Sama’, which meant sky in Arabic.

This is how it always was, I confide in my friends when they ask.


He wanted me to be the sky that stood in the background

when there were clouds,

burnt itself for the sun,

and beautified its locks in stars at night.

Selfless. Limitless. But dark.


I live in Boston now. The sama is mostly sad here.

But I stare at it a lot.

My mother wanted me to be the sun itself,

The sliver of uncertainty underneath closed doors

Calling: "There is life here!"

And the metaphorical hope in a lover’s eyes.


On days when I feel the bones in my breath shaking,

I look in the mirror & address Nur:

The bearer of joy in a sentimental skyline.

The impulsive sparks flashing from thunderstorms,

And one of the Holy Qur’an’s 114 chapters.

I learn to breathe again.



Charles River Bike Path, Cambridge.


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