Copyright © 2019 Nur Hassanain. 
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Sultan

I wanted a life measured in footsteps towards you,

pizza nights on my yoga mat, & unhesitant forehead kisses.

I used to think I would die young,

Because back then there was not a tragic ordeal

that was overwhelming enough to keep me curious about its successor,

Nor an intensely happy incident I was excited enough to live for.

So I thought, “What’s the point anyway?”

But I don’t anymore. 

On days like these, I think of you. 

In the boxed treasures of my past,

you are a sentimental object that no longer serves a purpose

but I keep you because I once cared. 

I cared more than I wanted to, so I kept a lot of things.

I kept your body language and voice

and all the little things you did not see

Like how you closed your eyes on moving trains,

& the first night you whispered that you needed me.

I kept the small bottle of cologne that read “Sultan”

that carried notes of everything that was Arab,

until I became convinced that you are more Arab than I am. 

In a parallel universe,

Your phone number is a code for safety

& not fragile glass that I treat with caution.

In a parallel universe,

My prayer mat smells like Sultan,

We are equally as Arab,

And when I kneel during Fajr I think of you

& ask God to make you mine.

I kept snippets of you in the fading horizons of my memory,

from the hair on your chest to the sound of your laughter.

Maybe because I was in denial - 

Maybe because I saw a home in you,

And leaving home is never easy.

I don’t know how love manages to ruin things like that. 

In a parallel universe,

You love me without conditions

& I dedicate the constellations in the sky to you.

We have pizza nights on my yoga mat

While I tell you about my childhood

And all the people who came & left. 

Some days I go back to these dreams, 

& on others, they come to me in my sleep.


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