For the one who’s 7,433 miles away

Remember me like this;
digging my nails into my
palms in search of all
the words that escape me,
gritting my teeth in hopes
that the right vocabulary
will eventually save me.

Remember me like this;
rummaging through tragedies
looking for hidden pieces
of me, dissecting catastrophes
in search of subtle beauty.

Remember me like this;
lips seeking refuge beneath
my teeth whenever they
resist the urge to speak,
tongue tapping melodies onto
skin until I forget how to

Remember me like this;
palms always open and
welcoming, but never really
knowing how to receive things

Remember all of this, and
how I forget my
strengths sometimes.

Remember how I always hated
that my silence was a far more
articulate speaker than I,

remember how I always
wore my loneliness with my
head held high.

Remember how my passions
always turned my palms into

When I’m gone, please
only remember me like


To My Father

He calls me ten times a day just to make
sure that I am still alive and sometimes
when he has to leave for days at a time
he doesn’t call at all because he’s
filled with guilt at the fact that he’s
not near me. And when he cannot sleep
he’ll ask me to rub his back because
      ‘your hands always put me to sleep
  it’s like you’ve got magic in your fingers’
but all the magic I’ve ever known has
come from his hands, and this
man is as soft as silk but he’s always
been the strongest man I know and his
heart’s so full of goodness I wonder
how his human body can fathom it so
most days, I don’t even think he’s
human; just kindness. Just beauty.
He charges me kisses for money and
says he forgets his own name if I’m
not around him, says ‘how can I
remember anything if you’re not here’
so he’s always here making jokes
and laughing like he hasn’t got
the weight of the world on his back
and when the sickness pushes against
his chest; he is God’s exaggeration,
he is a super hero dressed in my
baba’s suit, all strength and
determination and no hint of submission
and I know his heart of gold gets heavy
sometimes and I know he’s tired but he
tells me that he loves me even though
he was raised to never say it out loud
so I’ll call him a rebel
and tell him it’s genetic and that’s
why I get into trouble sometimes but
even when I do, he says I make him
proud and no one’s got it as good as he.
And I am teaching him to linger when he
hugs me and he is teaching me to be
patient and kind and giving and he’s always
giving without asking for anything
back and so I love him with every
word that falls off my tongue
and I love him with all the kisses
I lay on his forehead before I go
to sleep.

They tell me that heaven lies
under my mother’s feet but I find it
resting quietly also in his