Rumi sets God and me up on
a blind date and we meet in his field, hidden
away from the haram police.
He has long hair and guitar-calloused hands and
the oldest eyes you’ve ever seen.
Around us, the world burns; I laugh and
tell him we need to stop
meeting like this.
He tells me how the mullahs won’t let him into his own homes,
the mosques built in his name, because
they don’t like his jeans.
Or that he draws on his thobe.
Or his swearing.
God swears, like, a fucking lot.
God laughs a lot and he has
nice teeth, and God cries a lot too and my heart is
a shatter on repeat.
We compare notes on suffering.
I say his people tell me I’m unnatural so, clearly,
I’m the winner here. I tell him
about how they took her away from me.
All of it, in his name. He says sorry in a voice
that’s a wound made sound.
God tells me I should try being spoken for; he says
he’s jealous I had someone at all. Now
I am apologizing, skinned-voice.
In our voicelessness, in our emptiness,
God and I
are one, waiting
for home to come to us,
surly teens of color oppressed and misunderstood
by our own.
Around us, the world collapses softly
into ashes; God sighs and tells me he wants to die.
I pull my shalwar lower
to hide the scars on my ankles, and I tell him
that it gets better.
I tell God to have faith and
he laughs and for a little while,
When not blogging or tweeting, Zoha B. Khan can be found chasing after strays. She’s a desi intersectional feminist who believes you should hold your loved ones accountable for hurting you, because she doesn’t want you to be as shaped by abuse as she is. You can find more of her work at Feminism In India, Rising Phoenix Press, and Noble / Gas Qtrly. She has work forthcoming at a whole bunch of places.