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Poem Full of Worry Ending with My Birth by Tarfia Faizullah

Poem Full of Worry Ending with My Birth
Tarfia Faizullah

I worry that my friends
will misunderstand my silence

as a lack of love, or interest, instead
of a tent city built for my own mind,

I worry I can no longer pretend
enough to get through another

year of pretending I know
that I understand time, though I

can see my own hands; sometimes,
I worry over how to dress in a world

where a white woman wearing
a scarf over her head is assumed

to be cold, whereas with my head
cloaked, I am an immediate symbol

of a war folks have been fighting
eons-deep before I was born, a meteor.

MARGINALIA

1.
You who are reading this: you are seen. You are witnessed. I say it with all honesty and affection, because I have always been yours. The ache will ebb, my love, it will. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow. But it will. Until then: here is my hand. Take it.

2.
You who are reading this: take a deep breath. I am here. You worry it will all be gone tomorrow, and for reasons unclear and maybe unknown. I cannot tell you it won’t happen, but what I can say is I won’t let you go alone. It’ll be you and me.

3.
You who are reading this: so it seems it was all for nothing. So it seems this is the way it falls, this is the way it ends. Oh, my darling. I am sorry. It hurts, I know, I know. I am embracing you. Let yourself be held now. You are loved, so loved.

4.
You who are reading this: we will endure this, whatever this is. I am a brown girl with big dreams that haven’t happened yet. The things that stop me from becoming always seem to come in waves, threatening to drown me in defeat or despair. And yet I swim. I turn into fish.

5.
You who are reading this: When I tell you we will remain alive, I mean it.

endnotes

This poem appeared in Registers of Illuminated Villages: Poems by Tarfia Faizullah, published by Graywolf Press, 2018. Shared here with profound gratitude.

 

Read more works by Tarfia Faizullah • Find books by this poet • Or view my library

 

Explore poems in pursuit of: relationships • existence • being brown • Or browse the index

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Comments (4)

  • I wish there was no worry….
    Your words are felt and the poem paints a picture. Thank you for sharing and expressing.

    reply
  • susannah9

    Yes! Powerful!!! Thank you!!

    On Thu, Apr 8, 2021 at 1:36 PM Read A Little Poetry wrote:

    > T. posted: ” 1.You who are reading this: you are seen. You are witnessed. > I say it with all honesty and affection, because I have always been yours. > The ache will ebb, my love, it will. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow. > But it will. Until then: here is my hand. Ta” >

    reply
  • m

    Thank you. The ache is overwhelming today. I want to believe it really will ebb. Even if it seems impossible now.

    reply
  • yy

    for the past few days I’ve been using the random poem function to read a poem from your backlogs every day. this was today’s. just wanted to thank you for the incredible love and care you’ve put into this project, for the messages you leave in your marginalia. i’ve been getting into poetry for the first time recently and finding this treasure trove of poetry has felt like a warm hug. thank you.

    reply

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