Poem Full of Worry Ending with My Birth by Tarfia Faizullah
Poem Full of Worry Ending with My Birth
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
You who are reading this: When I tell you we will remain alive, I mean it.
This poem appeared in Registers of Illuminated Villages: Poems by Tarfia Faizullah, published by Graywolf Press, 2018. Shared here with profound gratitude.
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