My poem. Not my art.


Artist: Michael Roman

Writer: Frshta Mangal

How to Pray

A veil covers your brown hair, long

As a breath. You sit, hands flat,

On your knees, prayer rug large as your body

Beneath you, Qibla your vision.

You pray Allah Akbar

Your head down, every heart beat a monster

slipping from under the veil,

your stumbling breaths

still a promise of love.

You pray Allah Akbar

Qul huwal laahu ahad

Allah hus-samad

Lam yalid wa lam yoolad

Wa lam yakul-lahu kufuwan ahad

You pray Allah Akbar

So much ambition—to stand,

To bow, to bend, to bear,

Though any path may end

In brambles, let the fruit be sweet.

You pray Allah Akbar

Silence shoulders the night sky

Your head lowered toward Qibla,

And all the world vulnerable, a prayer,

Even the crickets chirping in the background, a prayer

You pray Allah Akbar

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