Ode to My Native Tongue


My resonant عربي

Your majestic letters

Scattered across

The galaxy

Of my calligraphy notebook

Have always stunned me.

Your brilliance is



Each page

I turn

Engulfs me in the sparkle

Of your hushed

And abandoned words.

Your smile

Is not unfamiliar

The way you look down


Your back aching with the weight

Of old age.

You are today

But you won’t


For long.


My dear and fragile عربي

Would you like a warm helping

Of exclusion?

Or perhaps

A heavy dose

Of reality?

The stars don’t align

From right to left

And the planets do not orbit around

The foretold death

Of a secret Arabian

Constellation code.

Now look where that’s left you

Wandering the streets

Clutching onto the first

Ripe soul

Tender enough

To stick to your aimless web

Of “heritage”.

I have tried

حبيبتي يا عربي

To unlock the mysteries of your

Deeply troubled letters

And I’m not used to failure


Custom changes people.

Every night

I feel your sorrow

Suffocating me

With failure breathing healthily

Within my own bedroom.

I’m sorry for the way things turned out

I’m sorry for the way I turned out

I whisper to my ghostlike guest of the dark

In the unfathomable language

Of English.


انت لغتي

I remind myself of my roots.

Sir Englishman,

Axe at this tree

At your absolute leisure

Build fancy white boats

And start cozy white fires

But please,

For my tongue’s sake

Keep the roots in place.

There is a place

In my heart and soul

Where you shall forever bask in the sunlight

Of my nurture

And admiration

That each glow

With every

Tangle, twist and turn my tongue tries,

Slowly but surely

Reciting the words

Of your Arabic majesty.

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