seven nights into my eighteenth birthday, i swallowed the muslim faith
& my throat s-t-r-e-t-c-h-e-d into pure light.
took patience for sausage & snacked
till it shortens into the length of a salaf‘s pant.
at first light, i fueled my tongue with bismillah
& twitched my nose
till words pull out of the black cat breathing inside my lungs.
say the quickest road to light is narrow?
& searched for rabbi between the holes in my chest button.
at an ijtimaa’ of ahlu sunnah wal jama’ah
i gathered myself into the biggest mouth,
& sang in praise of sohaabahs with four wives &
chilled out of my lips,
& almost molding attentive ears into an effigy of snowballs.
in this poem, i trace the qiblah back into my father’s shrine.
& peel till what is left of my body is a small bird
& folding into a forest of teeth.
where light ends, i begin to undress,
& once again,
i’m my father’s son, calling unto his father’s gods,
with broken tajweed
down the north-line of my lips.
during a tamarin on ʻaqīda, a boy with nose wet as a crab ditch
claimed i took after his mother’s absence;
smelt of roasted pork &
named me after a shade of shirk,
but rather than chant istigfar after the midday solat,
i broke into sajda,
& asking god
how to wear light
without whitening out of my father’s name.