It doesn’t matter how many times I say bismillah

Or how desperately I pray,

I can’t stop the bombs from falling,
Nor stop the planes that drop them off
And fly away not caring where they land

If it’s a family they’re murdering
Or an 11 year old girl’s smile
It doesn’t matter.
I can’t save her.

I can only brace myself as the Earth shakes
Hard enough to mask how hard my lips quiver in fear.

باسم االله الرحمن الرحيم

I can only put my head and heart against the cold stone ground and pray

That these basement walls don’t fall
That the glass doesn’t shatter in our sleep.
That my mother’s mind isn’t lost trying to protect us but
I can’t stop those things either.

It doesn’t matter how many times I say bismillah
Or how desperately I pray,
I can’t stop my dad’s face from disappearing behind the crowd.
I can’t stop the tears rolling down my cheeks
I can’t stop my dad’s face from disappearing behind the crowd.
I’m at the mercy of the panging in my chest
I can’t stop my dad’s face from disappearing behind the crowd.
I can’t stop the thought that
I will never see my father again.

باسم االله الرحمن الرحيم

I can’t stop my feet from climbing on board
Despite how hard I’d try if I could.
To meet a place I’ve never dreamed of while my dreams lay waste behind

So many strangers with fear in their eyes
Even the seasickness can’t distract us
And I can’t help but think,

What a nice time for a swim.

It doesn’t matter how many times I say bismillah
Or how desperately I pray,

I can’t stop myself from the cold sweats and bad dreams
Or the muffled cries I keep to myself
To stop my mom who’s tired enough from waking
To comfort her broken child

باسم االله الرحمن الرحيم

The desperate midnight prayers don’t help me.

I don’t know why I bother
With so little space to spare
I can hardly kneel between my air mattress and the 5 others in the room I share

It doesn’t matter how many times I say bismillah

Or how desperately I pray.

So I don’t bother anymore.

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