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my girl


The neighborhood boys have grown taller
than their absent fathers.

My girl use to be one of the boys,
throat a gun tossed in to a river
fist fight for a mouth
bag of ice for a father.

Then her body grew soft where she did not want it soft
grew full, grew heavy, grew ripe
if the boys see then the boys will become hungry.

My girl avoids mirrors
binds her breasts like a secret
buries the dead in between her legs
every month bleeds like she is a wound
calls out the names of the dead like lottery numbers
and all the names sound like her own.

My girl picks her father from a list of fatherless rappers,
measures her thighs in her bedroom
is on a diet, forever
is a red balloon stolen from a party
deflating in a corner.

Her first kiss, a boy who does…

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holding out holding on



on the phone to my friend one night i asked what if i made him up? what if he doesn’t exist? 

months later my mother sees me sitting quietly on the stairs of our home and says macaanto, if you exist, then he exists. 

i visit my father and we drink tea in his small apartment. when i’m about to leave he tells me you are smart and some men will be scared of that, but you are progressive so love the progressive ones.

i think about what colour his skin will be, the sound of his voice, his laugh, if he’ll arrive with a beard or grow one as a dare, if he’ll find islam through me, or come with the 99 names sweetening his breath, if he’ll come at all, if he’ll be tired or weary and how i’ll know it’s even him?

i don’t know, the dream…

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first thought

How To Fall In Love With Someone Who’s Been In Love Before

Thought Catalog

Lies Thru a Lens Lies Thru a Lens 

You have your first relationship, and then you have your first relationship. The one where you finally figure out, beyond all reasonable doubt or concern, what it’s like to be in love. The one where the word “forever”—however impractical it may be—doesn’t seem so far-fetched anymore; the one where the phrase “I love you” finally sounds right rolling off your tongue; the one that sad Lana Del Rey songs will always be able to describe exactly. It could have happened in high school or college or even after, but it’s a time of innocence and beauty and discovery that can never be captured again. It’s like a dream, but like all dreams, you eventually wake up.

You go to different colleges, your paths go different ways, one of you has to break it off. But how can things ever be the same again? How can…

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What Students Really Need to Hear



It’s 4 a.m.  I’ve struggled for the last hour to go to sleep.  But, I can’t.  Yet again, I am tossing and turning, unable to shut down my brain.  Why?  Because I am stressed about my students.  Really stressed.  I’m so stressed that I can only think to write down what I really want to say — the real truth I’ve been needing to say — and vow to myself that I will let my students hear what I really think tomorrow.

This is what students really need to hear:

First, you need to know right now that I care about you. In fact, I care about you more than you may care about yourself.  And I care not just about your grades or your test scores, but about you as a person. And, because I care, I need to be honest with you. Do I have permission to be…

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will he


“will he kiss especially there where i hurt?
will he hum balm where i ache?
will his grip be tight enough to hold this?”

– excerpt, sheba journal.


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Year 27


26 was a roller coaster type of year for me. I traveled and visited both parents, I won a national spoken word title, I began writing my first fiction and published a graphic novel. My spoken word is being broadcasted as an MTV commercial thanks to UNITY Charity. I designed and implemented youth creative leadership programs and co-founded Ink Veins – young women’s spoken word group. I produced some great events with the help of my community. I learned about city politics through my work with Toronto Women’s City Alliance. I’ve worked on projects along side some inspiring friends, teachers and youth.

I’m coming out of this crazy year with the realization of how easy it is to lose yourself in the hustle and become unbalanced spiritually and physically. I no longer choose to believe that success comes with sacrifice – that’s just an excuse for not spending…

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he is made of winter

Words Of A Nomad

the bed feels cold.

the lack of you lingers in the sheets
and in my ribcage. a laugh
gets caught before it leaves my lips
you were never here.

it would be funny if it wasn’t so tragic;
if i wasn’t so pathetic and lonesome and heavy and draining and filthy.
i am filthy with thoughts of you.
your fingerprints mark my body,
you’ve claimed me as your own
but the bed is still cold.

the timbre of your voice
sits on my spine and
lays waste to this body of mine
when it falls

i’d rather be alone
than be alone with that voice.
so just slice me where you would kiss me; bleed me dry;
hang my soul on a blossoming tree
and leave me in the sun
because the bed is too cold
and i am frozen.

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