inside a quiet room of a psychologist

they peeled me off like an onion
layers by layers
until my purple skin became white
with fear.
and deep deep red as i rubbed 
the outsides of me 
to feel my heart burn
so that i could materialize 
what i was going through
in the crevices of my mind,
so that my physical being was aware
that wrapped around my neurons were
anxiety and panic: deep deep red. 
and i was allowed to cut 
the onion, 
i was allowed to cry.
i was allowed to hide away,
shrink in the smallest places I could find. 

i told them that
i wanted to become a slow moving clock 
my battery was dying and 
i wasn’t quite ready to replace them yet.
the big mart down the road 
did not sell the same ones I had 
and I would have to adjust 
new ones into my system 
it would take time, i told them,
to tick normally again.
i am not quite sure if they got me.

you see, 
metaphors are easier than
electronic neurophysics.
and i am learning to rewire my brain
i am trying to disconnect and reconnect emotions,
it is not easy. 

it feels like,
stopping a river of emotions 
to build a dam 
and using it 
as a strong hydro-electricity source. 
no engineers.
only a Dutch voice. 

i keep trying to grow skin
around the blankets of skeleton 
but i keep forgetting 
the law of growing. 
there isn’t one, is there? 
it feels like,
my mind shrinks a little 
every time my breaths accelerate.
my body tenses like 
dead dry ligaments 
i feel like
a tree in the storm
i shake like one 
until the leaves fall down,
it takes so much strength to hold on
to leaf like hopes
it takes so much strength not to break
branches like faith
when the storm leaves you, 
you feel empty, 
and it takes a while to feel green again. 
i want to feel green. again. 

Letters and Letters · Poems · The Paths Travelled

where you will find me

You will find me in places
where streets are jungles of people
that smell of old history books.

You will find me walking,
avoiding familiar eyes,
searching for strange ones
where you will find me looking
at yellow brown pupils,
holding sandpaper hands with
fingers circling the middle of my palms
with fingers filling the gaps of my hands,
feeling the woolen texture of
light green and black horizontal stripes of colors;
they speak a foreign language
but is so similar to my soul.
And when his lips brush against mine,
You will fine me in closed eye lids
where you will find me
in the pit of my diaphragm
with strange butterflies that 
do not stop tickling
with heart that stops for a while
entirely following the traffic lights of the body,
forgetting the frailness of universe, of future,
of everything scary.

You will find me in strengths of my legs when I run,
when the air holds my hair and I smile,
when the ground forgets to map out our gravity 
and she lets me float.

You will find me in gullies,
old meeting places where a jasmine tree blooms,
where poets gather and skate boards hang out with
skeleton masks, glass castles, stairs made of trees.

You will find me. 
Not where I should be found. 
But you will find me, 
Broken down and breathing
In key holes and red stages of dreams,
where a shadow follows me around,
showers through my thoughts,
embellishes in me, in the past,
where you will find me in 
oversize school uniforms,
mute and alone in the corner of a bench
not knowing how to end,
how to find arteries in my neck,
pills in the cabinet.
Unable to smile,
stop tears in the dingy toilet,
in a big school,
where you will find me lost,
confined in libraries,
pink books, glossy magazines,
where you will find me 
wishing to be a girl with pink rosy cheeks,
uniform that fits and 
sound that does not liquefy in big halls,
with smile that does not force itself.

You will find me in the past,
the lost hopes that were crippling,
and darkness that was blinding, maddening, 
shrilling images of green pen,
angry hand written letters to god,
burned down ashes,
candle waxes stuck in the table. 
You will find me waiting for electricity,
for energy to touch my feet in the ground,
to walk,
to live,
to leave. 

You will find me in struggles,
basic teenage years,
acidic experiences.
Never knowing who friends were,
Never knowing my insides that 
flickered, failed to light up,
tried to light up,
failed to light up,
until twenty people clicked three of their fingers together. 

You will find me in a washing machine poem,
appreciation cards,
you will find me in a brazen millet field, under million stars,
with porridge bowls, 
with Allah’s favorite people,
smelling of polar ice cigarettes 
and dusty mud, 
plastered  cow dung and 
love that sounded like river flowing along the banana groves.

You will find me
when I smelled of molten agar, 
bacillus stained in slides,
alcohol rubs, Bunsen burners, 
And dreams. 
You will find me in dreams. 
Because that is where I dwell. 
Because all the places that you will find me in are 
all the places that my dreams dream of
when I am wide awake. 
And you will find me wide awake,


Inventory Project · Letters and Letters · Odes to people I know and don't know


Dear 27,

Iqra. You said. “Read. Read. Read. Because knowledge is power. Power is Knowledge.” You quoted brother Malcolm. You told me the secrets of Quran. You prayed for both of us when walking through the edge of the cliff at night. You stayed with me under the stars when I was too stressed to sleep. You played your songs for me and helped me look at the brighter sides. You became my sister and a best friend and turned those three months into a poetic pleasure. I love you 27!

Today, I am writing you a long overdue letter. It will not say what I am up to and what I have been through in the past few months because I aim to tell all of that in person when I meet you. I pray the day is coming soon. This letter is just to let you know how special you are to me. Just thinking about the moments we spent together in the village with our family makes me smile and cry, makes me miss you more. I will never forget the first time you lead me to the river and we sat on the rocks for what seemed like a minute and we had to go back to our meeting. We kept going back together and alone. Do you think we like the sound of rivers because that is the sound our blood makes when it travels through veins and it is so very prominent in the womb and because the womb is the safest place anyone has ever been in, we seek that sound and our safe place? Because I keep going back to the river. Even with so much current and speed, rivers make me feel like I am home.

And I have never stopped seeking home since I came back. For three months, you were home. Amling was home. Aama Fulmaya, our sisters and our pink pastel house was home and since I have been back, I haven’t been home at all. I dwell in the past a lot. I revisit the banana groves, walk my way through the sketchy uphill, reach the community center, buy some ‘ainthe’ in the shop, walk straight and up to the exotic house where the dog barks at us, until we reach our ‘moment of the day’ point, breathe in some air and go up the mud ladders towards the maize fields where Aama waits for lunch. And then we are in our room again talking away our worries, writing and reading. There is rain that makes the road slippery and we slip on it number of times and laugh about it. There is always rain. And the cloud surrounds the river sometimes like they are friends beyond horizon, like they just found love in their elements, like they never knew they were made up of exactly the same things and they do now.

I am really lucky to have found you 27! And I hope I will never lose you even though we are miles apart. You have courage and power to change the world and I know one of these days, you will change the world. I am looking forward to seeing you soon!

Lots of love and respect,


Letters and Letters

Inventory of all the amazing strangers I have met

Hello everyone, 

I am at this stage where I feel like I have to think about every small and big consequences before writing/ posting anything. And writing when the mind feels caged doesn’t go well.  But, I have decided to put a stop on it. I am done overthinking…. who am I kidding? I am never done overthinking. 

Anyways, this is going to be my project for rest of this year. Until December 2018. I am going to write letters to every person who has meant something to me. I am going to be thankful for all the good things I have in life. 

Thank you for still following this blog and still reading it. Whoever you are and wherever you are, it means a lot to me. And I know you are a stranger. But strangers are the best people in the world. I have strangers who turned out to be my best friends. And strangers who love me sometimes more than I love myself. 

So it begins! I am determined to stick to this project. Wish me luck!! 

Alles Liebe,