a story of atoms

This is where I document thoughts that race through my head and swim through my veins.

 

And when you speak to me,
it feels like the sun is caressing my cheek.

 

yesterday i was facetiming my khalo and his wife in the US. I’m going to be moving in with them very soon since im leaving my homeland for grad school.

My khalo’s wife said something to me that hasn’t left my mind:

“The kids keep asking about you, ever since we told them that you were coming. I really can’t wait till you come, you’ll be good for the girls.”

Immediately i felt a weight of responsibility anchor my heart.

The girls.

The girls are pre-teens. Mind you, both recently wearing the hijab. In Trump’s America.

I am the only girl out of four boys.

I am expected to be a role model for them, the girls. In the border between girlhood and womanhood.

I am expected to be a sister. A mentor. A home.

I want to be.

I wonder what it’s like to be 11 and 12 in a world that doesn’t love 11 and 12 year old girls. Let alone 11 and 12 year old girls who are trying to find themselves in a world that doesn’t appreciate hyphenated identities, especially if female and hijab are tucked into them.

I wonder why my 11 year old cousin wore the hijab at such a tender age.

“She asked to wear it.” Khalo said. “When she asks to wear it, I can’t deny her this.”

All I can think is how she had the guts to wrap it on. Everyday.
An announcement.
An identity.
A question.

Does she feel more like a woman now? Like her mom and her aunts and older cousins? Does her hijab feel like a reminder of who she is? Who she is meant to be?

Bravery is usually reserved to describe men. Women, let alone girls, pre-teens, are not given this label.

Yet, all I can think of is how brave she is.
How brave she is.

 

I know you.
I know your eyes.
We’ve met before.
…somewhere in a dream

Sometimes,

i feel like you’re in the room with me.

i want to talk to you about happiness.

about everything

i write him love letters that he’ll never read.

people try to define you while you’re still writing yourself into existence.

 

men do not love women.

they desire them.

expect women to bend and break to their every whim.

but they do no love them.

and if they love them they do not respect them.

respect is something you give to a man, regardless of his looks or social status.

but it is not something you give to women.

you leave us empty. yet, we still rise. bear.

endure.

and somehow you think you are still stronger than these bones and this heart.