Instructions Not Included

Sunday, March 31, 2019 - 2:57pm

I look out of my window in America and

I ask for forgiveness

Will the moon answer me,

Keep my thoughts hidden


The manual was given

But the pages were left bare


I am the journal, brown as copper

With sheets as white as the other

If this were an us vs. them, I fit in neither


How to pen the language needed

How to pen once conceded

That it is in my hands now


A mother tongue not the same as my mother’s

Idyllic days where I am comfortable in my speech

Speech that speeds as fast as the bombs they dropped on my country

We escape war, but here lose who we are


But I am trying, trying, trying

To reverse the cascade effect

I am trying, trying, trying

To gain a mother tongue that’s supposed to be mine


Not fully lost in translation

Not too late to possess a part of my own being

To understand, but to not fully speak

I know I can be better


The inability to express myself to my grandpa before his death

The embarrassment and the hurt that I felt

Repressed memories that resurface each time I practice my speech

I knew how to say I love you; I hope that he knew


Longing for the days where my Arabic improves

Where I can confidently speak

Where I am not ridiculed for what was out of my control

Because it is now


The pen awaits to be grasped

The pages await on ink

To be passed onto the next