A Love to Remember

I have managed to pretend that you hate me, that all efforts made were a mistake, that hours spent were meaningless, but this isn’t the case, right?
Does pain signify regret? I regret not what was
I yearned for the danger in us/ in you
You lit the flame/ the wick that forever awaited for a lover to light it ablaze
In the nakedness of our conversations, I unfolded and undressed my soul for you/explored the painful parts of me
You are a riveting madness/ an imminent threat/ a lover
what am I to do when the lover has hollowed out the intimate parts of me?
leaving me empty/ with just memories/ words to remember
I am guilty/ for the lover and the beloved are one/ never separated/ always together in each other

The Right to Love and Be Loved

One of the things that I admire is the right to love and to be loved. I don’t care who you are, where you come from and where you’ve been, we all want to love and be loved. It is this right to love that compels us to enter into friendships and relationships. It is this right that compels us to forgive those that have created hurt in our lives to move on in loving another person again. It is this right that makes us risk everything to love even after the pain of losing a friend or lover. This choice is one of strength. Yes, if you’ve ever decided to love and be loved after the past drama of a friendship or relationship then just know that you are truly on your way. Fear is created by us. We create fear and we allow it to stop us from doing the things that we want in life.

In seeking to love again, we have to make the choice to love. We decide for ourselves what we want. We decide on who we want to engage with in a relationship, how far it goes, where it ends, what we want, what we dislike and what we need. We hold this much power within our grasp. In reading some lectures by Anais Nin, I remember when she stated that she creates the relationships that she enters into. This startled me. I didn’t really understand this until I reread this. As individuals, we hold friendships with people and relationships. We determine when enough is enough. We determine how far we want to take things. We determine if we will strive in a relationship of love or a relationship of misery. This is how we create the friendships/relationships that we enter into. It doesn’t create itself. The reality is that we can either be active or passive participants in the relationships we choose to engage in. So, in saying all of this, we decide on the right to love and to be loved.

The right to love and to be loved is a choice. We can sulk around in our past and think about all of the the things that could’ve change, but this will not help the present. The present-moment is where we are at. This is where we are. We are not yesterday, five years ago, twenty years ago, or even five minutes ago. We are here. We are in the present moment. In “How to Practice: The Way to a Meaningful Life” by His Holiness, the Dalai Lama, it is said that ” under no circumstances should you lose hope. Hopelessness is a real cause of failure. Remember, you can overcome any problem. Be calm, even when the external environment is confused or complicated; it will have little effect if your mind is at peace. On the other hand, if your mind gives way to anger, then even when the world is peaceful and comfortable, peace of mind will elude you”. So, the pain and misfortunes that we have dealt with in the past should remain in the past. We shouldn’t become hopeless in the face of the present moment. We can truly move pass the pain of yesterday or even a few minutes ago. We shouldn’t allow this pain to keep us from functioning. We can and should still love and seek love. This is magnificent. We are able to do this. Not only are we able to do this, but we should demand this of ourselves.

“Life is a process of becoming, a combination of states we have to go through. Where people fail is that they wish to elect a state and remain in it. This is a kind of death.” – Anais Nin

The Temple for Lovers

in the secret of their alone-ness
she cradles him gently in the bed of her words
her smile tickles/comforts the soul of her beloved
undressing the most hidden parts
parting from past pain
she intoxicate upon conversation the way his touch invokes speculation
she yearns the slightest look of seduction/eruption/explosion/
her gaze/his glance/ they peruse each other’s hearts and moves closer and closer
the world grins and covers their giggles out of jealousy
as their yearning to gather close incites an arousal of sensual intimacy
day-time eclipses into night/
the echoing sounds of breathing hisses/
an intense rush of more increases with every grasp of air/ of breath/
to live/ to simply love
they wrap each other’s body across each other/
a jungle they have made of themselves/intensity/
a riveting intensity parades itself through every surge of more and more/they welcome each other to this temple of love/
where only lovers are welcomed and welcomed are they…the lovers of love

A Praise Dance for Two

Her heart raced with beads of sweat swaying seductively
silently worshiping/burying fingers into skin/a rush unrestrained
A riveting tide of emotions/emotions overdosed in ecstasy
two hearts meeting/met under the night’s sky/ covered in the bliss of passion
her majnun/his layla
the world was their’s /overtaking the night-time/a praise-dance for two

How Does It Feel?

How does it feel to settle deeply in the presence of your partner? To hear the sound of their heart beating in sync with yours.
How does it feel to grab hold of their hands under the covers with no one looking? To know the intimate touch of your beloved.
How does it feel to sit in the darkness of a room listening to stories of their past? To know the deepest sorrows within the prison of your partner’s soul.
How does it feel to watch the moon’s rays kiss the face of your lover in the darkness of night? To see your lover illuminated by the moon’s radiance in the dark.
How does it feel to wrap your body around your lover’s as you both make passionate love away from the chaos of the world? To engage intimately with each other’s flesh tenderly without regret.

On the other end of the phone

I thought I fell in love.
Maybe I did.
Or maybe it was the way his breath settled on the other end of the phone- scared, reassured, alone
The way he hid his insecurities neatly in the basement of his heart reminded me of myself.
Words became conversations, conversations into stories and stories into lessons learned
But have I learned?
Have I learned that a heart is like a newborn baby?
Always needing someone to nurture it tenderly, never quite ready to be hurt.
And his voice would settle like an ocean’s tide upon a shore- calmly and intentionally
I could feel and hear the neediness in his voice like the cries of a baby needing the tender touch of a parent
He was hurt, like me.
The way he hurts is like blades cracking across skin bleeding years of growing up too fast
And he knows it like the way a crack fiend finds escape in taking a hit
He’s as complicated as two lovers trying to find love in hotel rooms
But he is deeply bruised with a swollen heart and a trembling fear of being alone
He’s beautiful behind the pain that frequently creeps up upwardly unexpectantly in our conversations
And just like him and many others, I am the shattered mirror-image of pain and fear.
I am the hotel-room that holds secrets well like walls that will never speak.
I am the heart that yearns for love.
I was the one settled on the other end of the phone feeling scared, reassured and alone.

The Struggle: Parents, Womanhood, Sex, Menstruation, Protection

One of the hardest struggles for me is dealing with womanhood. This issue is problematic because many parents raise daughters very differently than their sons. Many parents raise their daughters as if they are precious gems needing protection from the storms of life. However, sons are raised to become warriors that will brave those same storms. So, on the surface, men are repeatedly being socialized to believe that women are helpless and need protection. So, it perpetuates this cycle of men being superior to women. In comparison, I was raised with this belief that a man’s natural-inclination is to protect women. So, I needed to be protected from ‘men,’ ‘sex,’ and the other ‘vices’ of life. In the process of learning my role as a daughter, I learned the role of my younger brother in becoming my protector. Unfortunately, I would often be told that he is a ‘boy’ or a ‘man’ and that I am a ‘girl’. So, the behavior(s) of men became acceptable because males will be males. In growing up to accept that women are constantly in need of male-supervision or the protection of men, I began thinking more about womanhood and how these ideologies affect myself and women all over the world. In my struggle of formulating my sense of womanhood, I believe it is important to explore my upbringing, along with why many females’ sense of identity within womanhood is stunted and even detrimental in their progression of growing into healthy women within the world.

For my parents, I will always be their little girl. I will always be deemed as that gem to be ‘untouched’ and ‘unscathed’ by life. However, is that fair to me? Well, I can definitely understand that most parents are afraid to see their daughters as being: sexual, free-thinking and able-bodied individuals that can make decisions for themselves. This is not to say that male-children don’t undergo a similar experience, but for me I have always been held to a different standard than my younger brother. In seeking to protect me from the world, my parents have always held my hand. They’ve always felt comfortable in walking me through life without me taking the lead. Nonetheless, I am definitely grateful for their guidance and love, but this form of ‘protection’ can hurt you. Yes, I understand from an Islamic perspective that a father and husband should protect his family, especially females under his authority. However, this ‘protection’ doesn’t help as much as one would think. In being protected, I’ve been saved from many of the vices in the world. I’ve always been too afraid to step near a night-club, drugs, alcohol, sex or dating. In growing up,these weren’t options. Nonetheless, this doesn’t mean I was truly protected. It just meant I didn’t have these experiences. In the long-run, I would later find out that I was naive, ignorant, and unable to handle various situations that would come up. Yes, I believe that parents should keep their children from vices, but I also believe that parents should give their children autonomy. One day these children will grow into teenagers and will have to navigate through the world alone. If anything, parents should equip their children with the necessary skills to travel through the world. In many ways, I never had important conversations with my parents about various topics because they never thought I would encounter certain issues. In some cultures, women aren’t taught about their bodies, specifically their reproductive system. I have many friends from a particular culture and we would sometimes talk about female-issues, but there would be an unsaid tension within these conversations. So, I asked why it was so hard for them to talk about: menstruation, sexual health, and sex. They told me that these issues weren’t spoken about publicly in the home, but they were simply issues to be confronted in marriage. In the back of my mind, I thought they were totally backwards. I couldn’t believe that their parents wouldn’t tell their daughters about these important issues, but due to my own arrogance, I was in the same boat. It wasn’t until I took classes in school over sexual-health and menstruation that I truly learned about the biological aspects of the body’s functions. I remember when I was 11-years old, my mother had printed out a huge-packet over menstruation. I laughed at it. I laughed, but I read it. So, it was definitely awkward for my own mother to grasp such a topic with her daughter. Later on, I would later feel confident to talk to my mom about menstruation due to the classes I had at school about Sex-Education. However, I never had a talk with my parents about sex. For many Western parents, there is always the talk about the “birds and the bees” or sexual-intimacy. No, the extent of this conversation was “Stay a virgin, wait for marriage and only adults do this”. This conversation may not provide enough inspiration for a teenager to stay celibate until marriage, but it was for me. On top of this, I have a father that will never find comfort in men courting his daughter. There’s always that raised-eyebrow and mean-look from him that will scare curly-hair straight. So, my parents are and will always get love and respect from me because I know that being a parent doesn’t come with a how-to guide on how to parent children. However, I would have liked those intimate conversations about: girlhood, womanhood, sex, marriage, sexuality and men. I definitely do not believe that all men are dogs and needy for just sex out of women. Unfortunately, I’ve been taught this for a good period of my life, so in many ways I objectify myself by believing that men are only sex-mongering individuals without souls declaring all women as sex-objects.

I can’t speak on the experiences of anyone else, but I believe that parents should treat their daughters as individuals. Parents should understand that their daughters are: free-thinking, sexual, rational, and independent beings. If she isn’t treated as such then she will continue to believe that she is in need of someone else to make decisions for her. Not only this, but this prison-like restriction of her freedom can breed rebellion. If you keep a bird caged up then just open up the cage’s door and you’ll see that caged-bird take flight. This is no different than a young woman that experiences oppression in the guise of protection. In another real scenario, if someone harvests anger inside of themselves then they will eventually explode. This is similar to nature, a cloud can only hold so much water; eventually the cloud will send rain, sleet or snow. So, this is important to think about when we think about the way we deal with the issue of protection. Now, I am not saying it is okay to delve into destructive activities in the guise of freedom. I don’t agree with destructive-behavior, at all. I just believe anger and frustration can definitely be directed in a constructive and positive manner. So, I definitely believe that protection can be imprisonment. This imprisonment can stunt a female’s view(s) on life. If she is unable to decide for herself then how will she know what is truly best for her? One father is quoted saying in an article, called ‘Dear Daughter: I Hope You Have Awesome Sex’ saying:

You’re not me. Nor are you an extension of my will. And so you need to make your own damn mistakes, to learn how to pick yourself up when you fall. I’ll help. But I think there’s value in getting lost. I think there’s a strength that only comes from fumbling your own way out of the darkness.

So, it is time for parents to allow their daughters to discover their own likes, dislikes, needs and wants. Now, I definitely sound like a feminist…and I am. However,I just feel it is really important to honor people. How do we honor someone if we take away their options? Each of us appreciate the ability to decide about the welfare of our own lives, especially as adults. So, it is important to honor the next individual’s right to decide about their life, even if its your own daughter.

So, in my own struggle of dealing with womanhood, I have accepted that this business of womanhood is serious. We may never think about these issues because they may not necessarily concern us or be relevant, but they are. Womanhood differs from one country to the next. Womanhood is affected by various factors. So, its really important to understand that treating daughters as if they are precious diamonds that will never get scratched up in the chaos in life is detrimental. If anything, let them get scratched up, but just let them know that you will always be there for them.

For extra reading:
“Dear Daughter: I Hope You Have Awesome Sex”: http://goodmenproject.com/ethics-values/brand-dear-daughter-i-hope-you-have-awesome-sex/

The Way He Loves

The way he says your name is enchanting, almost divine
The way he caresses your soul with his voice is enticing, outrageously provocative
He is dangerously tempting and ravishing
The way his fingers feel in between yours invites intimate conversation
The way his eyes dances across your body draws you closer in ease without regrets
He is intimacy, a lover, a gentleman, captivating
The way he kisses, tastes like years of pain mixed with seduction
The way he settles perfectly in your broken-ness/the way you fit perfectly in his
His words, sounds similar to hymns, spirituals, prayers; most sincere and heart-felt
The way he loves is dangerously honest/brutally perfect/ extremely bewitching

A Lesson on Love: Her Story

I wonder how she feels when he unhooks her, one layer at a time
Exposing little by little the most intimate parts of her
Unwrapping her, to find her as needy, as beautiful, as shy, as seductive, as hurt, as strong as the next person
leaving her vulnerable and exposed
Does his perfectly wrapped, warm hands around her body make her quiver all the way down to her toes in euphoria?
Does his piercing gaze into her eyes cause her heart to become erected in ecstasy?
Does his lips, his warm and welcomed lips, cause her to melt within the kiss?
I wonder how she feels when he says “I love you” gracefully and passionately off the tip of his tongue with no regret/ with no holding back.
Does her adrenaline rush with a racing heart that beats like riveting African drums?
Does she bite her lip, just slightly, extremely seductively, enough for him to take notice, that he had discovered the address to her heart?
Does she count-down the days he will stay or will she paralyze such thought and love without an expiration date?
Does she disarm herself of all uncertainties and allow for him to love her passionately?
Does she admire the way he looks at her when they are alone in the bliss of their own world?
Does she feel beautiful and dangerously striking when he sees her naked and bare in the face that she adorns in makeup publicly?
I wonder how she feels when she is alone
Does she feel dangerously seductive, attractive and beautiful in her own bed/ in her own thoughts?
Does she understand that she is whole in solitude without him?
Does she love herself dangerously and without regret when he is not present?
I wonder how she will feel when she finds herself to be a lover of herself.

No Regrets: Just Southern Boy Hospitality

You told me not to tell her that I loved you
That I loved you in color
Loved you like a morning’s sunrise cracking open free into full bloom
Not to let her know that my name is stained across your lips with forever written in permanent ink
Like our love-story/engraved in the broken/most intimate parts of our souls
That you/that I
Found God in the prayers of our pain
That we’re both two wounded hearts breaking free
That I became hands open wide catching your tears
Planting my all, the seed of my love into your broken soul
That you kept me up late in conversations
Under the night’s skies with the moon and stars as witnesses/witnessing us catching flame to the igniting of this intimacy
That we made great love in the bedsheets of our most intimate thoughts
I never thought I would hate you for the memories you left burning as the centerpiece of my soul
Leaving remnants of our yesterdays within the closet of my heart
Leaving clever lies and empty promises rotting at the gate of my heart
Making me believe your words as truth like divine scripture
To only find your love as truthful as the promises you never kept
And you told me to come back, that you loved me
My love, did you forget?
Did you forget that you left bruises in my heart?
The taste of betrayal upon my lips
Shattered pieces of love across my soul
Distress written in the notebook of my thoughts
And I’ve always said I’ll never allow a man to lay his hands on me
And I guess I was right
Because your hands never found their way/their home on my body
Just the lies that you left in my heart with the rotten love you kept behind
I never knew abuse until I found you
Finding you heart-broken/shattered pieces scattered/broken in all of the wrong places
But you, you left me fractured and tortured in the prison you left of me
With my hands being a burial-ground of the hell you left for me
I unraveled my soul for a man that was less than a king for his queen
So, tell her
Tell her I was everything you never deserved
I was everything you couldn’t be
Honest
Real
Committed
And that a real Southern boy with Southern hospitality wouldn’t call the morning after with another woman’s name still heavy on his lips, mistaking her for me
And that your game ain’t that tight because I heard the hesitation bleeding through the phone
As if she was in the next room over
Unfolding herself from the mess you made of her
And I’m sure you’re lustfully in love with her
Coming easy in her ears to come quickly in between her thighs to simply leave her
But unlike the others,
I will love me whole and never in parts
Split-opened-exposed for a man who just needs a quick fix
And that I will sinfully love me whole
Without regrets