Monday, January 26, 2015

Bad Muslim...

Do not project your fear
onto my body

I will not hold your hand
and reassure you
I have no intention of killing you
I will not coddle your
fear or accept guilt
by association
I have no interest in
reassuring you
not all of us are like that

I will not apologize
for your parochialism
your provincialism
or your ignorance
for your inability to
violence unless
a tv box or a hashtag
numbs your mind with it
I will not mourn with you
because you don’t even
how to acknowledge
my many deaths
I will not affirm
that your grief
and your loss
is more painful
or more significant
or more terrifying
than the grievances you
have never even heard of
than the grievances you refuse
to recognize as grievances

I will tell you instead
what it feels like
to watch your
Pundits and your Experts
extoll the virtues of
Killing All Muslims
of deporting everyone on
security lists with names
like mine
I will tell you
how much terror
your vaunted fear
how it pierces my skin
coils around my cranium
burrows under my parietal
bones makes it difficult
to breathe
to think
to wake up
in the morning
how it grows inside me
this infinite terror
because you think
your fear is
so special
so singular
so unique
it justifies the
rivers of blood
in places
you still don’t know
how to find on a map

I will not apologize
until every single european
apologizes for the massacres
holocausts genocides famines
committed in your names
until you personally apologize
for palestine kashmir algeria the
for drawing lines
in the sand
that still fester
like bloody wounds
will refuse to apologize
until every single american
personally apologizes for discovering
this continent
by washing it in the
of it’s original inhabitants
for slavery the kkk
plantations japanese internment
camps the trail of tears
for the burnings
hangings lynchings
of Black bodies
for policemen
who still don’t know
innocence and Blackness
can exist
in the same body
for rectal feedings and
unaccountable disappearances
abu ghraib and fallujah
for torture that still doesn’t
as torture for terror that rises and
rises and rises
I will not apologize
because nothing I can say
will ever suffice for you
because you have already
proven your inability
to hear my many
because even
my 1,600,000,000 deaths
won’t quench your fear

I’m a bad Muslim
and I will never again
for the bitter taste of
your fear in my mouth

-Asam Ahmad 

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