Ramadan Day 9 – Arabesque 1

Arabesque 1



stop twisting

rise and rise

from fearful nap from

melted street from

heel to toe and don’t slow

your rise


Rumor recollects healing power of sleep. In Alaska, a woman

lives upon pain of

a recurrent skin condition

her doctor diagnosed it as eczema, her somnolence

an allergic reaction to city sky, concrete, and doctors.


She falls asleep every Ramadan. Allah kisses her

by first unwinding the hand

of the cuckoo clock, turning it backwards

toward dawn, Allah plucks a stop sign

from the lawn, one toothpick in her magnificent paws.


Her secret flirtation with the fast. An arabesque between

two benches, the rug is a window

one word from Her, the creek bed dresses itself

with otters who shiver, silver-black eyes

moon and light, coats of chocolate and of fur.


What if

each Ramadan

your prayer begins:

may my dreams be

my fast, and when

Allah lifts the anchor

may i rise.




*This poem is in conversation with “Still I Rise” by Maya Angelou, Rumi, and Hafiz


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