Eds. Note: We’re celebrating the stories and perspectives of Muslim youth between the ages of 18-25 this month! Tune in on Twitter to join the #MYRising conversations and check out our sister sites Muslimah Montage, Coming of Faith and Muslim ARC for more #MYRising features.

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In my culture, love is a fairytale.
It exists in Bollywood movies and mothers’ wombs; both places where magic occurs.
So when he tells me we have to talk
I already know the dust has settled and all that glitters is not gold
because despite never saying “you owe me”
the lights in our sky were dim
despite how many tribes we’ve known
my parents only believed in one

I wish I could tell him that I was never taught how to love
So when he tells me about his father coming home and hugging his mother from behind
I listen, I smile
I wonder if this is when I should tell him I’m not sure how my parents love
(I didn’t)
I hug him from behind as he cracks open eggs over easy for breakfast
As if osmosis would tell him I could be like his father

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Eds. Note: Wishing our readers a blessed Eid filled with peace, beauty, & joy! Ramadan may have ended, but our hearts are filled with longing for the month again.



holiest of dates

the last hunger before the breaking of the fast

the taste of you on my lips

sustenance for thirty days and thirty nights

from sun up to sun down

i watched for your arrival


the blessed coolness of the night air on my parched dryness


the holiest of dates to sweeten this bitter loneliness


fell upon me


the last hunger before the breaking of the fast
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Love after death

Photo credit: Les Talusan,

Photo credit: Les Talusan,

I often wonder about love after death.

After the bodies are buried, janazas are done, and people become memories – how do we love souls then? Is it in the past, like a faded memory? Does loving end when the grief ends? Can we continue to love, and have our lives shaped by that love, after the person is gone? What if…. they never actually really leave? How do we love through transitions into the hereafter?

This past July, I went to South Asia to caretake (“babysit”) my maternal grandfather for a couple of weeks while my aunt was out of town on business. He was a strong, tall, gregarious man, always the center of attention. He had just had his 86th birthday, and aging had taken its toll after the recent deaths of my Nani and two years later, my Ammu.

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Khaleesi – To the Men Who Mistreat Women

This powerful poem stopped us in our tracks. Note it is NSFW.


us women; merely second opinion
but first appetite
are taught early how to restrain the wolves,
when the men converge
all gnawing teeth and salivating fangs
these insatiable men who snarl us out of our lineage
sabertooth non-believers who cannot consider
how loud we can be
how brass and trombone this world has played us

there is no place here to
unravel yourself for them
bow your head
unlearn your name
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Manifesto for the Chaste Wanton


Manifesto for the Chaste Wanton

She will be your wild mare
at night, but in the day
she’ll blush if you glimpse a nipple
through her blouse & look away

In private she’ll pounce, a panther,
to tear you flank from thigh
but outside, one rough word
from you & her passion will die
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10 Honest Thoughts On Being Loved By A Skinny Boy

“I say, ‘I am fat.’ He says, ‘no, you’re beautiful.’ I wonder why I cannot be both.”

That’s how Rachel Wiley opened her slam poem, “10 Honest Thoughts On Being Loved By A Skinny Boy,” at the 2013 National Poetry Slam. Check out the powerful poem below.




A hushed night. Soft and still.
I see threads. Threads. There are threads. Laced like webs.
Twined around my fingers, my toes, the vessels within my heart.
Stretching out piercing through particles and atoms.
Crisscrossing through time. Interlocking and tangling.
Knotting with other threads. Weaving and weaving.
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