I Will Be SatisfiedPosted: December 9, 2013
I Will Be Satisfied I will never be satisfied Until you flood me like the Nile floods the plain Until your arms become Babylonian lions and devour me raw Until you scale me like the Temple of the Feathered Serpent And I will never be satisfied Until you cast yourself into the fire And its flames are cool and safe for you because of me Until you break the chains of impossibility And slay the beast of doubt like oxen sacrifice At the altar of the Holiest of Holies Until I see my face in all your writings Until my name enters all your words And you adorn and crown yourself with me Love me—love me—love me—love me— And I will be satisfied ~ From Mohja Kahf’s unpublished love poetry manuscript written in 1999.
Mohja Kahf is a Syrian-American poet and novelist. Her first collection of poetry, E-mails from Scheherazad, evokes the mixture of pride and shame involved in being an “other,” with characters balancing on the line between assimilating and maintaining the habits of a good Muslim. In addition to contemporary Muslim women, Mohja’s poetry also explores figures from Islamic history including Hagar, the wife of the prophet Abraham, Khadija and Aisha, wives of the Prophet Muhammad, and Fatima, daughter of the Prophet Muhammad. According to The New York Times, her writing on contemporary subjects “draws sharp, funny, earthy portraits of the fault line separating Muslim women from their Western counterparts.” Of the intersection of Islam and art, Mohja says: “One of the primary messages of the Qur’an is that people should recognize the beautiful and do what is beautiful. This is not simply a moral beauty but a visual and auditory beauty as well. Conduct should be beautiful, writing should be beautiful and speaking should be beautiful.”