Poem

I Do Not Write About You

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I do not write about you
because you are everything good and whole and sacred,
I have a tendency to only write about wilted     brokenness:
the chipped cup,    the forest blight,    the deer’s tangled antlers,
scarlet and    haunting on the side of the road,

and yes, people write about the breathtaking too,
ballads and odes, I have read and wept in awe,

but if someone insisted, I guess would scribble
how once I watched a crimson-bellied parakeet perched outside his nest with
seeds,    strings,    and ribbons    spilling from his beak,
how he hopped inside his home where there was shrill chirping and
opened mouths     larger than bodies to feed, and a mother
still and quiet,    but it was him who hunted, gathered
and fed and allowed his partner to stay inside for weeks,
him, who patiently carried the weight of both their expansive wings
and what languished beneath them,
and how observing this reminded me of your graciousness
in a time when I was just hollowed out and brittle    bones,

how it was you who carefully weaved each piece of twig and hay around me,
found feathers, black currants, and bright carnations to fill
the barren space    while I walked in a fog,
until eventually the glow from your love cut through and found me clear-eyed
and I discovered you had built a nest for just the two of us,

I would write how you are a red oak tree and the willow too,
how time spent with you is like a lazy hammock, your presence
cool water collecting at my feet, how you are softness
and a salve in this prickly world;
the exception and constant always,

how you allow me to write of darkness on paper with abandon,
safely navigating each corner and cave,
because I know after I am returning to your quiet light.

Jaweerya Mohammad is a first-generation Pakistani-American. She is a passionate educator, teaching Middle School English in New Jersey. She graduated from Rutgers University with a Bachelors in English and Masters in Education. Her writing is inspired by childhood memories, her culture, nature, spirituality, healing, and grief. When she is not writing, she can be found reading, gardening, and spending time with her family.

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