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I put the poetry on pause
The Poe in me, lost cause
The flow in me, found flaws
And slowly spawned scars
The healing got hard
I’m grieving, and on guard
But ready to break bars,

Shake the shackles,
Take the tackles,
Make the battle

a grapple for one God
I sampled and spun straw,
Reality got raw
Love of love, led to loss
Caring carried costs

So here comes the lost cause
Present, and unpaused
Absent the one flaw
Of attachment, now withdrawn
I live on, and lift off
I give all, my gift of–

It’s all love.

It’s infinite
Though I thought there wasn’t enough
To give, but it’s
Me, who called my own bluff
So I lift my head up
And got the heads up:

“Look inside, and above,
If you’re looking for love.”

And so I looked in,
And so I looked up,
And on that day,
I pressed play.
Also I gave myself a hug.

This is my first piece of poetry in maybe a year or two. In the time I stepped back from poetry, I’ve been through many different experiences from living out on my own to exploring the process of finding a spouse, and a variety of other things in-between. I didn’t abandon personal expression outright, but I did start to focus less on expression and more on learning about the world and about myself. I gained a lot of insight that I’d been missing, and opened up myself more to being vulnerable and honest. This poem is my coming to terms with a transition I’m making at this moment as I start moving back into the world of expression, now that I’ve tasted introspection for a bit.

Also, I missed playing around with words, too. This poem includes a lot of my favorite literary tools, coming together to hopefully communicate the most important lesson I’ve garnered in my time away from poetry — that love and acceptance starts with yourself and your Lord, and you won’t find it if you start your search anywhere else.

Jawaad Khan was born and raised in sunny South Florida to a family of creatives and Islamic workers. He went on to complete a film degree at the University of Miami, one year of improv classes (which he’s very proud of), and he studied Arabic and Islamic studies at various institutes in Dallas, TX, where he now resides with his wife and cat. He serves on the board and is an editor for Muslim Youth Musings. His debut collection of short stories, titled "No Old Ladies in Jannah" was published in 2023.

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