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Poem: Praying

Hadiyyah Kuma

Part of the "What does being Muslim Indo-Caribbean mean to you?" Series


God as presented in the mass of an airplane

God as in a blank apartment, open windows

Blank 8x11 paper, no wrinkles

No grids or silly blue lines

Nothing separated

God as in imminent death, risk of exposure,

Precautions, liabilities, fines for touching other people

God as longing still to be touched

As pretending there is a body in your bed the size of you

God as in waiting for shuffling in the hallway to signal a homecoming

God as home

God as the absence of losing

God as absentminded thudding

Various neighbours coming back from sad places

Dark places

Glowing places

Cubicles, concerts, bars

God as waiting still

As grandma’s soft oh Allah as she rises from the couch

God as Oh Allah

Oh Allah as pressing like on a photo of my cousin in the meantime

His boy body in a mesh crop-top

Oh Allah as a family secret, as a social one, as a private Instagram account

God as closing the goddamn app as a door heaves open

God as dark mode, as bed

As the dark project of fading laughter

As Allah’s mercy

As the sunlight that changes the face of the enterer as she enters

The gardener as they garden

The band as they endeavor to awe

The prayer as she prays

The humans as they human as they bend

My tension with God is heightened in various situations. There are times when I am afraid of consequences, or afraid of others. Much of being young is about keeping secrets. This poem comes to the realization that these secrets are not sin, and Allah is not without mercy.

Hadiyyah Kuma is a 20-year-old Indo-Guyanese writer and sociology student from Toronto. Her work seeks to examine rest and pleasure under capitalism, gentrification, platonic intimacy, and Anxiety. Her poems, essays, and fiction have been published in places like The Rumpus, Yes Poetry, The Hart House Review, and GUTS magazine. Her debut chapbook, ‘tired, but not spectacularly,’ was released in 2019 by the Soapbox Press.

The views in this article reflect the lived experiences and positionality of this author based on the intersections of what being both Muslim and Indo-Caribbean means to them.


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