Rhyme and Prose


I saw a movie about us the other day.
There were worlds rising and collapsing,
Lovers hid behind brave faces but everyone knew.
There were heroes in it too.
In our story we never say anything either…
But if tomorrow the Earth shook and stairs gave away,
if lights flickered and night came to sink our world,
I might think of you and you might think of me.
Given that chance we might make snap decisions
To become heroes.

Rhyme and Prose

I Think I hate you Now: A Poem

There was a time when I was ready
I mean I was READY for you.
they could all see that attitude and BS ozzed off of you like stink off a shit cartoon
but I was there.
all that mess on your head,
I wasn’t trying to untangle it
I wasn’t trying to fix it
I was going to keep it.

I see you now from some distance and I can’t tell you apart from the next damaged soul I don’t give a shit about
sometimes you aren’t even visible.
But back then, I saw your ugly and I was okay
I noticed that something was off
Something  was  amiss
like there was maybe a puzzle piece that you put somewhere and couldn’t find
like there was an oil stain that you didn’t have a remedy for on you psyche
like maybe somebody broke you
like maybe you lost somebody

I wasn’t asking questions
I was giving a damn
I wanted what I knew and what I didn’t
I wanted all of it
Maybe I was a little selfish

You knew you were bad
for me,
for basically anyone close enough to shake your hand.
And hate isn’t a word I use strongly
mean I hate coffee but I drink it everyday
I hate my friends but I still remember their birthdays and make them buy me cupcakes
so here’s where I don’t want you to misunderstand
when I say I hate you now,
I think I mean it.

They say that the opposite of love isn’t hate, it’s indifference
and that because I hate you now it means I care.
I do.
If you fell off a building, I might still cry
But I might also take the time to climb to the top of that building with you
and push you myself.
Because I care.
Back then I would have somehow miraculously sprout wings and saved you,
I would have jumped with you.
Over a hyphen sized scar that you might receive on my watch, I would have lost sleep.
But everything else you brought with you, I was going to keep.
I was going to keep you.

I’m not sick.
I didn’t like you because you were broken
look around there’s broken people everywhere.
we’re all like sad pieces of happy memories strung together by bright colors of hope
that maybe someday somebody would choose us
so we can sew the fractures together and make a whole.
We’re so insecure because of our showing sharp edges
and mistakes we drag behind us in the line
That we can’t even tell when we’ve been chosen.

I was choosing you.
Maybe I was a little selfish.

Rhyme and Prose


People are really annoying, aren’t they?
They make everything about them
While in your little bubble,
It’s all about you.

You’re your life’s protagonist
And the author too. You decide what’s real
Inspite of God and the Universe
You’re the hands on the steering wheel.

People are really annoying, aren’t they?
They’ve all got their eyes on you
They barely ask how you’re doing and even when they do
They never stick around for long enough to listen to your answer
But they’ll still have the balls to have an opinion about your behavior.

People are really, really annoying, aren’t they?

You are really annoying, aren’t you?
You’re telling them you stand for them but really that ain’t true
You’re walking at the head of the fight
Claiming how you do it for the smaller man
But that makes you the hero don’t it?
Even when it isn’t
It’s still.

“I don’t do it for them I do it for me”
Because hell yeah sometimes it’s about them too.
You wore that shirt clean and crisp so they don’t turn their backs
You don’t really mind the crinkles
All that foundation you hid under
Hoping to hide your insecurities forever,
You don’t just do that for you
You do it for them too!
Because even when that pimple’s out of view
YOU’d still know.

You say you don’t care what they think of you
And you say you love them too
How does it work when their opinion of you has absolutely no value?

Sometimes you’re different.
And you know it.
But do you know about the fall of Lucifer?
He learned he was special.
He looked up and saw no one there
He figured that made him superior
He didn’t realize
a fall from that high could break even him because there’s always, always one mightier. God made you special, yeah, but he made about 7.5 billion more.

So, take a moment sometimes to stand in front of your mirror
And ask yourself, “who do you think you are?”
I’m not really condemning you
I don’t get to.
these people are annoying.

So love thyself somebody’s got to.
Once in a while it has to be all about you.

But other times,
it’s about them too.


Rhyme and Prose


My horizon is a dusty orange glow
It takes me back to other oranges that feel like
my mother’s lukewarm hugs in our living room back when
the eggshell walls swallowed the crisp yellow to spit back a clement honey glow.
They resemble the photon spill on his olive skin
luminous in early evenings of slowly falling in love
sipping brunette lattes in cafes lit like a sunny day.
I play with petals of marigold
My heart afire and he takes me back to other oranges…
To scratchy old yellowing pages of books from my school library
that smell like decades and call like a freedom getaway….
To dimly lit dinners out with the family
where Mohammud Ahmed belts in the background
and I tip a bottle of Mirinda into my glass carefully
to show I could do it without being clumsy…
To the apricot princess dress I wore for my third birthday
And to the breath of ice and whisky when I was five
Where my father spun his glass with his finger and touched it to my lips
So I wouldn’t die of curiosity from the grownup liquor I followed earnestly with my eyes…
To cans of Merti Marmalade hurriedly consumed for breakfast
so when I sat for my first period class
I could still taste the bittersweet tinge on my tongue
And driving home in late afternoons
My horizons are almost always a dusty orange glow.
They take me back to clouds of sand I battled through
running away from looming canary mountains…
Back to lonely swinging neon light bulbs that lit my path when the war was over….
To candles that glow like halos around people I know
With their heads bowed praying to their deities…
To candles I lit on powerless nights with my friends
So we could gather to make shadow animals on the wall…
Candles I now light to go back other oranges….

Rhyme and Prose

An excerpt


Loving you was like a natural disaster

Unavoidable really

And not something you can plead with to take it easy on you

I doubt you can convince the floods to love you

and go the other way

I doubt you can negotiate terms with a tsunami or a tornado

When they hit you just do what you can and hope for the best

Loving you was exactly like that.

Rhyme and Prose

It should be okay
Be to sad sometimes
Because sadness is heavy
It keeps our feet on the ground
Not one where you brazenly laugh
And look around to check if they've heard
Or the one you wear round your neck
And open your blouse to let them see
But real happiness,
swells like a balloon in your chest
To make you feel as if you'll float away
And get lost.
Be careful though
Because you'll fall.
You always fall.
Brace yourself and get ready
To land on your feet
And don't bite your tongue
But even if you do
Don't open your mouth
Don't let them see
Your Scarlett mouthful.

Amharic · Rhyme and Prose

ጉሮሮውን ጠራረገና
ወረቀቱን ጠበቅ አድርጎ
ለመጀመር እንደገና
ፍርሐቱን ለመደበቅ
በፈገግታ አይኑ እያየኝ
"ልቤ እየመታ አስቸገረኝ" አለኝ::
የዋህነት ሲፈታተንህ ነው
ተራነትህ ካላስደነገጠህማ
ምኑን ኖርከው
በደንብ ምታ በለው::

Rhyme and Prose

When we're older we'll tell stories
Of the time as little kids
Aliens came to our home.
They lived their lives in boxes and boxes
And saved their emotions in their little pockets.
Their smiles stopped just short of their eyes
Strong arms and stronger minds
But still they tripped and fell over on little rocks
And the brambles cut through their thicker skins.
There was a time aliens came to our home.
They looked sadly at us
And we looked sadly at them.

Rhyme and Prose

Young Adult

We were minds of timid curiosity
Touching, prodding, slowly patting
If it bites, jump back
but it must be okay if it doesn’t.
Overly imaginative, a little crazy and very stupid
But I guess it’s all the same
It was celebrated
Or met with a slap on the wrist
To cause a bruise that healed too fast.

We hated the grown ups because they never understood
we thought we could be them better.
Wobbling in heels too big
Draped in dresses too large
And shaving bare skin to grow a beard.

Now, here we are
And we have no idea what to do with ourselves
Every touch is a vibration into our hearts, into our minds, into our loins
So we don’t touch anything anymore
We understand them now and we hate them still
Because they were right
And we hate ourselves first.

We were going to grow up to touch the ceiling
Better yet the sky
And we learned we much prefer the ground.
Some of us crawl under tables to hide
We stand on side walks under dimly lit lamps looking to love on the other side
we sit in dusty rooms watching the sand fly out of each other’s mouths
And waiting for it all to settle
Some of us lie in boxes having ran out of time.

We will probably meet chaos
Attempt to kill him and fix the world
But first,
we’ll spit on vanity
and celebrate beauty.
We’ll try poking and patting again but it won’t be celebrated
The bite will just be a danger we should have anticipated.