Touch everywhere it hurts. Every lightened mark, every electric soar, every beat that beckons attention, every tear that relinquishes itself into calabash, just touch where it hurts.


I can see some of the scars. It is in the absence of body. I can smell where wounds lay – blood rises to meet my nostrils. I can touch where injustice trembles, it is in the sound of your notes that air carries across localities. I have being there. I am 1 in the 3 they talk about; I am that statistic, the product of sexual violence that every woman is at risk of enduring at least once in this dunia. I am that survivor.


I am that woman: that Muslim that black body with respite written on skin. I am that shape, this curve that bone, this blood those words muffled in human symphony.


Ask me where it hurts and I will show you the places and spaces in brown sky, my body.


Silenced in Egypt

Raped in the Congo

Missing in Canada

Pillaged in America


ashes left for us to grasp

as it slips through fingers.




For our men

For our women







Their stories are stains we cannot erase

Woven in sand we stand upon.



It is left to us to decide what:

to stop

to accept

to carry.

Constellations to name

to honor

to love.


Ask me where it hurts

Carry story whole.