I'm just happy to be here.


You don’t walk into the wind, you walk against it
Contrary to the spellbound leaf, thrown around,
lifted up and taken away, unlike you, feet on ground.

Resilient soothsayer, rhythm—with your steps—maker,
Who let the concrete spin the balls of my feet? Ink-blot.
I tip-toe across a puddle and jot down the reflection

The questions I seek are answers in another form.

The wind wants to win but you have legs better than wings.
The rain wants to destroy but all it does is cleanse.
The elements want to touch you then leave, so they do.

But I am tired of losing. Watch me get caught in the rain
with my umbrella hands, malfunctioning inside buildings
I’ve built in my head, opening up, like disbelief in bad luck,

Nothing can hurt me. Not the rain, the gust, rusted lust.
On the highway, a man on a motorcycle zooms past the rest of us
while the storm is rife with hubris, my Uber driver, Asif,

Turns back to me to say, He does not love his life. And for once,
these words do not apply to me. Because I love my life. Yup,
sure do. Sometimes, when no one is looking, I yawp. Foolish talk.

Chalk-teeth. Don’t care if the words will last. I need to speak.
Taking care of my weaknesses like baby teeth, I pull the truth
out of me the same way a knot is untied. Clumsy wrists. Tight-lips.

Walking downtown, I am the furthest from being a leaf.
No, I love my life too much. Exorbitant. Joy, Flood-like.
The last thing I ever want to say will most likely be a

Run-on sentence, chasing the next thought like a promise
I told you’d I keep. Man of my word. I turn sadness into sweet tea.
Have you heard the one about misery? We all need company.

At Phoenicia, one of the chefs and I are friends.
He asks me to call him Abibi. Abibi calls me Cousin-Brother.
He thinks I’m Lebanese, and when I correct him, he says

Lo siento. Then, another time, Adios, Cousin-Brother. Language lessons.
On Sunday, Fi Amanullah, Cousin-Brother. When I ask what he means, he replies
Allah will protect you, then hands me warm shawarma, and I reply,

I’m gonna need all the help I can get it, and it’s true. I take my food, exit,
only to walk against the wind, now knowing, my body is protected.
Nothing about me spellbound or in disbelief. Contrary to the leaf.


I’ve been dancing all night.
Mighty body, light feet.
No part of me is discreet,
only well-kept, only secret.
Meaning is a recipe I keep to myself.
But tonight, I am emptying the shelves.
Forget rationing, give me irresponsibility.
Forgive the past, someone sip hard liquor.
Fear is a balloon too big for your wrist.
Your body was meant to last,
even if you crash, the crash is sweet.
Look at me, Patron Saint of Self-Pity.
I wrote a new prayer for despair.
Pray with me? Say it with me.
My hips are a spoonful of sugar
pouring moonlight into the sky.
I’m writing my own impact theory.

Strangers howl at me with their sweet teeth,
mistake me for the incandescent croon of la luna,
la luna, white balloon, silver truth, lonely ghost,
who roams above the sky it once lived beneath,
never once haunting, only reflecting its cratered longing,
wanting to return, la luna, who once belonged
to the same earth, as both you and me,
your friends, your family, all of us together
belonging to the same dirt I’ve been kicking up all night.
Everyone has their own path to follow, but tonight it is easy.
My hips are a spoonful of sugar
pouring moonlight into the sky.
The people I love who are afraid of the dark
do not have to hide, instead, watch how
My knees hurl commands to my heels,
My heels speak for my feet,
My feet reach back and forth, traveling so fast,
I’m floating above the ground, flirting with friction,
Looking at the future like a dance floor I already kissed.