(Fatima and Zeynab)

Never give up,
Victory is won,
Look how far you’ve come,
Risen ranks,
Acquired wounds,
Weapon of choice,
Love my sword,
Deen my shield,

Asking how?
Walking Yemeni streets,
Little girls no shoes,
Frizzled hair coming undone,
Brown beautiful eyes,
Hands smooth,
Heart of silk,

People looked at her rotten,
Standing with a priceless gem,
Remember kneeling down,
Those around,
Ran away acting she’s a disease,

I ain’t ever giving up,
Knelt to her,
Watched dark hazel retina’s,
Eye lashes carrying dirt,
She wanted change,
I gave her shoes,
She asked for currency,
I fed her stomach,

Holding her hand,
Walking down the street,
Smile of an orphan stretched across the sea,
It was miraculous,
From one orphan multiplied hundreds of followers,

Daily occurrence sitting paved steps,
Young eyes barely rise,
Feet running,
Memorizing number of toes around me,
Talked about how the sun rose and set,
Learned stars and astronomical signs,
Broke bread,
It wasn’t last supper,
This was the beginning of children being children,

Walking down the block,
Eyes became still on everyone’s favorite cafe,
Red trim,
Columbian espresso beans,
We ate as many pizzas that our stomach could hold,
Sitting across the table had been my habibi,
Dirty ripped dress,
Head barely covered,
Eyes smeared with clay acting as mascara,
Perfect match,
Insides not matching appearance,
Internally Allah’s (s.w.t) servant,

Laughing,
Smiling,
Enjoying time and company,
Everyday walking to work,
She skipped to the beat of my shoe hitting pavement,
Her friends gathered,
Learning from a young old man carrying ill-advised wisdom,

I remember,
One time kindly,
Walking children,
Orphans carrying cliques,
Ousted from the group stood twins,
Younger sister,
Names I will never forget,
Fatima and Zeynab,
Barely 2 years old,
Skin if washed,
Reflected brilliance,

Buying one juice box and dates,
Had my first date,
Sat cross-legged in the middle of the sidewalk,
Older gentleman and cranky women unkind words,
Forgetting it was Yemen,
Having the best time of our lives,

Asking how can love be my sword?
In the West,
Businesses hang solicitation posts,
Being arrested as a Vietnam vet,
Legs blown to pieces because America’s Ignorance,

Imagine someone sitting with homeless,
Subway tunnels filled with university classes,
Onlookers act as if individuals spread HIV by words,

I ain’t much of a writer,
Intentions derail ignorance,
Love hidden in a sheath,

When I walked hand in hand,
Little girl pretended plastic ring was our wedding ban,
Giving hope that the streets did not have her name recorded,

Soldiers carry this love,
It is the strongest weapon to use,
Against those who drop bombs…

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