Alia Hussain Vancrown
The Blue Pearl
The hundredth name of God intentionally left a mystery
inviting pursuit never revealed to mankind
a defined quality of the Divine we fill in the blank during the times
in our lives we are lost we are misguided turned to face
another way in other words
You name God whatever you need the name to be
with care and thought as if you were naming your child
and the name can change as often as you give birth
how beautiful is that
we are responsible for the naming of things
exactly the moment we need
today the name needs to be
blue pearl at the center of my skull
tomorrow it can go back to being photo album
of two generations deceased next year lightning
resculpting the willow’s trunk new splinters new branches
there are answers in the bone of the coelacanth’s lobe-fin or the story
the prophet tore off a piece of his own quilt rather than disturb the feline
asleep upon it and wouldn’t it be just as revolutionary
as quiet love if we tear down the pillars and the men’s voices
share this blanket share these dates break the fast as the sun slumbers
there is a cockroach on the wall and it belongs there it’s just living and
what if the name was fear was ugly had too many legs would we
extinguish its life beneath our heels or would we take it out into the night
let its shell gleam the stars constellation of blue pearls
ninety-eight, ninety-nine, one hundred
a belt a bow an arrow
see its target the horizon just over there.
On Behalf of Atheist Muslims Everywhere
We exist. Trust us.
True as ark in flood
half imbalanced animal
half eyespot for mimicry,
deception, startling the predator
pre-attack. Case in point:
Salman Rushdie among
أحاديث on my shelves
and I was hollered at
how to burn giants.
We are proud as
we are sorry.
Our parents don’t know
a thing, or they do and are quiet
or they do and our dreams
are black sorcery stoppered
in the tiniest, dustiest,
least reflective bottle.
To be less or fewer than
is our destined equation
that we exponentially
muddy and sexualize
to the great horror
of old, dead men:
well. Deep, dark well.
Lightning begins and ends
in our hearts.
We are the willows that bow
before nothing on no decreed night.
Our death masks will show
the weight of what we spoke
before we released them.
We say, go be
the little, impermanent
light you are. You’ll die
yourself, you’ll die beautiful.
My name means sublime. Exalted.
Noble. A list of things I know how to do:
photograph the moon hitch dead loved ones onto it
insert birds in everything
house in the nailbed | a history splintered
It will hurt to know me.
Diaspora is my favorite word but so is migratory.
Our entire romance will be based on unsure footing on infertile land.
Grief is a lot like this:
Your feet will sink and emerge as the herd around you
watches the uncertain pattern. Interfering with nature is detrimental to ecosystems.
So say the saviors.
And so we, you and I, will walk the right path to water
or we’ll thirst and thirst during the monogamous journey of separation.
الحمد لله and إن شاء الله
roll off the tongue so easily
except to those of us whose mouths
are harpoons and sea monsters.
It’s blasphemous never to thank
the skies for their painter, but the hand that falls
is the same hand that sweeps hellish scenery.
When the world ends
purple smoke will put us all
to blissful, painless sleep.
The sun will rise in the west
and set in the east.
النبي عيسى will come back
to die as a man.
We just want to know
how many catastrophes
it will take before humans
obsess over life
they obsess over the significance
of a mustard seed.
إن شاء الله soon O Sisters and Brothers
no one will judge our odious desires.
Our breath is a star.
Our breath is a fire.
Alia Hussain Vancrown: "I have published in journals and magazines in print and online. My poetry has twice been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. I currently reside in the U.S. See www.AliaHussainVancrown.com."