The chase — a meditation

Remember when
we met
for the first time
and you asked
“What’s your name?”
then when I answered
you snatched it
right out of my mouth
and I chased you
the neighborhood
until we both
couldn’t breathe any more?

Lightning storm — a meditation

On stormy nights,
when the ailing sky
wails and whines
outside my door,
I remember how
you’d walk out
onto the balcony,
catch the threads
of lightning,
and pull them
out of the clouds
to relieve them
of the rain
that pains them.
And I remember how
you’d weave
those strands
into a curtain
to hang
over our bedroom window
so I could sleep
through the storm.

How I got my name

When she found out she was having a boy, my mother didn’t hesitate for even a moment. She had always wanted a boy so she could name him Omar. For many months in the womb, she referred to me as Omar. In her mind and heart, she waited for Omar to arrive.

A few weeks before I was born, my grandmother asked my mom for a personal favor: To change her mind (and heart) about the name Omar. My grandmother suggested the name Rami, after the son of her “Christian neighbor”, whom she adored.

And so, I arrived, my mother’s Omar, now named Rami. And I can’t help but wonder how different I would’ve been as Omar.

Sometimes I’d look in the mirror and call myself Omar to see if I’d respond to the name, but I don’t respond. It could’ve been but it wasn’t.

Hi, my name is Rami, against all odds.

Afternoons — a meditation

that summer
morning when
we played barefoot
in your backyard
until we were so tired
that we fell asleep
in the shade
of the trees?

Every day since then
I’ve hoped
that maybe
we’re still asleep
on that cool grass,
and our mothers
are about to wake us up
for lunch.

Sunlight — a meditation

If I could bend sunlight
Into bangles
I’d set up my shop
Right under your window.
And every morning,
When you draw
Your curtains apart
To greet the day,
I’d gather the rays
That touched your face
And make you something
To adorn your wrists
Before you head to work.

Full moon — a meditation

I grab the night
with my hand
like a handful of soil,
and let the stars
through my fingers
float softly
to the ground
so all that’s left
in my palm
is the moon

then I rub it gently
against the sleeve
of my pajamas
until it’s shiny enough
to gift to you.