12: The Practice of Time

December is made for bad music and big feelings. Just kidding. I don’t think the music is bad. And my feelings aren’t big, they’re deep. I love Christmas music and I love thinking about an entire year in retrospect. Lucky for me, December allows for plenty of both. This year, I think I’ve grown theContinue reading “12: The Practice of Time”

11: The Dirt of My Heart

In my journey to write a love story, I’ve realized how much a good romance, for me, entangles with heartbreak. A good romance is tinged by heartbreak, is chasing heartbreak, or at least living perpetually in some kind of its shadow. Heartbreak, like nostalgia. Heartbreak, too, like betrayal or loneliness. Is the fullness of loveContinue reading “11: The Dirt of My Heart”

10: The Last Home of Beauty

I posted a photo on Instagram recently that my friend ej replied to and said, The lighting in this photo looks so much like you. ej is always saying things like that. Perfect things, romantic things, lively things. ej and I met and they told me about angel numbers and the bus ride from MontréalContinue reading “10: The Last Home of Beauty”

09: The Cloak of My Voice

My friend wears my scarf at his waistI give him moonstonesHe gives me shell & seaweedsHe comes from a distant city & I meet himWe will plant eggplants & celery togetherHe weaves me cloth                   Many have brought the gifts                 Continue reading “09: The Cloak of My Voice”

08: The Skin of Our Heart

Everything is changing these days. I know this because mostly I don’t know what’s going on and then I have these sudden moments of clarity. Like last night, I was driving home with Roha jaan and we were talking about love languages. She said, I’m a writer—I know it can all be lies and that’sContinue reading “08: The Skin of Our Heart”

07: An Invitation

Hello, lucky seven! Hello, lovely May. I’m writing to you from the house where I began this newsletter, my sister’s home in Texas. I feel entirely new and entirely back where I started again. It’s so strange how much can happen in just four months. Worlds reroute. Paths shift. Love, failure, foolishness, fun. Beauty andContinue reading “07: An Invitation”

06: Love and Lingering

I am thinking a lot about the phrase na raha in Urdu lately. In a song I am trying to translate, na raha is the tail. It trails behind every length of longing the singers introduce. It is the bottom of the spine of the chorus.  Na raha literally means something like “is no longerContinue reading “06: Love and Lingering”

05: The Vigil and the Tree

My friend Sara once posted this graphic on Instagram that read, You haven’t met all the people who will love you yet. I thought about this a lot. I liked the statement, I think, because it left all three particles of the sentence—the you and the people and the love—to the power of the yet.Continue reading “05: The Vigil and the Tree”

04: The Heart of Winter

What is the difference between stillness and silence? In a poem I tried to write about winter three years ago, I wrote: “this city is not silent / but everything is holding still / except the trees who are always waving.” It didn’t make it into the book and a few weeks ago, I commentedContinue reading “04: The Heart of Winter”

03: The Face of the Sky

“In Heaven, everyone will be thirty-two years old,” my nine-year-old niece says, skipping towards where I am washing dishes. She has just finished her daily Quran class. I ask her if this is something her sheikh taught her. “No,” she says, “I just looked it up.” She is curious these days. She asks me thingsContinue reading “03: The Face of the Sky”