Four Weeks Footing

It is the night of power, the 26th evening of Ramadan, I watch the meticulously wrapped women walk toward the Mosque of El Hajeb province.

I prepare to hear the call to prayer here blasting through the skies, three or four Moadins shaking their vocal chords, each one a few lines of Quran away from the next, gentle fault lines of the earth shaking, the country in prayer.

This is what four weeks of alone sounds like.

Messy, because all I can hear is myself talking

Salt and a raw wound sore on the inside of my cheek,

Four weeks of alone tastes like tagine and shebekia

Four weeks of alone feels like the callous of my right thumb,

Formed from the after blow each time I light the kerosene stove.

It feels like occasional morning yoga and evening runs,

Eating far too much in the time in between.

It looks like mischievous smiles from the little girl on the bus to Mohammadia after I slide off of my seat as we swerve through a roundabout.

Four weeks of alone means translating the difference between the words

Alone and lonely.

Four weeks of alone while the world shakes tumultuously, feeling the after shocks vibrating from Florida to Baghdad to Istanbul to Dhaka.

Praying with my feet becomes harder as I feel I no longer have a grasp on my footing.

Four weeks of alone has been collateral for the beauty I have witnessed, though.

The Milky Way, the mountains, the mosques.

Trying, everyday, to build a narrative of growth.



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