be with me

by Aqeela Naqvi

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“Be with me always—take any form…only do not leave me in this abyss, where I cannot find you!  Oh, God! it is unutterable! I cannot live without my life! I cannot live without my soul!”

i am caught in the snares of your love
i am drowning in the oceans of your memory
i am gasping for breath on cliffs
in the depths of a winter’s night
screaming out your name

i am fumbling with the wreckage of my heart,
sinews and veins trailing between my fingers
my bruised knees
slipping on rivers of tears and blood

please,
do not leave me in the care of my self (12:53)
do not abandon me to the wolves that howl inside
hungering to tear me apart

do not desert me now, in my hour of going to pieces
do not leave me here, all alone, dying

the miles that exist between us
are hot coals, pressed tight upon my skin
excruciating
unbearable…

if this separation is what i must give
if this is what i need to realize the work to be done
if this is the pain needed to cleanse the wounds from my soul
then i will accept it

but if i am forced to remain blind to your visage in this world
then please, let this misery not extend to the next

if i must be far from your side in this world
then let my deeds be worthy
(but my deeds will never be worthy enough)
so then, let my Lord’s mercy be great
(His mercy is so Great)
to allow me to be by your side in the next

this my only wish:
you.
your love.
your Lord.
ya Allah, make me worthy of this
that these desires be not spoken in vain
that these words be pursued sincerely

take,
and take,
and take from me everything
take me from the crowds of the people
from the hollowness sought in their gaze
take,
until all that remains
is the oneness
of You,
the open sky

give me strength in my bones
fire in my skin
thunderous lightning
sweet rain on my tongue

until my life is nothing but the life of the ones who love You
and my death is nothing but the death of the ones You love.


beloveds…
i am coming
but this journey is long
and i see the years ahead of me
already beckoning with gnarled hands
while i still remember, i pray
that what has yet to come does not distract me
because now, seeking, “i don’t fear death;
i fear the thousand ways the living forget”

i am trying,
but if i stumble, if i am somehow unable
if death comes before i can take this task to completion
i hope you will not look on me unkindly
and if, in the next life, i call and you choose not to visit,
you would be justified,
and i would understand.

if i never see you again,
if i never have the chance to look upon your face,
to feel the gentleness of your hand on my head,
to embrace you, weeping these words
then now at least, with God as my witness
know this:

i have loved you.
my, i have loved you.

‘I worry that if I leave you, I’ll never see you again; if you don’t come to visit me, I’ll understand… I wish death would take my soul and rid me (of this pain). If I were to ever forget you then may God never forgive me….I speak to my heart as I move away from you – and to it I say amazed, how could I ever leave you?…I’m afraid that when I return, I won’t see you…’

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