my guide

my heart’s rapture holds the moment
when I first glanced upon your face
when all that mattered disappeared
and you remained there in its place

when we first met, you did not speak
yet until now, your voice I hear
and though the miles stretch out far
by the soul’s standard, you are near

I came to you in summer’s heat
with weary limbs and aching soles
upon your doorstep I then fell
feeling, at last, I had come home

resting your hand upon my head
you wiped my journey’s dust away
with you I sat, you marked the path
for one who’d wandered long astray

above us rose a blooming moon
its light extinguished all the stars
and it was then I realized
I am there only where you are

for years, the bottom of the well
had been enough — to just get by
but when we met, that disappeared
I felt now the desperate need to fly

you are the rope to which I cling
caught in the prison I’ve built up
trapped in the home I’ve made myself
amidst the dregs of this world’s cup

with bleeding hands I reach for you
your fragrance fortifies my mind
all’s left to cross: this distance now
my life, the distance of this climb

some days I race, forging ahead
some days I trail, falling behind
some days, the darkness overwhelms
relentless, jar the hands of time

around me, seems a boundless night
this evening stretches endlessly
just when I think of letting go
whispers my heart, your name to me

and in your name I find my strength
your teachings lift my spirit high
each step, al-Hadi… an-Naqi…
setting my face toward the sky

though trying years may stretch ahead
though in their midst perils may hide
though not unscathed, I’ll make it through
Allah has made you as my guide

I know now though my nails may break
may crack under the strain of stone
I know with you, I’ll find a way
with you, I won’t battle alone

this, all I pray, that when I reach
that edge of well, the final rise
the hand I see meeting me there
is yours, under a purple sky

when, at the end, here, of all things
night fades at last, pierced by dawn’s glow
may my fate find me by your side
in gardens, where rivers flow

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