Note: This is deeply personal to me. I kind of just wrote it because I just love so much. It’s laden with references that only parties present would understand. It’s very very very very personal to me.
I love the idea of love but I don’t know how to love.
But what is love?
It could be mama’s work toab thrown across the living room couch while she stirs the mulah at 6 pm, barely making it home in time for lunch.
Or is it my baba’s calls of “Inaam!” when he brings in a fresh bunch of grapes from the local grocer?
No, it’s my brother’s replies to reckless Snapchat stories of hazy nights with my best friend
“I don’t like this.” He types.
“Ugh, he’s so annoying.” Seven dimensions away I sigh.
It could be my sister’s text this morning
I’m barely awake. But she knows.
No, I don’t think it’s any of those.
I’m lost. I’m so fucking confused. I love love but I don’t know what it is love. I keep finding love. How do I find it when I don’t know what it is? Where it is?
Where is love?
Is it in the arch of my foot when I shift my weight to my toes and elongate my body to wrap my arms around friends’ shoulders?
Or does it pump the adrenalin through my system when I realize mama hasn’t come back from “court”?
I think it might be in the corners of my nephew’s mouth as he flashes his tiny square teeth emphasizing the “i” in “Homi”.
It must be in me cradling his head peppering kisses across his forehead in the backseat of his car
Because I can’t show him how much I love him outside
And I don’t know how to show I love him otherwise
And I do
I think I do
I know I do
If I don’t know how to love, then how do I love?
How do I explain the tingling in my toes as we sing Beyonce in a classroom with no teacher, knowing that this is the only lesson that matters?
How do I understand the warmth in my chest when we video chat across a multitude of time zones that feel like one?
How can I interpret the calm in my soul as we hide in the back of the balcony, chain-smoking shisha behind our parents’ backs, trying to collectively drown our misery and strengthen the chains that keep us together?
How would I justify the excitement in my body when they say, “Asali okhtik wa akhok namshi natghada wein”, and it finally feels like your family is complete for the first time since 2009?
How do I explain the wrenching of my gut when I remember September 2013?
When I hear “Ilz”? “Mushtageen”? “Roll thru”? “We?”?
What does it mean?
No, I don’t think it’s that I don’t know how to love. I think I love too much. I never learned how to love because this to me is love.