A Blog of Seattle Arts & Lectures

“the poet” by Aamina Mughal

the poet

this is you on your knees,
surreal roses unfurled in
a ghastly inversion at your feet.

you balled your fists and balled
your eyes out while you were patted on the back,
like the ancient, quranic
rage in your head could be tapped out.

you are on your knees.
you thought what a childish thing, this kind of rage.
rage, in a language you don’t understand, rage,
clutching at monorail tracks until your fingernails
fall like ash on the street, your hands bleed like snow.

you were raised with dainty hummingbird
wings to your eyes,
close enough to become stained glass windows.

you are on your knees, your head, pressed against
the dirt, using your devotion to push down daisies.
you are a thief, robbing heroes and muses from graves.
you choke on shotgunned daffodils, blowing wishes

like smoke rings into the air. you have become
a soft thing, you were sifted and kneaded
and you have become so soft. you melted
at the altar of all of your


when you made your own ears ring
and mounted your pig-headedness on your walls.

you are on your knees.

you, an insult to subtlety, though
you were raised on the sanctity of it,
rhythmic hitches of heartbeats.
the inherited inching together of cautious hands,
the underground loves, and graffiti’d, abandoned
subway tunnels you made monuments.

those inkling, murmuring mystiques,
basslines from below the earth.

the way you could
feel her breath changes before she laughed
corroded you. a dainty match forged you, carefully
singing your edges burning you into something
ancient, something treasured, something sacred.

hands placed inlaid jewels in your bones,
your skin stitched itself over them and you’ve
been digging them out ever since.

you were raised with such subtlety,
such subtlety you’ve lost to make room
for your throat-gravel-cries,
it brings you to your knees.


Aamina Mughal is a Youth Poetry Fellow and a sophomore at Eastside Prep. Aamina read this poem at our SAL Presents event with Michelle Zauner on Thursday, March 30, at Town Hall Seattle.

Posted in Student WritingSAL PresentsYouth Poet Laureate2022/23 Season