For my father and after Purple Rain.

We have finished prayer
upon that rare desert rain,
its purple current
skating the shutters
and velvet prayer rugs.
I use my fingers
to supplicate
for the America
I’ll return to,
for the idyll of Egypt
that will linger,
interred under sugarcane.
You sit next to me
with one hand
sunk on my back
like the strap of a guitar
weighted with wounds,
the other letting a cigarette
shrivel to dust.
I hear the roots
of my name
spinning like a wet towel
to conquer the smoke,
to lead the matter
from the fibers
of an oak grain.
You direct your body
towards the Qibla,
whispering to God
here is the part of me
I give to the world.

Tamer Sa’id Mostafa (pronouns: he/him/his) is an-always proud Stockton, California native whose work has appeared in over twenty various journals and magazines such as Confrontation, Literary Orphans, and Zone 3 among others. As an Arab-American Muslim, he reflects on life through spirituality, an evolving commitment to social justice, and the music of Bone Thugs-n-Harmony Read other articles by Tamer.