cloud for 'Asmaa

cloud for Asma'

This is for you, girl —
sent home to the Najd with two white dresses;
when the month of June was over.
You, the pretty one who calls herself the wretch.


This is for the girl — that’s you,
who never got to touch
her husband’s hand
or even be kissed by him.

This is for you, girl —
the fool in a word trap. Trapped.
On your wedding day
you repeat the phrase
his youngest wife, Aisha, said
would make him love you
more. But look, his arm flies up
to hide his face,
and then he’s gone.

This is for you, Asma’ bint al-Numan ibn Abil-Jawn
Mrs. Muhammad until you die.
The fall
is lifelong, to the knees.

(last line is by poet Heather McHugh)