The altar was a home
where belonging was never settled,
around which every space and no space
was for those in love with God’s body,
every place and no place for loving Christ
with all our hearts and all our bodies.
We were all in the bridal chamber
waiting for the god-groom to enter,
yet every desire of un-divine flesh
the priest wanted us to confess.
God never really ever entered
the bridal chamber of this altar.
Every time Christ’s body entered my mouth
I remembered my lust for others.
Where, then, oh God
can I meet you in love?
Jesus, son of Mary said:
“when you pray, go into your room and close your door.”
Those of us who already worship behind closed doors
know this in our skin.
It is in my bedroom where I hear God say
that he was a hidden treasure and loved to be known.
Here, his other-worldly presence captures me in its gravity.
He makes me a hidden treasure,
And I want to be known by him.
His gravity does not pull down;
it warps the space time around me,
in the way he gently curves his presence into my bed.
The tighter my orbit around his existence,
the wider time becomes
and merely living no longer makes sense.
He makes my heart beat
as if it has never given me life before,
because his eyes have slaughtered me.
He creates me out of nothing,
then kills me,
then creates me again,
before the day of resurrection.
As I touch him,
he has already taken into account my every cell,
measured every curve of my fingertips.
He was already closer to me than my jugular vein.
I am accounted for
before the day of accounting.
This life continues to eat away at me.
My body is decomposing in the earth
desiring the homeland I will never reach.
I continually fail to survive this diaspora,
but here in my bed, he brings me back to himself again and again.
Meeting me in my brokenness, torn-apart-ness.
He puts me back together,
Atom by atom, saying
be and it is,
just as it was with Adam,
before the day of gathering.
Here in my room,
behind the closed door,
I stay up late,
standing and prostrating,
my body meeting his.
As he meets me in my entirety,
I collapse into his eternity.
The “you” in kun
is where I’ll forever be lost-found,
for if the trees were pens,
and the seas ink,
his divine words would never be completed.
I drown in his speech,
this recitation on my lips, on my tongue.
Instead of pens, I am praying with these trees,
intoxicated by the musk of their flowers.
Instead of ink, these seas are wine,
and I am drunk off a cup bearer’s smile,
in a daze, stupefied
by this nur I see in a thousand faces
and I am polyamorous,
feeling this stupor of love
this intoxication of death before death.
Do I believe in the resurrection?
And my body responds:
Don’t you believe in the way
he gives you your every breath,
as much as he takes it away?
Notes: once during Sunday school our teacher wrote down the four Greek words for love (αγάπη, φιλία, στοργή, έρως). All these words label the ways we love God. The question he asked that so quieted that room continues to quiet my own spirituality: can we love God with éros? Can we love God erotically? Sexually?
Love is about connecting to God and similar to my own worshipping, the worshipping of others (especially non-humans) has also followed me. Namely, the Qur’anic references to birds, or everything in the universe praising the divine. A friend at the 2017 LGBTQ Muslim Retreat reminded me of this, sharing a story of their mother explaining why the branches of the willow tree sway. They ended their reflection with a prayer: “may we pray with the trees this weekend.”