I Tried To Be A Muslim And Failed

— Nafisa A. Iqbal

the way that the six baby barn owls outside my window
failed to stay hush and instead screeched into the night,

an unavoidable cacophony of nocturnal hunger pangs,
though according to my neighbors: criminal.

or the way that the digestive biscuit failed to maintain
its structural integrity and instead dissolved softly into milk tea—

a wilting, a withering,

by which I mean that it will never know what it means
to snap,

to splinter apart.

when I say I failed I mean like my sticky fingers at the jewelry store—

cotton candy like super glue
on my fingertips where cheap sugar met saliva

as the gloved jeweler allows me to hold, even for a moment,
the magnificent ring I cannot afford,

its champagne yellow diamond glowing with reverence.

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