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Embracing, We Let Go by Yahia Lababidi

Perhaps, we are negotiating
not just with one, but always two
(who share the same soil, it is true)
one who lives, another who expires

A shift in balance begins to take place
once a love of silence is confessed
its roots run deep, its shade a world
and her fruits impossible to forget

From the first, we surrender something
and, gradually, consent to be emptied
transfixed by so much soundless music
drunk and sated through lipless mouths

What use to name this silent master
preparing us for dying or the Divine
– I’m not sure there is a difference –
but know, in embracing, we let go.


Yahia Lababidi

About the Poet

Yahia Lababidi is the author of 11 books, most recently, Quarantine Notes, a collection of spiritual meditations composed during our global pandemic. You can learn more and order his new book by clicking on the author's photo.
Lababidi has also contributed to news, literary and cultural institutions throughout the USA, Europe and the Middle East, such as: Oxford University, Pearson, PBS NewsHour, NPR, HBO as well as ABC Radio.

This poem appears in A KALEIDOSCOPE OF STORIES - Muslim Voices in Contemporary Poetry

A KALEIDOSCOPE OF STORIES - Muslim Voices in Contemporary Poetry brings together the myriad voices of eighty Muslim poets from diverse backgrounds to powerfully articulate what it means to be Muslim in the modern world. It provides a platform for Muslim voices to be heard speaking about their experiences in their own words, and offers an antidote to the stereotyped, one-dimensional portrayal of Muslims we see so often in the media. The anthology gives the reader a glimpse of the thoughts, hopes and challenges of those who see the world through two or more cultural lenses and provides an authentically Muslim space for the expression of our spiritual, social and personal lives. It brings together the verses of multi-generational voices exploring themes including love and loss, identity and belonging and Islamic spirituality.

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