Poetry

Atheist sincerity

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These cancer ads follow me like targets.

Spare a thought for the mother who didn’t survive,

Couldn’t watch her daughter thrive.

 

It was just before a film about an elite gambling ring,

Molly’s game.

Ecstasy’s game.

 

Did you know that poker is a game of skill?

And even though I’ve had almost three years to perfect

This perfect,

Calm,

Rational,

Calculated,

Smiling,

Poker face,

 

Today I failed.

 

Walked out of that cinema dizzy,

Blasted music through earphones,

Hoping to drum out

Drown out,

Out

Out

Out

This pain.

 

In that moment, I could’ve outrun Usain Bolt himself,

Danced circles around Fifi Abdo.

 

I could’ve loaded, shot, and reloaded again

At every God,

Prophet,

And believer,

With no training.

 

Watched in satisfaction as I watched your

God,

Allah,

Yahweh,

Jesus,

Moses,

Adam,

And Eve herself,

Bleed to death.

 

And when I think of her,

I blaspheme,

With a prayer on my lips.

 

I called him.

Not Him.

The real him.

 

The him that blasphemes with logic

The him that blasphemes with evidence.

The him that blasphemes with experience.

 

Have you ever heard atheists comfort one another?

Few conversations occur as sincerely.

 

Hanger Lane station therapy session,

Courtesy of WhatsApp,

Sponsored by the greatest love story ever told.

 

I called my Mohammed.

Mohammed the Atheist.

 

He told me I was flesh and blood.

He told me it was okay to cry.

He spoke to me logically and lovingly.

He understood that with me,

It’s not enough to say ‘Mimo, it’ll be okay!’

I need a well thought out,

Logical analyses,

Of how to process

Pain.

 

And even though I couldn’t see him,

I saw his tender eyes,

Felt him kiss my hand,

Saw his hands move expressively as he explained to me,

 

It’s ok.

You didn’t know.

It was your defence mechanism,

I’ve seen multiple cases of shock and denial before.

 

And when I spoke guilt,

How didn’t I know that she was dying?

How didn’t I see?

Sign from one end of the corridor to the other in bold:

ONCOLOGY

 

He said:

Guilt shouldn’t even equate.

Your mind was protecting itself.

Your love for her couldn’t compute.

 

And he didn’t pepper his conversations with

‘habibti’

‘hayati’

‘omri’.

 

Because this man knows me.

 

And though it feels like these cancer ads follow me,

I know that in moments where I feel weak,

I can call my Mohammed,

And you can listen to

Atheist sincerity.

 

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