I Woke Up Today

Welcome to your new job as my bodyguard

The road ahead, I know it will be hard

But when I ask for your help I know

You’ll say, do you need one of my hands or both?

And I need them both

Because I was born in a sinking boat

With one hand tied behind my back

The other one I gave to those who lack

Even one hand to clap

Who are being attacked

Who were only surprised, in fact

That when they woke up several days ago

Someone said, we still have such a ways to go

Like, 'oh, you didn't know?
That’s not the way it always goes.'

Hands tied, feet in chains,

Blindfolded, gagged, and in pain,

Saying, 'Oh, now you can see me?

Yesterday, I was inconvenient

Invisible, but still too loud

Pushed further and further underground.

But do you know what happens

to a seed that is buried?

It rises from the ashes

With the knowledge it carries.'

So, anyway, back to your new job description,

Protecting lives whose value is called into question

Are you prescribed any medical prescriptions?

Well you’re gonna have to come down with something

So we can come up with something

To keep our hearts pumping.

Yeah I have a Doctor

But soon I won’t be able to talk to her

And therapy, well that’s just off the table,

Good thing I’m so practiced in crying and remaining stable

It’s not that I’m sad and weak and whining

I’m fucking angry at the way the world wants to define me

And how much more that says about the hand hiding behind the finger pointing

And how I don’t envy a life that lonely and disjointing

But I admit responsibility for creating a world this disappointing

My point being

I’m done crying, for today

I have a new ally

Born out of rage

It’s everyone I can see

It’s everyone I don’t see

I want everyone to know me

So if they need help they can show me

I want everyone to be seen

So if they can help

They can feel free

I want my enemy to know:

You are my greatest hope.

We were told we were two sides

Of the coin we were both owed,

But these political food fights

Leave us all hungry and broke.

I want everyone who didn’t vote

To have to wear the hijab,

And I know, even with a different president,

It would still be our job

To explain why the lives of people in

Afghanistan, Pakistan, Libya, Yemen, Somalia, Iraq, Syria

Don’t matter just because they aren’t here yet

Matter less here, probably

Then in their countries where we’re bombing them.

See, this is why I can’t do anymore stand up comedy

The only joke I have on me is my body

And even that’s up for grabs you see,

The butt of my jokes is now my pussy.

But I’m not gonna grab back,

Cause I didn’t ask for that

And I know that’s a gruesome image for you

I’m really sorry about that

But my pain is yours now to feel

Like your pain is mine now to heal.

We have to come together fast.

No more labels,

No more rape jokes.

Unless you survived that,

and you’re reminded that

You’re alive to laugh

Someone is going to get up and go to work

So I promise to get up and get there first

I promise to love those who hurt me worst

I promise to keep saying hello to strangers

And loving visibily in danger


I promise to carry more than I can hold

And give more than I take

I won’t let my eyes close

I will stay awake

I promise I would catch a bullet to hear what you have to say

I promise, you are the reason
I woke up today.

This poem is about: 
My family
My community
My country
Our world
Poetry Terms Demonstrated: 


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