POETRY:  Something to Do With A Man Named Joseph *

Something to Do With A Man Named Joseph

Mustafa Paul Bergner

The one who could describe
the depth of the darkness
of my forgetfulness

could also describe this loving
in which I am no longer me
but am only “loving”.

The aroma of wine.
The simplicity of light.
Its pervasiveness.

Under that light
I carry my father’s condemnation
of the opinions of others.

If I could only let that go
my huffy need to be right.

‘This is nothing that I’m writing.
Nothing.

But it has something to do with a man named Joseph
who came to my door one day
sixteen years ago

- out of nowhere -

to explain for me
the meaning of
La ilalla iIIa’IIah.

Originally published in the print edition of The American Muslim Summer/Fall 1994


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