after Naomi Shihab Nye

We on the sea cliff all
thrill at December’s licking

                        [[[call down a watery sky
                                    (a ritual) 
                        call on grasses stamped with Saturday shoes
                                    (a circle)
                        call up the kissing foam
                                    (a washing)
                        call to familia, mostly chosen,
                                                                        (a mending)]]]

and hover, for a time
in exquisite love.

My sister unfurls her golden kaftan, 
yokes our hearts’ zealous

                        [[[calls upon the holy 
                        calls upon our circle
                        calls upon our ancestors
                        calls upon the cosmos
and sings

             It is difficult to know what to do with so much happiness

The winter sky sings 

                        my brother’s proud trembling 
                        jaw, your father’s bursting
                        radiant heart.

And you, zaytun of my heart, i asagua-hu.
You wrapped in tales of tatreez, your mother’s thobe.

My dress is made of water 
and invisible feathers dipped 
in moonlight.

I sing
                        [[[Halla. New moon. Sinåhi. Hagu I pilån-hu.

                        Let us keep each other safe and soothed and seen. 
                        Let us be in each other’s eyes and minds and guts. 
                        Let us tend our twining love so that it spirals, ever upward, 
                        ever outward, ever toward our shared home. 

The osprey overhead clutches a plump
gulping fish, anoints us with i tåsi.

                        I promise to always to hold you with patience, humility, and

                        I promise to honor you, your ancestors, and your homeland as I
                                   honor my own. 

                        I promise to never stop fighting, until we see freedom for our
                                   lands and people. 

                        Let us share our struggles, along with our joys. 
                        Let us share our pain, along with our bliss. 
                        Let us share everything, together, i guinaiya-ku, 
                        sa’ tåya’ åmot para man guaiguaiya fuera di mas guinaiya’. 

                                                                 (Because there is no medicine for being in
                                                                            love, except for more love.)

Copyright © 2024 by Lehua M. Taitano. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on May 14, 2024, by the Academy of American Poets.