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Updated: Dec 31, 2020

Art by Sofia Miller

I didn’t see the moon last night.

Hovering over Mecca in its steady light.

But, someone out there did.

Someone saw the moon over our eyelids,

While the gates to God’s house on Earth¹ were empty

For the first time in our muted memory.

The air’s muffled wails echo around the fallen meteorite²,

Chasing ghosts of pilgrims who revered the site,

Remembering revelation³

From a time lost well into the sands and locust shells.

There are eyes spilling past the square’s cement foundation

And faded dusty sighs trudging over the desert to silent knells

To the vast nothingness where we owe our creation.

Past the Arab desert someone knew.

Someone: an ancestor dreaming beyond subsoil dew

Grazing the empty space before “then”

The time before time rests on the hands of Al-Khabir (The All Aware).

Allah: existing everywhere before there was a where.

Streets are hushed. But, the long lines awaken,

Gathering at the gates to the liminal pavilion.

Eyes above the surface watch over the overflowing empty

And the faded dusty sigh of the receding tides sink

Down to the vast nothingness, farther than we can see,

So low, the fish will never see the moon beyond diluted ink.

Not many people see the moon either,

Pulling sighs into the receding water.

But upon the moon’s sighting, someone was waiting

To call the holy month’s beginning

With mere patient breaths before Isha’s⁴ adhan⁵,

The prayer for when the cold within our bones is tightly drawn.

I didn’t see the end tonight.

But someone did.



  1. The Kaaba is Islam’s most sacred site. It’s also referred to as بَيْت ٱللَّٰه‎ ("House of God")

  2. The Black Stone is a meteorite set into the corner of the Kaaba

  3. Revelation of the Quran

  4. Isha is the nighttime prayer out of the 5 daily prayers

  5. The adhan announces the beginning of each prayer

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