Ibrahim Dahir, 18
Ibrahim Dahir, originally from Somalia, is an avid reader and poet living in Boston, Massachusetts. Dahir describes his own writing as metaphor-driven realism, tacking topics based in the real world but utilizing literary tools to enable empathy in his readers. He tries to make the emotions behind certain moments, which are the original inspiration for his writing, accessible to a wider audience. Dahir has been published in Rubix, his high school’s literary magazine and took home the first place trophy with his team at Louder Than A Bomb 2018, a statewide poetry competition.
As a Muslim and Black male in American society, Dahir says it is a struggle to represent the all of his identities. He says that people have often undermined and undercut his experiences and opinions on Islam solely because of his skin color. Dahir has also struggled against the other end of the spectrum: having his experience as a Black male questioned because of his faith. Dahir is a fervent advocate of intersectionality, especially in today’s society where many Americans are eager to draw divisive lines, leaving little room for the existence of multifaceted identities. Dahir wants to foster more conversation about this topic, specifically the societal pressure that people must omit parts of their identity to validate their opinions and experiences.
Dahir plans on taking a gap year to return to Somalia to gain a deeper understanding of his homeland: his family, culture, and his religion, and hopes to cultivate true life experiences to enrich his writing. He plans on attending Brandeis University in the fall of 2019, majoring in chemistry and minoring in African and Afro-American studies.
War of the Worlds
by Ibrahim Dahir
THE MARTIANS… THE MARTIANS ARE COMING.
“IT'S A WAR OF WORLDS”
I REPEAT, THE MARTIANS ARE COMING
THEIR JABBERING IN THEIR NATIVE TONGUES
THEIR COMING IN HORDES
PROTECT YOUR CHILDREN
THEIR SKIN IS LIKE SOMETHING I’VE NEVER SEEN BEFORE
OH GOD, SAVE US FROM THESE FOREIGNERS
I REPEAT, THE MARTIANS ARE COMING
IT’S A WAR OF WORLDS!!!
And so we came.
Dressed in darkness
Skin of extraterrestrial ebony and cosmic coco
They say the night sky was pregnant with black bodies and wandering aliens and that night it was c-sectioned.
We poured from our spaceships and UFOs
assimilated as best as dying stars could but it wasn’t long before people realized
Saw us propped up at every street corner and crosswalk
And soon panic spread
And with the spread of panic came backlash.
On January 27th, 2017 Donald Trump signed Executive Order 13769 more commonly known as the Muslim ban.
Their rationale: they said that we were all terrorists
Said we would burst into flames in the night sky and burn their country to a crisp
Funny, that reminds me of Black Hawk Down
American planes coursing across the Somali Skyline
Armed with bombs and fire
I need you to know that ever since, my mother has feared the day her son won't rise again so she lights candles through the night.
Says she’d rather combust into flame then get lost in the darkness.
Call it survival.
Call it a supernova.
On September 5th, 2017, Donald Trump officially announced the recession of DACA.
Said it was because we needed to get tougher on immigrants
As if it were the DREAMERS that had taken the American Dream to bed and soiled it
He claimed they were all rapist, bringing drugs and guns into the country.
It’s as if America has forgotten its own battle strategy
Don’t You know what you did to Nicaragua in the Banana Wars
Don’t You remember what you did to Mexico in the Border Wars
White men have been raping women of color for decades and killing their sons for centuries. Ripping the light out of entire solar systems for eons.
And to make matters worse you have turned us against each other.
See my mother is convinced all dreamers are Mexican. Says they all look the same and talk the same.
Says that if they’re not a nanny or maid, they’re probably a drug dealer. She thinks they’re all drug dealers.
I wonder, do your mothers say the same about me. Think I'm just another hoodlum terrorist. That I won’t amount to anything more than blood-stains and C-4 on concrete. That even after splattering my insides on asphalt I’ll still rep Blood.
Don’t our mothers know, that we are one in the same. That foreign boys of color are one in the same.
Our mothers spend their entire lives fighting off men dressed as black holes ready to consume our light. Don't they know they can't protect us. That nebulas never need saving. That ICE will sizzle on the surface of the sun. Our fire burns twice as bright but only half as long. See we are shooting stars, beautiful yet tragic. Our flames course through the night sky, destined to crash. We reach our arms out into the darkness in an attempt to quite literally catch fire. It’s not our fault, we were made to die
And judging by the look of fatigue on your face, you know how exhausting this can be.
See watching our mother watch us can get a little tiring so I offer you this. Let my darkness be the night sky you sleep under tonight and let your dreams be the inspiration for this poem. God knows the world needs it.