Forever Ramadán

When the lyrics of this song began to force themselves through my fingers onto the keyboard of my word processor and the frets of my guitar, I felt more than a little trepidation. To compare the voluntary and pious fasting of Ramadán to an involuntary deprivation of the enjoyment of life seemed like a reversal of meaning. And, when I originally posted the song online at the old mp3.com, several Muslims took offense.

However, my intention was not to demean the observation of Ramadán with comparison to the struggle of an individual soul, but to draw the imagery of Ramadan into America’s culture of reference, to give it the same referential power that imagery from the Gospels and the Torah have, to bring Muslim symbolism into the scheme of our literary palette and put it on par with other sources of meaning.

And, the sentiments are heartfelt, with a sincere sense of spirituality and humility before an inscrutable Divine purpose. In any case, here is my song of deprivation seemingly without end: Forever Ramadán.

a thousand beating hearts could adore me
_but everywhere i turn my eye: another empty face
and i could lay a feast out before me
_but everywhere i’d lay my tongue, there’s nothing there to taste

i stay here waiting for the night
i lay the black thread by the white
but i can’t understand it, no this sun will not go down
leaving me to fast some more
forever Ramadán

i said a thousand affirmations
_but nothing ever came about from them, no
and then i prayed for my salvation
_my Lord, where did i go wrong?
_why do You delay this feast for so long?

i stay here waiting for the night
i lay the black thread by the white
but i can’t understand it, no this sun will not go down
leaving me to fast some more
forever Ramadán

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