OCD Vlog #7, or last week’s Dhuhr

my adhan rings from the creases of my palm now, 

startles the part of my self baffled by peace 

corporate ads intrude across the quran app 

/ digital divinity asks for a subscription price 

notifications fall from the top of the screen 

when i watch the weekly jummah livestream, 

anxiety pushes my breathing beyond its limits 

when i throw my face into buzzing masses 

i speak to you / between a raging sea 

and the peaceful quiet of your nearness 

i rinsed skin wet something obsessive to get here 

embraced whispers of ancestors against my cheeks

intrusive is the shadowy stench of the dunya 

washed, spiraled down the drain 

as i arrange myself to face You 

dhuhr interrupted by the inescapable heartbeat / 

an inimitable worry within every breathe 

damn near dead from the compulsions, 

intrusive is the anvil above me

with its breathtaking weight 

(and somehow, each time without fail 

You lift that weight with such ease 

cast doubt that it was ever even there 

hold me tightly clutched at the heel) 

stammered breathing, botched heartbeat 

melt into the sea of prayer around me, 

unmoored by the room’s determination to You: 

free cognitive behavioral therapy five times a day.


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Musa is a cultural worker, community organizer, and independent researcher. They are a member of the Walter Rodney Foundation, and host of the Groundings podcast.