Zahra Moeini : The Weight of Zaynab’s Gaze

“The Weight of Zaynab’s Gaze”

by: Zahra Moeini

ashura-zeinab

The leaves of the oak trees
have welcomed
the hues of Fall’s
procession.

Zaynab treads the witness
Of leaves that swell
Bursting with each step
The shades of a brother’s
memory.

Those who walk alongside
Look at the weight of Zaynab’s gaze
Flowing back and forth
On the sunlight, between the branches.
The effortlessness.

“Ma rai’to ila jamila”.
She said, “I did not see but beauty”.
“Ma rai’to ila jamila”.
She said, “I did not see but beauty”.

And wondrously
A thousand shades of martyr’s bloods
Overflow anew
On the oak trees dying leaves,
Some warm yellow,
Some smiling orange,
Some blushing crimson.

Fall’s procession
has never been more beautiful
When Zainab looks on,
Seeing only God.


Zahra Moeini is currently a graduate student at the University of Chicago. Her research revolves around the Islamic intellectual tradition, more specifically engaging classical Arabic and Persianate philosophy, poetics, and linguistics.

Before moving to Chicago for her studies, Zahra was extensively involved in planning and participating in activities pertaining to the Muslim community in NYC. The programs included organizing cultural, educational, and religious programs for the youth, as well as presentation of her own poems, often inspired by her personal love of Persian and Arabic poetry.

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