A Poem For Saturday

111044104

"Inshallah" by Ben Downing appeared in The Atlantic in March of 2000:

-- which is to say "God willing," more or less:
a phrase that rose routinely to her lips
whenever plans were hatched or hopes expressed,
the way we knock on wood, yet fervently,
as if to wax too confident might be
to kill the very thing she wanted most.

It used to pique and trouble me somehow,
this precautionary tic of hers, but now
I understand why she was skeptical
of what Allah in His caprice allots,
because that she should live He did not will
or, more terribly, He did that she should not.

in memoriam Mirel Sayinsoy 1967-1999

(Photo: A Libyan woman has her face covered with French flag colours while holding the rebellion flag, as she attends the Friday noon prayer in Benghazi on March 25, 2011. By Patrick Baz/AFP/Getty Images)

2006-2011 archives for The Daily Dish, featuring Andrew Sullivan

Why Principals Matter

Nadia Lopez didn't think anybody cared about her middle school. Then Humans of New York told her story to the Internet—and everything changed.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register with Disqus.

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

A History of Contraception

In the 16th century, men used linen condoms laced shut with ribbons.

Video

'A Music That Has No End'

In Spain, a flamenco guitarist hustles to make a modest living.

Video

What Fifty Shades Left Out

A straightforward guide to BDSM

Just In