Sanai's Sixteen Birthday Poem <3


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May 26th written in the stars

by Sanai Rashid


I once had a dream of a grand party

with balloons, feminine chiffon dresses

and three-layered buttercream cake.

Because as a girl you are taught

to dream for the stars and leap for the moon.

But no matter how hard mommy and daddy

hold your hand, and feed you with a silver spoon

reality will get the better of you at

sixteen.


You start to realize that the stars aren’t

as sparkly as they once were.

Dull to your brown eyes, their twinkle

forever enveloped in a world of blackness.

Still, before bed each night

you peek out of your window

to wish upon a star.


Then you learn that only 12 people

have walked on the moon.

And most of them were just white dudes

who look nothing like you.

So instead of looking at that

gleaming dumpling in the sky,

you start drawing a waxing gibbous

on the New York concrete. Sidewalk

scuffs as your craters.


Because so much of life is wishing

for a grand banquet, until you realize

you’ve had a Thanksgiving meal in your

lap all along.


With each passing birthday,

when they say

You can’t have your cake and eat it too

I shake my silly little head and smile.

I learned how to savor each crumb,

icing nib, and sprinkle a long time ago.

Yes, you can have two good things

at the same time.


And I don’t care if my

wishes upon those stars never come true,

and I never get to cradle the moon between

my cocoa butter palms.

Because before you fly

you have to let go of all that shit

weighing you down.


There are still a lot of things

I need to address on Earth

before I hop galaxies, destinies, and lands.

If fifteen has taught me anything,

it is that quinceaneras only last a year.

You last a lifetime.


Maybe sixteen is just another number.

But if you don’t mark some moments of life

as remarkably, extraordinarily special —

you’ll blink and miss those extra shiny stars,

the even brighter smiles, and the little things

that separates today from the everyday.


Godbless May 26th

for squeezing me out of her pages

and letting me write this poem to you

because I love having you in my life

never get that confused.


And I thank the Earth, the moon, mars

and those damn bright stars

for the tree of life that extends unto me

and unto you.



To another year of life and blog pieces!