My Best Friend

My best friend is brown, and she’s Muslim too.

She’s brown like me and speaks Spanish too.  She’s a little sister, an aunt and a daughter.  She comes from a family that immigrated to the US too.

She fills out pages of applications and writes briefs for immigrants who look like me and you. Oh yeah she’s an attorney, probably better than me too.

She fights for people who are here and have no where else to go if their applications are denied.

She tosses and turns when she can’t get it done fast enough and she chose this path even when she knew she could likely never do enough.

She cries when she feels helpless and when Trump passes executive orders too, but she’s brown and she’s strong, and she’s a Muslim too.

I met her parents and they were kind and welcoming.  Her mom hugged me and took my bag and the first thing she asked me was if I wanted something to eat.  “You’ve been working all day, you must be starving.”

Leave it to a brown Mom to make sure there’s not a need left for her to meet. She’s a doctor who’s witty and fashionable too.

She asked me about an ex-boyfriend I had and knew that I lived with him too.

And then she asked me about the new one and she didn’t flinch when I said he was Jewish too.

She’s a mom probably better than the one you have too because she refused to share a practice with her husband because she’s brown and strong and independent too.

Her dad sat in the living room and waved from his afar he was just like my dad watching soccer too.

He told us about growing up in Abu Dhabi and the killings he saw on the street.  When my best friend expressed surprise he told her, “Oh baba for you I used to keep it sweet.”

You’re older now, I can tell you the truth…he sat around and chatted with us he’s brown, and Muslim too.

My best friend’s dad saved a man once while on vacation.  The man was white and almost drowned choking on seaweed.

Her dad ran over, heart condition and all, the only doctor who responded and gave him mouth to mouth.  He saved that man right there on beach, his boyfriend thanked him…oh yeah the drowner was gay too.

But this didn’t stop Dr. B because this was something larger than him.  He’s a doctor and he’s strong and he’s a Muslim too.

My best friend’s sister…you guessed it she’s brown too.  She small and compact but tougher than anyone I ever knew.

She married a white guy and they have two kids too.  They’re kind and funny and do all the things kids love to do.  They play and they laugh and love chocolate too.

They say Jido and Grandpa and guess what?  They’re all Muslim too.

I often sit and think when being Muslim became taboo.  Was it when we decided that to be evil it had to be because you were Muslim too?

As long as I’ve been alive I’ve seen religion make people do funny things too.  Like scream, “Pro-life” and “Don’t get divorced!” but never, “Crash that plane into a tower!” too.

I see my friend and her family too and how they remind me of mine and all the things we do.

We’re both part of a group that just never really belonged but now to Muslims and Mexicans the United States is saying “SO LONG!”

We fight everyday to prove that we are just like you, you reading this who’s not brown, that we’re worthy too.

My best friend and I we talk every day, but today it’s like we ran out of things to say.

How do we comfort each other when we have no control over what’s happening.  So we mourn and we cry and let ourselves be.

But on Monday my best friend goes back to work.  And she talks to her clients and she weeds through the murk.  She uses her steady voice that she taught me so much about–and reminds me to stay tough and strong and not let this thing take us out.

My best friend is strong, independent and brown.

My best friend is tough and she isn’t afraid of taking on this order too.

She speaks Spanish and Arabic and is trying out a few others too.

She loves to eat and laugh and learn about other cultures too.  Her favorite city is Damascus because her family hails from Syria too.  And guess what?  On top of all of that, she’s Muslim too.