Salt – nayyirah waheed

As the headlines once again read “massacre in this land” and “let’s remember those lost” I find myself crawling into a book of poetry to find solace.

Full disclosure: I’m developing compassion fatigue and feeling a little disoriented. I also can’t shake the heaviness in my chest that asks “what next?” This is not healthy for me so I’m wrapping myself in someone’s beautiful words like a warm blanket on a cold world day.

If you haven’t heard of nayyirah waheed, I hope you give her a read. She organizes words like no poet I’ve read before. As anyone that follows this blog knows, I am a lover of poetry and she is my newest love.

The following selections are from her collection entitled “Salt” and it’s exquisite.



can we speak in flowers. it will be easier for me to understand.

– other language


I knew you before i met you

i’ve known you my whole life

– nafsi


she asked

‘you are in love what does that look like’ to which I replied ‘like everything i’ve ever lost come back to me’


i am such a sensitive summer thing.

i found flaws and they were beautiful




if i write what you may feel but cannot say.

it does not make me a poet.

it makes me a bridge.

and i am humbled


i am grateful

to assist your heart in speaking.

– grateful



if we must


be right.

we will


each other.

– exile



i will tell you, my daughter

of your worth

not your beauty

every day. (your beauty is given. every being is born beautiful).

knowing your worth

can save your life

raising you on beauty alone

you will be starved

you will be raw.

you will be weak.

an easy stomach

always in need of someone telling you how

beautiful you are

-emotional nutrition




3 thoughts on “Salt – nayyirah waheed

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