Learning to hug (poem)


Like a giant forced into

a home meant for an ant,


grown too big for Brooklyn.

And while I must reject

some aspects of my home,

I must learn to hug both

the ugly and the beautiful.

I must learn to hug the steel


of the Williamsburg bridge.

I must learn to hug the depression

that’s baked into my apartment walls.

I must learn to hug my ability

to breathe in the cleansing air of 

My Brooklyn.

I must learn to hug the pain that comes

from walking on broken pieces of shattered pride.

I must learn to hug the laughs that bounce around my stomach

and hug the warmth that radiates off of selfless acts.

But what I must truly embrace with open arms

is the imperfectness of my orange bricked home

because in the end, only those who reside here can see

the love that illuminates in the dark.


Mustafa '23 is planning on majoring in Sociology with a double minor in Africana Studies and Creative Writing. While he's the editor for the Op/Ed section for The Muhlenberg Weekly, he's also an advocate for marginalized communities, specifically for queer communities and communities of color. He's also a lover of poetry and plans on going into a career of journalism post-college.


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