Hanan Hassan



Who’s Next

Black boy bound

to a silence of emotion

dry eyes tell lies

cause he’s drowning in an ocean

brothers shot down by cops

or sold by the box

he’s lost

“don’t show me that shit” he says

He can’t stop it, so why fill him with dread?

He’s helpless

We’re helpless

as we sit and we watch

“it’s 2017 and we’re still sold by the block”





The Rug Isn’t Big Enough

A poem about intergenerational trauma of Somali diaspora.



I love you

I really do

and you always told me that the people who love you

will tell you the truth

so I’m sorry

if this seems intrusive hooyo but

the rug isn’t big enough

I used to think you didn’t want me

want us

your words left me in a pile and I

couldn’t understand it I

didn’t know why you were hurting

if you were hurting

the flaming daggers

you spat from the back of your throat must’ve left a mark

but they came to you easier than

an I love you — hooyo

I can say this now because I’m older

and stronger

and bolder

your shoes are starting to fit me

and I walk a little taller but

I noticed something recently

that I

use them to kick things

the problems

the feelings

I use your shoes to kick them under my rug

and at first I didn’t see it

but now things are getting messy and

sometimes I can’t see the floor

I didn’t know you had a rug

until I saw you spilling

I know I should’ve knocked but

something told me to walk in

it seems you don’t like the feeling of too close

or the uncertainty of our presence

so you walk out

and most of the time it’s an “I’ll see you later”

but hooyo


the rug isn’t big enough to hide it all

its starting to fray at the corners

and your fears and memories take turns peeking

we could clean it up together

I don’t want to “just manage” anymore hooyo

I think its time we give up sweeping and take out the trash

because if we’re being honest

the rug isn’t big enough

Name:Hanan Hassan





About the Artist:

Art is honesty. Art can be raw or calculated. Loud or silent. Colorful or monochromatic. But art is honesty. From my experience, art is the product of internal conflict meeting the catalyst of creativity. We present that product after stripping down our walls and reaching the peak of vulnerability. I believe that when we create, we are drawing from our personal experiences (good or bad) that we have yet to fully process in order to come to a level of understanding. Art is understanding. Art is healing. Art can be unique. Art can be universal. But art is always honest.



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