—from Arabic qiblah, “that which is placed opposite” (OED)

To Muslims it means a number of things:
the point toward which they turn in prayer
(Mecca now but once Jerusalem);
that side of a mosque thus oriented;
the sacred direction itself.

To me, impiously adopting it,
the word denotes quite simply you:
the one toward whom, whenever love’s azan
comes floating to my fervent ear,
I pivot, kneel, and address my orison.



A Message from the Editors

As a reader of our efforts, you have stood with us on the front lines in the battle for culture. Learn how your support contributes to our continued defense of truth.

This article originally appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 23 Number 6, on page 37
Copyright © 2021 The New Criterion | www.newcriterion.com