A Cataclysmal Path

She was faced with a choice;

To shout
Off the top of her lungs
Off the edge of a cliff
Off for the whole world to hear
That this isn’t it
That this is not what she wants
This is not how she sees her life going
This isn’t right

A choice to yell
At her family
At her friends
At her society
At her life
At herself
That this isn’t it
This is not what she wants
This is not how she sees her life going
This isn’t right

A choice to scream
Out every bit of air within her lungs
Out every honest thought shes ever had of him
Out a description of exactly how disgusted she is from all of this
Out that this isn’t it
This is not what she wants
This is not how she sees her life going
This isn’t right
It can’t be right.
He isn’t right
He can’t be;
How can he be right when his touch sends shudders of indifference down her spine
How can he be right when his choice of perfume is a freshly smoked cigarette
How can he be right when he embodies everything she is against
How can he be right when all she feels when their eyes meet is nervousness, frustration, anger
How can he be right when her eyes do not look at him with love
or curiosity,
but fear.
How can he be right when the very thought of him feeling her skin repulses her.

Or, to choose
To remain quiet for the sake of all the burdens they’ve placed on her beaten shoulders;
Burdens of honor
Of righteousness
Of propriety
Of diligence
Burdens of norms
Of purity
Of family name
Burdens that drag her body down with the weight of an anchor meant only to position her into their cold fingertips, without exception
Burdens that she cannot argue with or voice
Burdens that she has to live with,
lovingly accepting.

The angst that she needs to unleash is vibrating every fiber of her being
The power of her thoughts is going to war with
The power of her heart
Of the love she has no idea why she feels for them
And the supposed love she’ll grow for him, for them.
The powerlessness she feels
And the acceptance she’s telling herself she will have.
She finally convinced herself that
Their will matters more than her own.
So, she decided to get away from them-
That this is a new door that’s opening for all the freedoms she’s been telling herself she doesn’t need for years.
She’s decided
this
is her only escape.

She clutched the dead flowers in her hands and walked as appropriately slow as she could.
As her mind was fighting the trembling ankles that wanted with all their might to carry her towards the door.
She walked with her head slouched low, as she couldn’t look at the faces that were celebrating the end of her life.
She wanted to shout again, to yell that they look like grimacing prison guards.
She looked down to keep her mind quiet and try to embrace the decision they made for her.
That didn’t stop the tears streaming down her face when it came down to her trembling lips whispering the one word that destroyed her life,
“نعم”

 

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Maze

Living in a facade of strength,
but in reality, engulfed in nothing but human-like perceptions
full of limitations and convulsions,
seeking something.
Unsure of what, but walking on an
unambiguous path,
which seemed to be leading me somewhere.
I hoped that i’d end up shaking hands with
a sure outcome.
a sure ideal.
Or, hopefully, a sure doctor?

Yet, there I was,
in a corner where all the paths I came across
entwined and gravitated
towards each other;
forming an impossible maze;
forming only one possible outcome.

There I remained,
Sitting in the back of all those art classes,
silently learning to paint on smile after smile
realistically enough for no human to
see the depth of these scars.
Shrugging my shoulders with
an eerie dust of:
‘I don’t cares’
and ‘I’ve come to accept its’,
waiting for that outcome to prevail.

There I stood,
next to a mute,
next to a mask
next to an empty shell.
Secretly trying to breathe the life back into it.

And now here I stay,
giving up on
the cage that she lives in
as I watch it attack itself.
As I stand hopelessly
praying for her to stop fighting
and move on.
Standing hopelessly changing my mind
about all those empty breaths she’s taking.

Here I resign, mama,
Looking at your skin lose its light,
watching it slowly
molding to the shape of your skull.
Standing by your bedside and
fighting the urge to shake your shell and yell,
“You’re fighting for a life that’s not worth living!
Put down your weapons,
Put them down gently and
raise your white flag because
you only exist to die.”

Letter

Letter to my sixteen year old self:

Don’t let the world drag you down.  Don’t let anybody tell you what you are and what you aren’t.  Your mother spent years calling you beautiful, don’t let society tell you otherwise.  No, she isn’t crazy.  (And no, a donkey is not a gazelle in his mother’s eyes.)  Moms aren’t blind, they just see the beauty in you that you haven’t learned to see yet. She’s building you up in a society that is dragging you down.  You owe that woman your strength as a woman later on in life.  

Listen to your dad.  In hindsight, he always had your best interest at heart.  I know it’s not something you thought you’d ever say about him because “he’s the devil in disguise”.  But trust me, listen to him.  Even when he grounded you, or took away your phone, or even stopped talking to you until you learned your lesson.  Just listen.  He isn’t your enemy. He would fight the world to make you happy.  He just doesn’t know how to express that love in the way you need him to.  One day you’ll come to that realization.  And yes, his belly will get bigger later on.

You will never regret being there for your family, but you will regret putting your friends before them.  Always be there for them, even if you have “better things to do”.  See them. Spend time with them.  There will come a day when they’re scattered all over the world and you’re going to miss having a full noisy house.  You’ll miss hearing your sisters fight, and your brothers playing football, or wrestling in the living room.  (They’ll actually never grow out of that, by the way.)

Don’t jump from friend to friend.  Friendship is about quality, not quantity.  You’ll end up surrounded with fifty empty cells when things are smooth in your life, but you’ll always wonder where they are when you’re down.  Friends show their true colors in times of weakness.  The friends who disappointed you at this age, will keep disappointing.  The friend who showed up at your house (almost) daily will eventually throw you a bachelorette party.  (MSN messenger wasn’t a waste of time, your socially awkward self made lifelong friends thanks to it.)

You won’t always be shy, so you should shake that out of you now.  Don’t second guess every move you make because you’re surrounded by rich kids. Their money means nothing. They’ll always have their nice things, but they’ll never go through those experiences that made you stronger than they will ever be in the future. A decade later, your life will be richer than many of theirs.  And no, I am not referring to all the shiny things you’ll have.

You haven’t met “the one” yet.  I know you’re convinced he’s that guy you were into at sixteen.  But he’s not.  The man you’ll marry is a godsend.  He’s thoughtful, kind, smart as hell, and your love for him will be stronger than any emotion you’ll ever experience before him.  You’ll fall in love with him so fast, you’ll convince yourself that he’s a figment of your imagination for a while.  

Stop obsessing with the death of your mother, she’s a fighter; she always has been.  I’m writing this a decade later, and she’s still fighting.  The more you think about her dying, the worse your nightmares will get.  Stop thinking about it, she’s a champion. You and your five siblings will always be the reason she’s in that boxing rink to begin with, and you’ll always be the reason she leaves a warrior.  You’ll always see the universe in her eyes, and she’ll live in this world vicariously through yours.  Her spirit will always live through the six of you.

There are many flaws you have that you don’t see yet, and you’re going to go through many experiences that will highlight them for you. You’re going to make many mistakes, but it’s fine.  You’re going to hurt, but it’s fine.  You’re going to break down, and have to build your life up with your bare scarred fingertips, but it’s fine.  You’ll be glad you made those mistakes when you’re older.  You’ll be glad when you come out a warrior one day, just like your mother.

Always speak your mind.  You’ll never feel whole until you learn this.

Never stop writing- it’s the one thing that will always be there for you.  You’ll have a year or two when you have a dry pen spell.  It’s fine.  Go back to it.  It is your creative compass.  It is the only way you can unleash your thoughts and grow.  One day you’ll read your writing on stage.  I know, it sounds terrifying to you.  But one day, you’ll actually look forward to performing your poetry.  One day, you’ll actively work towards it happening for you.  One day, you’ll feel a world of spirits rushing through you, when you’re exhilarating your words into the cosmos.

Mom was right, if you don’t work on your posture you’re going to end up with a back problem.  I know it sounds so “lame” but do it. It’ll save you many sleepless nights later.  Sleep. Eat well. Take care of yourself.  When you’re a teenager it seems that you can abuse your body and it’ll be fine.  Sleep deprivation isn’t that big a deal, is it?  No, you don’t just eat healthy to lose weight.  Eat healthy to fuel your body with good energy.  I know KFC is great, but trust me- at this rate you’re going to lose half your hair, have pimples, and fight to lose that excess weight.

Stop ignoring problems until they’re so much harder to fix. (Refer to the paragraph above.)

Don’t turn into a hoarder, it’s okay to throw away your notebooks from university. There’s a huge difference between being sentimental and being a hoarder.  I know it’s hard to part with some of your “valued” possessions, but trust me, you’ll live.

Failure is good. Fail once, twice, thrice. Fail as many times as necessary.  Failure is only truly failure if you give up afterwards. Everyone fails, just make sure your failures strengthen you for tomorrow.  Focus your passion, that’s all you’ll ever need to succeed.

Mom isn’t crazy, your intuition matters. Follow it. Listen to it.  Be connected to a sense of spirituality that you’re not physically aware of.  It’s not “stupid” to be spiritual. It’s stupid to assume there is no higher power out there in the universe.  Follow your heart.  When you have a bad feeling about doing something; don’t do it.  Trust me, this will save you from many awkward situations.

Don’t rush growing up.  Embrace every moment at school and university. Embrace your growth period.  No, you don’t need to rush and “get a job quickly”.  It’s fine to be broke for a period of your life.  You’ll grow to realize that even when you have the money to buy everything you want, you’ll come to the conclusion that it’s wiser to spend your money on experiences (travelling the world), than on things.  Things break, your personal growth and happiness is always the best investment.  

And lastly, please please stop dying your hair.  It will never look as good as your natural hair color.  Your genes built you up this way for a reason. Embrace it. Love it. Seriously.  Please. You’re the reason i’m balding.

 

Aftertaste

Every morning
You wake up.
You wake up and
seek this feeling;
this taste;
this smell;
this… thing.

Can you imagine?
Can you imagine
being addicted
to something that
stabs you in the spine
every-
time
you give in to it?

Can you imagine?
Can you imagine
feeling so deserted that
your only solitude is
a figment?
a thought?
Past memories?

Can you imagine?
Can you imagine
constantly asking yourself-
What good are these memories?
What good is a past you can’t go back and fix?

And that aroma.
That aroma that it grants both;
calms and drowns you
in waves of panic.
That taste.
The taste it leaves in your mouth is that of a feeling;
a mood;
a sense of belonging.
A sense of belonging that is responsible for your incomprehensible emptiness.

You fall asleep.
You fall asleep and you feel cupped in thoughts of
“yet still, I love him”
after every reason that whispers to you that you should hate him.
That you should despise him.
After every sign;
every justification you give yourself.
After all the justifiable wrongs that he did.
The comprehensible wrongs
that you give him excuses for.
All because of your stupid big selfless heart.
All because of this stupid little selfish heart that wants nothing but him.

Every morning.
Every morning you wake up
And think of one moment.
A moment that is replayed over and over in your head.
A moment you’ve replayed so many times;
you don’t even know if you can even trust your brain with it’s replays anymore.  

And then you blame yourself because
your own mind is the reason you’re hurting.
Your own stupid little selfish selfless heart is the reason you’re hurting.
Some mornings you wish you fought for him
Some mornings you wish you never met him
Some mornings you’re nothing but numb.

Until that taste;
that smell;
that moment that you put the coffee cup to your lips and sip.
Until after you gulp and that bitter taste reminds you of
the first time you met him over a cup of coffee.
Until;
That aftertaste completes your full cycle of thoughts
and you can get up and try to forget about him again.

 

Love

I knew exactly what love looked like when I was nine years old:
Love was a man daddy approved of.
Love was a glamorous wedding in the biggest hall in the most exclusive hotel
Love was a person I would have six children with, just like my momma
Love was a thought, it was a “one day”

Later in life,
Love became lots of bad experiments
Love was a lie
Love is a lie
Love was being heartbroken
Love was cheating
Love was pain
I came to the conclusion that love isn’t worth it;
And true love doesn’t exist.

Then, when I least expected it, I met Love again
Love had no idea how to give me directions and I almost gave up on finding the place
Love was standing there with his big eyes and chin dimple
Love said “hi, we spoke on the phone”
I said “hey,” and stared into those eyes
I couldn’t help but notice that Love had really good posture.

Love didn’t seem interested at all
But that didn’t stop me from sending the “hey, who’s your friend?” message anyway.
A week later,
Love, added me on Facebook
Love, seemed a little more interested
Love realized we have many mutual friends
Love stepped in~
Love says he wants five children, to which I replied ‘over my dead body’
Love said he’s falling for me
Love said he’s fallen for me

A year later,
I know exactly what love looks like;
Love~ is waking up racing to send a good morning message
Love~ is getting through my day just to see him
Love~ is that time only slows down when i’m around him
Love~ is running to him, running for him, running to be with him
Love has painted my life green with joy
Love is something I never knew existed at nine years old
Or at fifteen, or at twenty
Love only came when I was wholly ready, and today I can say
Love is real
Love is infinite
And he, is love.

Voice

She opened her eyes to once again reunite with a world that she feels alien in. She opened her eyes with a suffocating passion towards something she can not control. She opens her eyes to find all the doors she saw in her dreams closed shut.

Forcing her already wrinkled thirty year old face into a smile. This is how I’m going to look all day. She repeated to herself, forcing an even wider smile.  She almost climbed out of bed without giving him a kiss.

She lifted the sand colored mattress to reveal a hidden creased photograph.  Her grief-stricken eyes have studied this photograph so many times, endlessly.  She can mentally draw it out, spec by spec.  It was of a young boy, holding a kite that was half flying in the wind, and half on its way towards the ground. He was wearing a knitted sweater, decorated with holes. He didn’t seem to care that his kite was on it’s way down- his smile lit up the picture like a thousand suns. That smile set her heart on fire again, and she couldn’t let herself go there. After quickly giving the photo a kiss she placed it back under her mattress.

No. It has happened again. Here they come. She mentally fights a million wars within herself daily. Some days are better than others. She screamed, fueled by the momentum of his thousand suns. She begins gasping for air; and the more she gasps the more it hurts; the more she feels it the more it’s real; the more she tries the more she plummets down, down, and further down; into that hole she’s been living in.

There was nothing left to say, she has spoken out and yelled and fought. All words have lost all meaning. She can’t fight with them and prove that she belongs. She can’t prove her love and devotion to this land. She can’t say more than she already has.  She wailed to let it out, feeling her heart stop vibrating altogether. There was no more left of her to give. He was all she had. He was the only family she had left, and he was electrocuted to death at the age of seven.

 

Terminal

I look up at the fluorescent lights; at the perfectly lined up squares covering the ceiling.  My eyes flirt with the smoke detector, as my mind wanders to a world where I have the health to light up a cigarette, and set it off.  Ironic, isn’t it? That when you can, you justify it.  But when it might possibly be the reason you’re in this mess to begin with; you don’t loathe it- but you loathe yourself for letting it slaughter you.

A smirk creeps onto my face abruptly.  Oh, the amount of people I may never have known if it wasn’t for it.  And as soon as my smirk settled; it fluttered off by her voice.

She screams, as if her soul is in yearn for an escape.

She bawls, as if there was nothing left to live for, but pain.

She howls, as a reminder to all the provinces, that she, unfortunately still exists.

She cries from the agony of breath.

She is now laying still, as tears camouflage her face

 

And her mind jolts itself into the darkest corner within, she

thinks of him,

thinks of them,

alongside everything there is to think about, before she can think no more.

 

She feels aches in every lump of her that still exists

But the most painful ache there is,

Is that despite all of this; all she yearns for

Is to have him stand beside her mechanical bed

And hover over her, silently.