[CN: suicidal ideation]


There is an anger inside of me
that claws its way out of me
One that tears apart the demon asleep on my tongue
My lungs are a raging lava
My blood boils
My self-control is not so loyal.
What if I just unleash the beast
Sometimes, I wanna show them my claws
I wanna show them I can stand up for myself

no, fight fight fight

I wanna sink my fangs into the throat of their ignorance
Drag their egos through the mud because dirt does not
discriminate against –
it buries.
And all flesh tastes the same to the maggots
sometimes I want to crush their bones
into dust.
They think of themselves gods
but everyone is the same height when
their faces are in the ground


I just wanna show them.
But you see,
I might just be a mess
someone who smells
like a band-aid drenched in lonely,
someone who drinks as if trying to save the world from drowning,
someone whose days go unnoticed and their nights go unslept.
Someone whose rainbow colored heart bleeds black.
Spending nights counting grief while the sheep just laugh at me
Telling secrets about red flags in my own mirror
my demons leak from my mind
leading from the bedroom to the doorway
like a trail of blood
a summer of mosquitoes ripping
in the walls of my apartment
made a border fence on my skin.
I walk like I misplaced my spine
Like my history didn’t exist.
I’m always choosing between the lesser of two evils.
My depression is a loaded gun
pointed at the distance between my eyes.
My anxiety ties me to the bed like a lover and say let’s play.
I spill my sorry like an accident
I talk like my throat is covered in scabs
Where I don’t tell anyone, Things are wrong,
cause it’s the only way I’d look normal

So I carve my face into something more acceptable –
A smile.

But every bridge I crossed crumbles underneath me
and how I wish it would just collapse
how I wish I could forget how I got here
but I never did, never fit,
here my touch is a trespass
here my existence is illegal
here I am nowhere; I am nothing but a black hole
a whale full of unoccupied space.

So I write ghosts of poems
stories of a hunted past
my metaphors are falling like bad teeth
it hurts to write them, hurts to serve them to you
instead I turned them into a seashell filled with dried lavender and oranges
but if you held them close enough to your ear and pay attention

you might hear
muffled screams
that is why I tremble when I speak
My nervousness slips from my sleeve and spills all over the stage
Like a magic trick went wrong
not because I am afraid
but because I am

Not wanting to die
Is hard work.

But I am further away from the living than the dead
And I can’t remember the way back.
So after my marrow becomes a whisper,
my bones but a snigger of gravel
my skeleton preforms the last dance of death
will they see? My poems are footprints on the moon.

My anger is the only clean piece of clothes I have left
I know you might be struggling to understand that
I don’t make sense, but I am not here
to make sense

Does war make sense?
Does death make sense?
Does madness make sense?
I am here to say this:

Once upon a time I was a bird and the whole world was my cage
The sky was my birth right

I’m only looking for a map
to find a home for my heartland.


Amal is a spoken word poet and a fiction writer from Syria. She has performed at IIUM, University Of Malaya, and has been featured at open mics under Nose and InkQbate. She came in second at the Queerlah Lumpur Poetry Slam 2019 and was crowned champion at Merdekarya Fest 2019. Recently performed Fractured World: Displacement, Diaspora and Poetry at Ilham Gallery. And had a reading showcase for Voices program for women writers at Georgetown Literary Festival 2019. Her piece, ‘A Damascus Jasmine,’ was featured and published in the Voices: Reflections 2019 chapbook.

Cover art credit: Photo by meriç tuna on Unsplash