Two steps ahead
I choose my words wisely
when I lose count
of stained white baby blankets
photos of my younger self
pity the smallness of my life
the smallness of my anger
I wash this image
then hum a lullaby
staring at the sky:
there was a time
you were not here
there will be a time,
I won’t be here
but now we are both here



you are
what I think
I beg you
I beg you again
knock the delusions out
my head, my belly
giving me blackened eyes
with a long silent pause
I will survive
I’ve got all my life to live
Did you think I’d lay down and die?
Did you think I’d crumble?
I’ve got all my love to give
It took all the strength I had
I shut the radio and turn around

in my mind and out
my dismembered tongue, frozen, limps without warning
show me the photos of graphic news
ask me is that really you?
I’ve got no answers, only
childless brainchildren, faithless prayers the truth is I don’t feel much
or is it absolute sadness to stop feeling? or is the ocean too overwhelming?
I grew a fin for it
I woke up wondering, how?
today or tomorrow?
will it hurt?
I let go of your hand.

Lina AlSharif

Lina AlSharif is a Palestinian poet who moved to Gaza in the late 90s with her extended family, and is currently living in Qatar. She holds a MA in Creative Writing/Poetry from Lancaster University.  She has been published in Sukoon Magazine, the anthology Gaza Unsilenced, and Rusted Radishes.

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