Fight or Flight?

Steady pause, it felt like the sun was stuck.
Like the darkness would never end.
How exactly do you fight?
When all you’ve done is F-L-I-G-H-T
I know it all too well, letter by letter,
Running…but not reaching anywhere.
“How to love yourself?” you ask the internet;
Right after you wake up,
and then when you go to sleep,
and sometimes in the shower, yes?
But my darling, Oxford and Quora doesn’t teach you how to love yourself.

Abba’s death was the breaking point for my family.
We were stranded at sea and had lost our only anchor.
Stop, listen,
time’s a cruel but very, very efficient tutor.
You learn to swim.

So desperate in loving others,
You forgot how to spell your own name.
The love you searched for in others, all this while, was sitting in the dingy corners of your body that you so callously ignored.

The mistakes that keep me up at night,
mistakes that make me sit in the bathroom
floor and sob for hours until I realise that the
water has been running for too long.
Oh Jesus,
my shoulders are tired of carrying this weight.
Where do you look for forgiveness?

Life is an aggressive drunk husband.
But I am tired of running away from him.
I want to fight back, hold his hand
and ask him to S-T-O-P.
I want to tell myself —
Baby, you’ve come so far,
I am proud of you.

Saheen Rahman is a writer and a communication student currently pursuing her postgraduate degree. She finds beauty in monotony and in run-of-the-mill things. She wants her work to be a voice of rebellion, a sword for change, and a lifeboat to save someone else from drowning. She strongly believes that art is in everything, big and small and that we only need the unavoidable and insatiable hunger to find it. Her work has been earlier published in Alipore Post, Poems India, The Blahcksheep, Terribly Tiny Tales, and Indian Sahitya Akademi.

Featured image: Bruno Nascimento / Unsplash