Writer: Shahi Ezz Eldin
Editor: Khaled Mohamed
Waking up overdue
He put on his slippers of remorse
Dragging his heels
Down the shallow oaken staircase
With a frequent death wish
On the sleek crimson Porsche
Downstairs, on an ottoman tray
Lay his breakfast: toast and avocado
Or were they cigarettes
The Winston pack of yesterday?
No wonder he always smelt like tobacco
But with every spray of his stigma scented perfume
The odor faded away
Was it the jaguar man classic regret
Or the Hugo boss penitence day?
He wore black shield sunglasses,
To cover his blood shot eyes;
But the UV rays could never penetrate
Eyelids where sorrows bide
Though still hung over from yesterday’s martini,
He went to buy some shots
Could never stay sober for a night;
The demons would eat him up.
Tilted his head back
And took his first shot
The burning liquor down his throat
Made the haunting voices wake up
Whispering in his ears persistently:
“it’s your fault they were all shot,
it’s your fault you’re still breathing,
it’s your fault they’re all not. ‘’
Consumed by these inner echoes
Chipping at what was left of his soul
He was stuck in reverse
And his heart was sore
From all the hurtful nouns
That bore a hole in his chest
Our knight tumbled down
Crestfallen to the core
Crawling up to his head,
They shaved his golden mane
Our man, once a lion
Has now forgotten his name
And by his own hands he started carving
The sympathy into guilt
The living into existing
The buoyant life into a routine.
Was for so long
Trapped in a state of trance
A war of sin, from which he couldn’t retreat.
During the mass shooting
Fear swallowed our man’s voice
Screams barged their way from his heart
And got tangled in his throat
More than the nicotine ever did
It was by then he started smoking
To blur his lungs enough
Thinking that by every cough the memory of the event would fade
But the tremors remained
Especially the ones in his vocal cords
Believing their blood was on his hands
He tried cutting
And before everything went black
All he could see was red
He then woke up in a Johnny gown
In a hospital colored white
Then asked himself
“Why didn’t I die then?
Hell, why not now?
Why the hell is life holding on to me?
It seems to have some sort of vow
That whenever I want to let go of her,
She holds on even tighter.
God, when will this nightmare be over?
I have to blur these thoughts I’m having.
Nurse, could you lend me a lighter?”
Little did he know
His fate wasn’t his to decide
Little did he know
He’d go on another dreadful tide
That life wouldn’t be all ebbs
Nor all merry go rides
That even as dull as the moon in its first phases
The sun will rise
Illuminating the dark shadows of his trauma
Abolishing his guilt
He will finally live life to its fullest
With all his dreams fulfilled
The demons won’t be sabotaging his paintings
They’re all caged well in the back of his mind
Behind the solid walls he himself built
Sorrows no longer bide.
For this is the story
Where the shades of the palette get brighter
Our man is the art
As well as the artist
And for the first time in so long
He won’t be needing that lighter.