death

11

Diary of a Syrian Refugee

March 18, 2012 The noise of the fighting on the other side of the border has started up again, more a groaning clatter sputtering incessantly than the distant hum we have become used to. The fighting has drawn closer. The sound has been unbearable. The music of the rain and the deafening roar of thunder like a drum roll before a curtain call that has engulfed us. Jaddati says this rain is a blessing. I suppose I would have enjoyed it if it weren’t so cold. The rains have...

0

The Hourglass

How I longed to live in those moments that passed. Though stationary I sat, inside I was going fast. For I was an hourglass of trickling sand, Whose final hour ended when I fell from your hand. There were rough days of constant turning And all the while I was earnestly yearning. That for a little bit longer, things should be the same, But soon enough, I was upside down again. Some days it all went so pleasantly slow, Like sand sifting gently from my head to my toes....

4

Shift in Gear

Death. We hear the word so frequently that it’s become almost meaningless. We see it on the news when we read about suicides, murders, and accidents. We see it in movies and even throw it around as a joke. But how often does the prospect of death truly cross our minds? We walk around thinking we’re invincible. We play, laugh, and plan for our future as if we’re guaranteed a future. We speak about tomorrow and what we’re going to accomplish, but we fail to realize that tomorrow might never...

3

Not Her Cup of Tea: Part I

Trudging through the sodden dirt-path, the permanent frown on Amaan’s face deepened as she lost herself in thought. The mud streaked her tattered sneakers and seeped through the splitting seams. Squelch. She could feel the wetness inside her shoes. Now her socks were soaked too. She pulled the thick sweaters around her shoulders tighter, hugging her arms close. Amaan had always assumed the horrible stories about kids losing their families were simply melodramatic tales, used to frighten more well-off children into being thankful. Amaan had also thought that these...

12

The Taste of Death

What if your day had arrived? Imagine if your entire life was a lie. Assess yourself as your sins flash by; You’re wasting your youth and you don’t know why. Tears flow, but there’s no time left to cry – You’ve got one last breath, one last sigh. The Angel of Death has come too soon; He snatches your soul with a startling boom. In an instant, you know that you are doomed. “Kullu nafsin dhaa iqatul maut. Thumma ilayna tur ja’oon.” He warned you, He warned you; did...

17

Invisible Fetters

It was fifteen minutes to midnight and sleep was the last thing on my mind. I lazily scrolled through the news feed on my Facebook account before logging out. Suddenly, something caught my attention. My heart skipped a beat and my fingers went numb. “It can’t be… But how?” I whispered to myself. Yet there it was, right before my eyes. Involuntarily, tears began to well up in my eyes. Vague memories of the past flashed before me. I saw him – a tall, dark brown figure, with spectacles...

35

Haunting Past

Intisar shut down her laptop, picked up her jacket and tucked a stray wisp of curly brown hair into her scarf. Picking up her bag, she walked to the door of her office and shut the light as she left. “Leaving for the day, boss?” said a young writer Intisar recognized as Julia. “Yes, Julia. When are you heading home?” “Oh, not for a while. You assigned me that that story about the Richardson house, remember? Deadline’s next week.” “Oh, yes! How is that coming?” “Pretty good, actually. I...

12

Deathly Reminders

I saw death coming right in front of me, and all I felt was fear. What will happen when it comes for me? Or you? * * * She lay there, weak, taking the last breaths of her life. Her lungs were suffering to exchange oxygen, her body emaciated due to weight loss. Her hair was gone, leaving only a few strands, and her eyes were shut, as she escaped in her own mind. I was thinking of how her soul would rise from her body, and prayed it...

11

The Birth of Death

I had just dropped my sisters off at madrassah – the mosque school – and was heading home. The sun was finally calling it a day, decorating the sky with a glorious mix of orange and pink. It was raining lightly, my windscreen wipers wiping tiny specks of water away as I drove on. I watched as young children walked towards the madrassah, dressed in small abayas and thobes, carrying their bags and clutching Qur’ans tightly to their chests. For them it was another evening to understand God’s message....

8

Painting Time

I’m wasting colours, painting time, Throwing the pen in the air, Slicing okra in the orange-faded Kitchen, watching the thirds tessellate Like broken stencils in the colander. The metal fades, so I drag the blinds And unscroll the curtains to see rain Slipping down the windows. The Song? Tapestries of water Drops, puddles, oceans, casting lullabies, I try to follow – but my voice dies, They whisper the tune until I forget. Everything turns to dust: I can tell you I will, not when, There are shapes in the shadows,...