I speak in a language

Only doctors understand

My letters melting

Into each other

In one confused scribble

On a prescription pad


My heart bleeds

Where my mouth speaks

And my tears wash

The blood away


I have not drowned,

I remind myself


But I wake up

To the sound of waves

Crashing in my flooded lungs

And my lips tear apart

For air

Maybe a scream



Nothing changes



Before I speak

I gargle my words

Counting to thirty


For my body to swallow them

Before they’re heard


You all cut off your ears

Hold them out to me

Blood dripping

From your absent hands


Ready to listen

Only when I have lost my voice

Lost it to all the years spent



Weighing me

Against your pain

Measuring me

By how many nights I have not slept

Teaching me

Sadness is weakness

And tears are defeat


Holding your ignorance

Holding your fear

But not holding me


Depression manuals

Anxiety guides

Dictionaries in one hand

Pills in another


Translating emotion into science


You will get strong,

They say



I already am.


Copyright notice:

© Zeinab Hassan Fawaz and Broken Dolls, 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.


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