Ink by Hawra’a Khalfan

“Guard your heart”

“Guard your heart”

With fists and spikes

Tell myself to guard, guard, guard. 



I melt into pieces,

Small and priceless,

From your simplest glance.


In your case my spikes are blunt,

And fists are tender as a feather’s touch.


Using all my effort to

Push and shove you

Stay away from my,

Stay away from this

Cardiac muscle.


Leave it be, to pump

But love, not.

Never, love.


I rinse and repeat,

Try to shove you,

To break you,

To just yell “Stay away!”

And build walls all around my heart.

Despite my ongoing failure,

Quit, I will not.

Even more though, I try to erase you,

But you’re an ink stain on the blank white page that is my life.


Eventually I know that the ink will sink in and I will end up

Welcoming you to these bloodstained walls,

Welcoming you inside this restless muscle,

Your new home—

It will remain.

I will not quit rebuilding these walls though,

So give me no reason to mistrust you.

And I’ll welcome you today and tomorrow,

My love.

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