Birth by Shahd AlShammari

I remember our first firsts

And that day you said “I can’t love you” as easily as you said hello.

And I echoed that love was just another way teenagers labeled the bulges in their trousers and the spilled secrets under their t-shirts 

I do not love you (because that’s what you need to hear)

But I fell in love with you with the same intensity I fell in love with Bronte and Plath.

Those two madwomen bled life through me (and others, I know)

Just like you, you with your Inconsistency, one day breathing and the other bleeding into me.

You have a way with perfecting the plot- just like my dead writers.

You build me up and that makes me want to travel halfway across the world, just to kiss your vocal chords.

But you break me when you say “I can’t love you, because there’s no life here, only Death.”


You say you are dead inside. That sentence stretches across my brain corners,

And I find the solution: that heart of yours must shed layers for me.

We put our hands together, my love and your patience, and sculpted you a new heart.

It beat slowly, tentatively at first.

I glued my head to your chest and heard it’s first rhythmless beats.

And as I looked up into your eyes, they held me in place and asked me to stay.

This time, a new you was born

I have missed this you since day one.


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