Collaboration by Kamanha and Merriam AlFuhaid

Vicious Circle

Kamanha

Merriam

When I first got a glimpse

Of his dark, intense, eyes

His long, bohemian hair

Framing those dramatic lines falling from his lips

I thought to myself: 

Wow.

What a weirdo.

I said, “Hello.

Nice to meet you.

Where are you from?”

Just to be polite

But to my surprise the freak replied:

 

Haven’t you ever wondered where things went when they say, “Things went south?” That’s where I come from

The landfill filled with mannequins, inadequate hard shells synonymous with the living dead and hazardous unchastened ones

And must I add that myriad suns shine on us there but we –the aghast souls- do dare bask in the darkest masquerade of mesonoxian cries

There we are fueled with adversity encompassed by and married to misery and curse he who tries to defy the sleepless eye of the covenant of lies

You may call where I come from “The Dispenser of Distaste” or “The Disposal of Repose”

“The Broken Memory of a Place That Once Was” or whatever unacceptable name you’d so substantially oppose

I had so many fingers pointed at me in vindication of fought wars and revocation of so-called concord

So what if I got one more of those gnaws and what if I am thought of as every story’s villain? Or perhaps this conversation’s moron?

 

And that’s when I realized

Speaking and making sense

Have nothing in common.

I’m an understanding, open-minded kind of girl

But this…

Well, my motto is love thy neighbor

And because I believe in consistency

If you bought the house next door to me

I’d move.

That’s what I thought to myself

But what I said was:

“I’ve never heard of it,

But it sounds like a lovely place to grow up.”

 

Lovely? Did you even hear me? In case you are serious then maybe I should take an easier approach than the one I took.

Look…I came from a land where I used to gallivant in demand of someone who would understand where I stand before it all

Started by the slaps of my mother’s hand after which I realized the amount of innocence drained from me

In the reflection of my pathological mirror, I saw and still can see what I lost to sophistry and what I have yet to lose

Impoverished of sentiment and abused by the vicissitudes of this bruise

A scar-to-be–at that time–and it indeed came to be inevitably, I’m the one awful friend your parents told you not to see

A permanent imprint of a hand on my face has sycophantically sealed my fate for me

I was given a hand to be a failed prototype of what I was going to but never got to be

If all this constitutes “lovely” maybe you shouldn’t start a family

You’re not going to be so motherly, as I can clearly see.

 

I’m not going to be so motherly?

How dare you judge me

Like you know me

Like you know one thing about me

You’re the one who fled and failed

To walk along adulthood’s trail

Rejecting any discipline

Doled out from your parents’ hands

Instead you cling to weak excuses

Tell tall tales of past abuses

Act like you were doomed to lose

Since you were spanked once in your youth.

This pain—

What pain?

The pain I’m trying to contain while my spirit remains bloodied massacred and in chains

Don’t complain about chains when you’ve cast them all away

But scars still stay the same

Would it still be a scar if it had a different name?

So, I’m melodramatic YOU viciously claim?

The question is, why aren’t you ashamed?

Am I to be blamed? Would you put on my shoes and go to the place from which I came?

You don’t know what I’m talking about so don’t act like you know anything about my impalpable bane.

Don’t act like I cannot relate

When I wouldn’t be myself today

If I had not been raised the exact same way.

Then you might remember when you were looking up to the same figure’s hand that connected with your face

Undressed of your utopia of a vouchsafing parent, on sabbatical waste of shame and pieces of broken trust misplaced

Figments of your pride aligned on your surface and formed a mask of askance as in how to smile politely instead of talking back

Fades to black every hope you had in having a right to sulk and ask why you were attacked and why would you deserve such an impact

 

Me and you…we are two pieces of nice and neat laces on tiny filthy shoes

Once attained this uloid bruise, we are tied too tight on adulthood’s feet all confused

Your parents slowly lose grip of you and they have no clue that you have been awakened from your childhood snooze

And now you’re cut loose and dragged across those trails you speak of but you refuse to admit that it all made a misused fabric out of you

 

You’re no better than me, and if you had a son or daughter don’t make this the future he or she will have to meet

This vicious circle is way too wide but who’s to say that you can’t sever it from right here?

I want to be the place my children can call home not someone they stay on the streets to avoid seeing

I know you’ve cried many tears and I’m sorry. But, do you really want the same cataract to be paved on your child’s cheek?

 

And then I felt words I couldn’t quite say

That yes, there were days when his rage

Was a little bit louder

And his slaps were a little bit stronger

And I couldn’t help but wonder

If sewing is for women like they always say

Then why is there a patchwork quilt across my face?

I cannot pretend I never cried.

But I didn’t breathe a word of this to him.

I simply said goodbye.

Now I stand by the bathroom door

A powder mesh holding back my flush

Wondering, can I bear to take my makeup off?

Or will my fingertips rip my skin

Will my blood pour out in poison trails

Staining me a hypocrite

If I dare to look within?

Will I do it again?

Or will this be the one and only time

I went too far?

Can I clip my claws before my hands are trapped as instruments of harm

Stuck strumming chords of pain

In endless repetition

In blind composition of misery and shame?

I look down at my son’s face

At the blackened place where I slapped him earlier today.

I know my sanity has been eroded by denial

That to others my promises must weigh less

Than the sullied air I exhale

But if excuses are my currency

Then bankruptcy is my new reality

Leaving me with just a sense of urgency

Compelling me

To swear to God and cross my heart

That this bruise will never, ever

Become a scar.

 

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