Higher Power by Hawra’a Khalfan

Letter to my sixteen year old self:

Don’t let the world drag you down. Don’t let anybody tell you what you are and what you aren’t. Your mother spent years calling you beautiful, don’t let society tell you otherwise. No, she isn’t crazy. (And no, a donkey is not a gazelle in his mother’s eyes.) Moms aren’t blind, they just see the beauty in you that you haven’t learned to see yet. She’s building you up in a society that is dragging you down. You owe that woman your strength as a woman later on in life.  Continue reading

Voiceless by Hawra’a Khalfan

She opened her eyes to once again reunite with a world that she feels alien in. She opened her eyes with a suffocating passion towards something she can not control. She opens her eyes to find all the doors she saw in her dreams closed shut.

Forcing her already wrinkled thirty year old face into a smile. This is how I’m going to look all day. She repeated to herself, forcing an even wider smile. She almost climbed out of bed without giving him a kiss.  Continue reading

Jay by Hawra’a Khalfan

“I just woke up on the wrong side of the bed, you know?”

“Yes, go on…”

“Laa’- oh my god- I don’t know how to express this. I just woke up feeling like today something is going to change. I didn’t know what, though. It was one of those shuffle shuffle tap tap days, everything was normal, but I wasn’t. My brain wasn’t normal. One of the switches in my head was just turning fluorescent and pounding. You know? So when he yelled “Jassim, your orders are all wrong. What’s going on with you today, is everything okay with you?” That fluorescent switch erupted like Shiveluch on steroids. And I was just like yup – I’m done – that’s it. I’m fed up of all these broken promises to myself to leave this place. I’m fed up of all the maybe’s and the tomorrow’s. I want to feel free.   Continue reading

Terminal by Hawra’a Khalfan

I look up at the fluorescent lights; at the perfectly lined up squares covering the ceiling.  My eyes flirt with the smoke detector, as my mind wanders to a world where I have the health to light up a cigarette, and set it off.  Ironic, isn’t it? That when you can, you justify it.  But when it might possibly be the reason you’re in this mess to begin with; you don’t loathe it- but you loathe yourself for letting it slaughter you.

A smirk creeps onto my face abruptly.  Oh, the amount of people I may never have known if it wasn’t for it.  And as soon as my smirk settled; it fluttered off by her voice.  Continue reading

Seeds by Hawra’a Khalfan

The institute of education is now corrupt,
it has been refashioned
from something that was so pure-
from purely wanting to spread knowledge, and
to influence,
to nurture those who will be brilliant.
The institute of education has now become:
Do the minimum you can, to get a grade, which will tell you how smart you are.
Memorize words without understanding the depth behind them. Continue reading

“We loved with a love that was more than love.” by Hawra’a Khalfan

I feel your loss

I feel it oozing out of your being and devouring you entirely.

My kin,

I know.

Because we,

We loved with a love that was more than love.

Because we,

Donated our hearts, desires, thoughts, and dreams for them.

We surrendered to their tenderness

We surrendered to their compassion

We surrendered to our love for their love and so

we gave it all up to keep them.

It was never going to be enough and we knew that

But it was always worth trying.

Our now hollow bodies have lost both them, and ourselves.

I know how it is

to tell me of your sleepless nights in hospital rooms;

to tell me of your atrophy

And I feel you, blood.

I feel your words echoing on my insides.

I feel you because I too have lost

I too have had to build myself up.

I continue to cement together the atoms that make me up.

Inch upon inch I am now glued together in a mosaic of destruction

just waiting to collapse,

expecting the ultimate defeat.

You speak of his good deeds and

I wish to speak of hers, too.

I mourn for her with her every inhale and exhale.

I mourn for her every time I take a look at her smiling face.

I mourn for her even as she’s mouthing me the words

“I love you.”

Mountain by Hawra’a Khalfan

The first time the police drove me home I was eighteen years old. I couldn’t be at home anymore, I couldn’t breathe in that unswerving state. It didn’t matter how hard I inhaled, I was gasping empty breaths. I carried around a wrinkled old brown bag everywhere with me. I couldn’t even go to the bathroom without it. It was an extension to my being. The more wrinkled that bag got, the more I realized that this isn’t it for me. That’s when it all started. That’s when I realized I couldn’t live that life anymore. Continue reading