Dear Words,

I am writing through you to you because
you are the only things that are capable of making a poet
fall to her knees –
and I
don’t claim to be a poet
in a way
Wordsworth or Plath
would approve of,
but my knees are scuffed and bloody for you,
and because of you.
     Words, I found you in the darkness
when all I needed was something to
sink my teeth into, when all I wanted
was something to dig my nails
in night after night

but you clogged my arteries,
and you traveled up my spine like chills;

tugging at the very fibers of my existence,
and you made sure to seduce me when
all I had
to pride myself with was my
independence –
when I was the queen of avoiding attachment
to strings that dangled so persistently before my eyes,
and yet I soon found your threads
forming webs all over and around me,
claiming me victim,
claiming the start of a one-sided
addiction and dependency.
My dear words, all you desired was to
seep out
of my ink-blotted pores and into these
beautiful and naked
pages of books I called my second skin –
and all I wanted was to keep you inside me,
to keep you rolling over and under my tongue,
until I memorized the way you tasted,
until I could confidently say
I knew you well.
But these gracious pieces of paper were
always more than just silent leaves
where I left you to rest;

they were crime scenes.

They were incriminating evidence of nights I laid my body atop
these notebooks and was stabbed by the need to
exorcise these phrases from my soul until
I bled black ink
in the shape of letters.
But you shaped me unsatisfied
and you stabbed me only when you pleased,
and you promised me solace
each time, but you always just left me there
on my knees.
on the floor
with remnants of the alphabet
under my nails and unworded stories hiding
under my bones. Every time I tried to breathe them
out and pull them into the light,
I always found more of you than I originally anticipated.

Like ribbons from a clown’s lips,

I could never guess the colors or
the damage you’ll do or undo to me.
But you keep leaving me with eyes like
neon signs screaming

 “This is not enough; this is never enough”.

Always wanting more;
always needing that one last verse or that
one last stanza to complete me. Some twisted
love affair we’ve had, you made me whole only
to make me feel more hollow.  I’ve always been fascinated at how
that intense and electrifying sense of ecstasy
you bestow so generously upon me
flees away so hastily before I can fully drink it down.
But I’ll still ask you to keep driving me to insanity,
words – I will beg of you.
Because, my words, you’ll always find a way to
make me sane again.

If only for a little while.

Forever your lover,
forever your obedient slave,



One thought on “Letter

  1. Oh me, oh my.
    I should have guessed that you wrote this from the beginning, Hala!

    I was so entranced by the smooth successiveness of (teeth-clenchingly harsh) imagery & gracefully irregular ebb and flow in progression that I forgot that I was even reading, and was instead staring at what you’d managed to paint for your readers in words!

    To be fair, there were a couple of phrases that I’d found underwhelming, though I’ll be sharing those with you privately. :D

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