Palestinian youth tell the human stories behind the numbers in the news

Palestinian youth tell the human stories behind the numbers in the news

A letter to God, from lockdown

Basman Derawi | 26-07-2020

Painting by Jawad Ibrahim

Hello, God.
How are you today?
I don’t know what day
of the global lockdown it is.
Here, we are always
in lockdown.
News swirls in the rumor mill
that is social media:
Young people committing suicide.
Not just one, but five.

I swallow my sour saliva
and try to hold on to what I believe.
I want to die, but I want to live first:
out of prison, in a place where  
I can move freely,
light is not a privilege
and hope is realistic.

I hate counting time.
I escaped once,
to the capitals in my dreams.
I miss the crowded airports,
the mix of languages,
the swirl of cultures:
freedom.

Now, I try to figure out new ways,
new hobbies to keep the demons
from scampering through my brain.
I read, watch movies;
My favorites are Life Without Limits
and Freedom Writers.
A common theme.

Today, I close my eyes
and try to imagine:
I am at a music concert;
Adele sings Rolling in the Deep:
There's a fire starting in my heart
Reaching a fever pitch
and it's bringing out the dark.

Now, I am sitting at a restaurant in Paris
with Rihanna
in front of the Eiffel tower.
We dance together in the street
and end up kissing.

But dreaming only takes me so far.
I clean the house with my mom,
and help her cook maklouba and musakhan.
I go for a walk with my friends,
sitting on the beach
gossiping and laughing.

Permeant lockdown teaches me
to appreciate little things.
Yet the demons are never far away,
waiting to awaken.

 

Posted: July 26, 2020

Mentor: Pam Bailey


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