At the aroma of breakfast

Art by Malak Mattar

A rope pulls tightly around my neck.
My lungs gasp for a breath of air.
My mind fights the closing darkness.
My heart races wildly.

Just one more minute,
and I will be happy there!
Money won’t be an issue.
No one will stab me in the back.
No one will whisper behind my back.
No one will hate me,
or make me despise myself.
No one will blame me for their mistakes.
No more tears will wet my face.
I will be happy there.

My eyes close tightly.
My hands shake.
My weight pulls me down,
to the end of my story.
Happy moments flood my memory—
But will I be happy? Will I be happy there?
Will my troubles fade away?
A sudden, desperate breath.

I wake up with a jolt
to the voices of my mother and little sister,
as the aroma of falafel fills the air.


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Mentor: Kevin Hadduck

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