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

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

Khaled Al-Ostath | 09-10-2019


Once upon a time, I used to be happy. Past tense, you know? And that sucks. Depression is not something you can see or touch; you only feel it eating at you from the inside. No matter how hard you try to rid yourself of it, depression creeps back like a shadow. This poem is a conversation between my conscious and unconscious at night. My conscious mind is willing to give life a chance, but my unconscious urges me to give up. My “two halves” pull in opposite directions, as if my brain has both a narrator and a navigator, and they have entirely different ideas and intentions. This might not be just a poem, but also a late-night confession.

“Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.” Carl Jung


Was that you?
I have never been there. 
Where? I ask, and I hear an echo.
I am lost in blackness,
or is it the abyss?
Which one is worse?
I sense my words floating.

It’s cold as I touch my absence.
I feel it in my bones.
I question myself,
Was that you?
There is no answer.
It’s just nothingness, I tell myself.

 I am all alone
and God is not here.
Does He take a break at night?
Has He ever been in this abyss? 

I ask myself, Was that you?
I feel nothing as I drown in the words.
I am lost far from home.
When will you be home?

Home is over five thousand miles away.
Take me home,
but will you wait for me?
Will you wait for my return?

There is a sea in me.
I am sinking in its darkness
and my head is pounding. 
It doesn’t hurt, I think.
I begin to fall
farther and farther to nowhere
until I am swallowed.

Was that me? I asked.   
Were you here? I cried.
But I find a void
as I realize
I have lost myself.    


Posted: October 8, 2019

Mentor: Zeina Azzam

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