Illustration: Rame Abdulkader.
Reading Time: < 1 minute

if you pick up the phone
i will tell you that
to know a woman
is a privilege,
and not a right.

i gave you the privilege of myself.
in turn,
you taught me regret.

you taught me that
i didn’t exist without you.

ever since you left the city
i drink i dance i do what i want.
i dive headfirst into the dark pool of the night.
i don’t come up for air;
you made me good at holding my breath.

i don’t think about you,
i think about her.
i wonder if she’s bending to your will.
i wonder if her back aches like mine.

i just called to say
that i have nothing to say.
that i have nothing.

that i am going to take it all back from you.

i am not grateful for any of it.
but i thank you
for telling people who you are.


Julia D’Silva, second-year conflict studies.