Features

Illustration: Rame Abdulkader.


tiles tick by
how many panels
to count before my
tongue meets the air
waits
retreats
finds the pattern
and follows

cocoon
after
cocoon
layers to hold
the rocks on my shoulders
spikes in my throat
breath
after
breathafterbreathafterbreathafter
I splinter

my fractured cocoon
leaves no room for refuge
from the air
leaking into my chest
layer
upon
layer
I count, I build
nothing in or out
nothing borne of the world

fracture on fracture
under lock and key
and if they collapse
panel
by
panel
I wait, retreat, cocoon, collapse
wait.

Savannah Awde, Managing Editor.