Zeena Abbas

devastation is on its way

this much i have always known.
and you have too, haven't you?
matchstick girl, mercurial mouth,
you know these are the makings of
or death as we know it:
the kind that cools into your body,
an electric splinter hemorrhage.
we used to fear it once, i think
(but i'm not sure)
when we existed in the spaces between
things happening,
when time was ample and warm and
tasted like a mouthful of blood.
sometimes i think about what i'd see
if i looked into the past —
us, different but still
us, paralyzed by tendrils of longing,
held in place like the ocean tethering
itself to land,
like man tethering himself to damnation.
us from ages ago,
when our bodies were baptized by sunlight
that didn't feel cruel and miserable,
when our breaths blossomed
instead of staggering,
instead of stopping midway,
saying this is enough.
do you recognise us now?
when we've shed inhibition like a second skin,
made a home out of fear's sharp teeth,
her wanton growling.
i don't know how much of me is me
and how much of you is you,
but i know some things well:
your feathery touch rooting us to our makeshift home,
i know the music that wakes us up from
these half-alive states and shakes us anew,
i know there are always more reasons to not do
i know we won't always see the same shapes in the bathroom tiles,
i know that i forgive myself for everything.
devastation is on its way
(but i know)
we could die right now and it would be beautiful.