Leen Mbarak

Edition December 2020

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Photo credit: Vinicius Muller


By Leen Mbarak

Floating limbs floating mind

Withered soul, crimson sky

Painted waves breaking over me

Over sea, under sea, eyes facing the heavenly

Hot against my skin, paper thin, peeling off painfully

Pain for me, unhindered internally

Eyes up, eyes up searching desperately

Blurry blurry fluid in the sockets mixing with the boiling sea

Rage rage waves break but no fire warming me

Numb and cold yet I float, hundred salt, bitter mold

Bitter breath, sour soul, paint on canvas over wood but under soil

Beauty of a smooth stone housing bone, housing brick,

Broken sticks fixing me, straightening my entity, holding me up-holding their expectations, anticipation to fall apart to part from them only partially

Just to breathe from under dirt, stacks of hurt Buried 6 feet near the core being dug with a bent spoon

Shriveled prune, in a grave, under the Midday moon

Too soon, too soon, gone with the waves, after noon

Of headaches, lone, aching bone

And here I float in burning water but no water melting rock, hard, unmoved, rough skin not scarred

Corrosion of life forming me, forcing me into conformity

This scarecrow is the product of their pressure and I am but fabric held on stick

Stick-Stuck inside the 4 by 4 walls sticking to the  paper rules on every wall

And the mirror with broken shards stabbing the reflection in the frame

Flame, flame! Flame on skin

I float on flame, insane, in pain, fish feeding on me, on what remains

Of me at sea, out of sight, out of reach, out of mind, out of hope, out of love, out of rope

To pull me back to the shore of normalcy,

Normally, I’d have swam back to my sanity

But I find that in my mind,

No sanity is left for me

Left of me, in the ocean, right of sea

East wind, homesick sailer swimming in their own melancholy

No compass in hand, no future planned

Mind unmanned, disobeying command,

I drifted willfully, will not fulfill their destiny

Floating limbs, drowning heart

Cannot stand on burning sand

Cannot float in boiling sea

Cannot sit, Cannot stand,

Cannot stand

The life of me.

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