Artwork by Tamara Nasr @tamara_nasr

With doors slammed shut 

And secrets roaming the corridors, 

No demons or devils can escape this broken frame

Because the walls know too much,

They have seen too much.

The household is no longer holding it together 

It breaks down in bits and pieces, 

And wails of righteous mistakes.

When our hearts became too shattered to clatter at rock bottom

When we ran out of beloved people to break, 

We ruined the things we loved,

Like the moon lamp I used to keep on my bedside table:

Hurled it one night across the room straight to the cold, tiled wall,

Too jealous of its internal light –

Like the green water bottle she smashed to the ground one evening,

And a bunch of “I’m sorry”s that she expected would keep me hydrated.

Staying under one roof doesn’t necessarily translate to home;

It can sometimes mean that the world ends way before it actually does;

It spirals away slowly into the abyss

Fight by fight

Heartbreak by heartbreak

Family by family

Till it turns to a black hole,




Feeding on leftover dreams and hopes

Of building a new household one day.

On the outside I am a rope

Keeping this rocking boat at bay.

On the inside I am a thread

In dire need of a life jacket myself.

Just like a small piece of wood can 

Clog a hole,

The youngest child becomes a dam, 

stopping the flood,

rescuing the boat.

But some floods are inevitable, 

And so the guilt washes over the shore. 

Skyscrapers stand on my back   

As the shame, and blame tower over the fame

And turn me into a city I do not want to reside in:

here the water runs over 

And the electricity wires hug 

attached and lethal;

The city reeks of their forbidden love. 

The buildings fall down floor by floor,

And the tenants frantically run around 

on glass, wood, and aluminum shards;

Any escape is a good one

In a household that is falling apart 

With children parenting the parents

And parents sinning like they’re teens,

Living in their own heads and on their own terms.

They put on a public show

As the happy little family

And I was never quite the actress,

So I cast out the outrage on mute.

I wonder how many more broken ornaments we will have to clean up before they stop selling fractured smiles.

I wonder how many more poems I will have to write 

About mothers and monsters 

About being homeless in a house

About a cry out for help

Before the help becomes yet another reason to cry – 

How many more poems will they dismiss as 

Just poems. 

When the vow of “til death do us apart” 

Is taken too seriously, 

We all secretly wish to die.

How does a household 

Hold on for a little bit more life?

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