Seizing

06:15

 


I only asked that we pray together. Because I don’t know what else we can do. I leave the house feeling unsafe. Worse off, when I see you leave, because I don’t know if you’ll come back. It has been like this for a while; the gunshots late at night, the jostling, and the sounds of feet slapping hard on the pavement. The swearing. Sometimes the sirens. It became routine. But now it’s different. Jackie’s son is gone. Tamar's daughter is gone.  I don’t want to lose you too. Because I am deathly afraid. The protests come; I know you went. You were angry that I didn’t go with you. But I don’t think you understand how I feel; how dead I am inside, and how I desperately –everyday—I try to light a fire in me; to have hope. I tell myself have hope. Tomorrow will be better. Tomorrow it’ll get better. One day you will smile again. I don’t know what else to do. I don’t know what else to believe. I don’t even know if there’s anyone on the other side of my prayers. It feels cold everywhere. Just death everywhere. Hurt everywhere. And the tears don’t stop. And the anger won’t stop. And the sadness burrows deeper and deeper….I’m just fighting to keep mine from taking root. But it’s late…too late for you. You’re like a stone, a rugged boulder covered with fissures and sediment and sharp rocks…I can’t touch you. I don’t know why I asked that we pray. I had hoped…I could get you back…make you soft again…hurt less…pain less…cry less…

Just don’t leave. Stay a little longer. Let’s hope a little longer, believe a little longer. In what?  Someone will come for us. Someone will come…maybe they will come…they have to come… How are we ever gonna not hurt if no one comes….

 

Please stay. Let’s pray. My voice is hoarse. My chest is heavy.And empty. And full. And painful. It hurts to breathe. But let’s say something. Anything. Maybe someone will hear. Maybe someone will send help. Maybe one day we will smile again. Hope again. Believe again.  Maybe one day we will live again.

***

Chenai Mbanga

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