What I Lost, What I Gave: a poem

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What I Lost, What I Gave: a poem

By RUAA LABANIEH
Staff Writer

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Illustrated by Ruaa Labanieh

She, the friendly thief, craftily stole what I artlessly thought was all mine.

She, the scheming thief, had two hands which were shamelessly rough with competition and strong with greed,
which were beautified by the harsh red of henna and the hoax of solicitousness.
They always grabbed at my finite paraphernalia.

She, the thief, demanded, anguished, for my retribution.
I still give mercy.

He, the monster I accepted, grabbed my miscalculating ankles from underneath my bed, taking away my little protection and security.

He, the monster whose forever-dependent shadow appeasingly disappeared and reappeared, snared my child-like attention as he selfishly drank himself to a satisfying finish in my own closet, possessing the very things that touch my body.

He, the monster, longingly and achingly breathes for my discourtesy.
I give honor.

They, who frightened me, had high-pitched subtly stabbing opened mouths, sharp teeth, and poison tongues.

They, who played with me, a marionette, yanked the string around my throat.
My legs jerked to cater, my arms were thrown up to serve at the beck and call of others.
Then, my head hung as I swung back and forth as it craned to see what was left of the captivating play.

I, the desperate, with white-knuckles and blue lips, grasped the marble edges of the beckoning, persuasive, coquettish death at the eleventh-hour
and, with a cry of do-or-die, pulled myself out of his benign ruination.

I, the desperate, uncurled the quivering fingers of sweet oblivion from the blotted, blemished, sheeted, transparent soul.

I, the desperate, screamed delicately, almost silently, for my vanity.
I gave love.
I gave.

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