Creative The Love Issue

Poem: 23 Days

“you polluted my heart”

By Laila Mostafa

Image: Shutterstock.

your last words,

they burned right through me,

you said, “I don’t love you anymore,”

but how could that be?

the memories, the photographs,

did they fade away?

were they all gone like the half-lit cigarette you smoked that day?

in the heat of it all,

you left me confused,

I didn’t understand,

was I the fuel?

I took a deep breath,

and hacked it all out,

I didn’t think much of them,

but, later, I understood my doubts,

I saw your smoke,

how it clouded my judgement,

but I tucked my concerns away,

I guess I was too excited about the engagement,

I saw your fire,

how it ignited my passion,

but you polluted my heart,

all with your possessive and controlling actions,

you loved me into hating myself,

becoming someone I’m not,

but I’m glad I found out,

what was it, twenty three days before we tied the knot?

could you have imagined it?

a full-blown wedding crumbling to dust,

of course you could, but that’s okay,

it’s going to be easy to adjust,

you cannot control me anymore,

or tell me how to think,

you thought you had the keys,

well, guess who’s back in the driver’s seat?

I cannot help but thank you, though,

because I did learn a lot,

I guess, in a way,

I won, but you certainly did not,

what’s the prize, you ask?

that would be me,

a hidden treasure,

wouldn’t you agree?

the burns, the scars,

they don’t bother me anymore,

wanna know why?

because you made me explore,

explore what, you ask?

myself and my heart,

and you know what?

I’m off to a great start,

I’ve got a fresh canvas,

and a clean slate,

I feel so much stronger,

now that I’ve no longer got you on my plate,

you didn’t realize,

but you were heavy,

you’re the man I once idealized,

but if you were, how could I have forgotten you already?

I must thank you again,

because I feel great,

you should be proud, too,

for I am the strong woman you helped create


Laila Mostafa is an Egyptian writer and a literature student at the American University of Sharjah. Her passions include arts and culture, theatre and contemporary literature. She is currently interning at Sekka.

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