Salima decided hunger had gotten the best of her heart. She feared the thought of finding strength. Hunger fed her heart so, she craved it even in the light of her struggles. Good times were unpredictable and short-lived. Hunger was the beast she knew. Slipping in and out of herself, restless, confident, terrified, she’d blended with the beast, a shadow of herself. A hero and a pity. A shell to be shed. The inevitable was clear, one day soon, wasn’t soon enough. So she’d breathe and die wrapped around Hunger’s finger. She was victorious. She’d found a purpose she would die for.
What else is there to do but die hungry?
Living was a myth
Hope was for the dying
And as long as Salima had Hunger, she had something.
The beast she knew.
Better than a long, silent death, filled with Hope.
And still Hunger hadn’t tired of Salima
Her heart longed to be released
Her body, still in prime health, had betrayed her deepest wish- to die with the passing of Time
She felt abandoned for the first time in her existence.
Death had left her behind, in the care of Hunger, her devoted lover.
A devotion she despised.
And depended upon.
But there was something grabbing a hold of her spirit.
It was a light, dancing far off in the distance.She sat up, her back detaching from the tree trunk she’d called home.
Her knees cracked as she rose to kneel and lean forward to push herself off of the ground.
Her arms locked, holding her body still as the earth flipped, tossed and sprayed all around her.
And she remembered.
The cracking of the pillars that held up their house
When the wind blew too hard
And the sea forgot its bounds
Washing away her life
As she knew it
Her bed, as it floated away on the tides, carrying the last picture she had of her mother
The pantry that they could never fill, consumed by the sea’s waters in the blink of an eye
When she met Hunger
She wasn’t in love at first
She’d been convinced
That Hunger was all she had
But as she rose, her spine climbing itself, she remembered
She remembered her spine
As she rose, squaring her chest
Hunger faded away, a memory buried deep in the rubble she once called home
She squinted her eyes, hoping to get a glimpse of the light that had captured her spirit
She watched them tarry away, and the blood rushing to her feet
Lifting and stamping each one on the ground, rhythmically, she regained full strength
She had to catch up to her spirit
She sought and created…
(Photo Credit: Joshua Keating)
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