What was it like before I got here?
Before I cracked the doorway
In your ribcage & set free your heart? -Eve to Adam


Don't spit my name.
The only reason
You need to carry a
Man's name on your own
Is because,
The land that
Bore you,
Let you live,
9 months, rent-free under its roof
Does not need a reminder
To love you.
Or forgive you
When you plant hate in your new home. -Eve to Cain


You claim I took the first bite
And you,
Poor and infatuated as you were
Misguidedly followed
So why is it
You say I am half-witted?
Why is it you break my spirit,
Put a sock in your heart's mouth
Then claim,
God made me to follow,
And you, to lead? -Eve to Adam; Apple Side-r


At least when I do something
I do not wear God
Or religion, or Patriotism,
On my tongue
To carry the guilt
That would stain my conscience. -Lucifer/ابليس

text // shahd fadlalmoula
art // eman aleghfeli





12. // REEM

the guilt is a ribbon noose today, what can i do? where can i go? i don't have the energy to walk out, i want to, but i'm too tired, i just walked out so many times already, walked my heart dead. take a questionable pill and lay there, i guess.


i am falling out of my eyes into my mouth because i can only utter what i haven't seen, i can only touch the faces of the mentally unstable, of the emotionally forgotten.


you are no longer a simple human being waiting for the right time to meet another simple human being to start a simple bourgeois family smiling at the risk of pissing everyone off with your beige behaviour, NO - you are not that. you are my chosen page out of a simplistic russian novel, trained in jewels and makeshift. always.


all the reasons to take my shoes from that car and run as fast as my heart will take me through the dead asphalt (roaring engines in our faces & security guards always tip-toeing to hear about our love stories).

11. // REEM

do you ever feel like you've lost the ability to read? even the simplest of things? again. I look for him. I know how to cry really well. I said I'd learn how to die soon. but it's tricky. I never meant to hurt anyone but myself. I know I have a sharp tongue and millions of half-eaten thoughts shooting across my head. but I also know that I'm delicate (and all I want is not to be.) the first position is learning how to tell the truth again, the second sexual position is convincing your brain of your gentleness, the third is never looking your therapist in the eye because she'll know what you're thinking.


I like being alone when it feels that someone, someday, will walk into my room and engage me in ridiculous conversation and extreme images to provoke my nerves out of their slumber. I like ups and downs. I don't know how to be one thing for a long time.


how can I let go of this insane stability and give in to my well-dressed demons?


I want his entire world to close into mine. and then I want us to die. but I can't tell him these things because they don't make sense; he always needs something more practical out of my mouth.


I put a string of daisies around my head like some sort of primal being and danced for the world to see my issues roll out of my system.


The following are short – very short – stories written about the world and the lives within it.

They had only shared thirteen glances, one every month. Their thirteenth was on their birthday. The day of their Universe.

The stars are born to embrace her eyes. The gods plant her soul in ancient lands of flowers and amnesia. No one remembers.

The cries of child, of mother, of man lost in the lands of the dead. They travel around the sun in perfect carelessness.

The toothpaste oozed desperately onto my skin, longing for the calcium flesh of teeth. An unforgettable French kiss.

Red lipstick smeared on the white pillow sleeping below the bed. She had married the perfect cotton.

When the train blew up and the bachelor died screaming her name, that’s when she woke up from her coma. She laughs.

They followed lions in the forest of love. A butterfly takes its last leap into their nets, dying forever. Genocide.

The taste of their freshly baked love, immortal. The music of their passionate symphony infinitely alive. They breathe.

Pressing ‘delete’ wasn’t enough. His memory like cancer reaps her neurons. His words carved on her spine. Keyboards fail.

“Shoot the bastard,” she shouts. My hands, paralyzed, humiliate me. I no longer hold a gun. I only imagine her shouts; my shots.

We survive on one thing. Meat, desire, and power. Three phases of a single moon.

A drunkard met the Grim Reaper hoping to dissuade him from taking his wife. The Reaper shared a drink, kissed his wife.

Bare legs. Naked eyes. Hollow hearts. Bleeding noses. They dream of becoming; damned to the human body. They pray in shards.

“If I die tonight, burn my body,” she said. “I will set fire to myself and hug you,” she replied. They lived aflame.

They painted themselves in red and danced in the street. They were called love and strawberries. They were fire nebulae.

It is an outrage. They killed three girls every night, shaving their red hair and braiding it; beautiful. It is absolution.

They promised to stop lying in the morning. The sun rose. They rose. They surrendered to their voices. It was true love.

Up, they are. Eyes and flesh. Screaming for freedom. Fantasy escapes in fear of their imagination. Gods of life, they are.