Leave me, by Zainab Batool
If your pain could speak to you, it would say
You've been taking me all along
Carrying the ache in your hands.
Halt your steps and leave me somewhere.
Leave me at a place where the lilac of the sky swallows up the dying sun.
Leave me at the bay to watch the waves come after one another, creating layers of white froth while the sound of your name encircles me aloft.
When the young nights blanket me in your grief, leave me in your bookmarks, in the folds of your notebook, at the last page of your diary.
Leave me in the shadows of your room, in the echoes of your tired voice and in the reflections of the mirror that has seen you vulnerable.
Along the lines of the places you've never been.
The places you wanna go.
Or the empty side of your bed.
Along the jars that stay glistening, alone.
Where your sorrow turned you to stone.
Leave me at your favorite places where fireflies would take me home.
In the space between your arms.
Leave me just there, at the top of your heart.
You've been carrying ache for long and chaos too.
Let me pull peace out of it
Zainab Batool is a young writer, poet, and photographer from Lahore, Pakistan. Inspired by topics like grief, love, desire, sins, death and longing, she has been writing under the pseudonym of "azaina". Through writing, she tries to find solace and a home in someone else's heavy heart. This is her debut poetry publication.
Ann-Marie Brown is a Canadian artist painting in oil and encaustic. She has lived and worked around the world, but in the age of Covid is hunkered down in a studio on the edge of the Pacific Ocean, on the far west coast of B.C. More works can be seen at www.annmariebrownpaintings.com.