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A Thousand Endings Left Untouched

Artwork by Jenna Tse, Staff Artist

The sun spills over a thousand white walls

lined with windows— now glistening in gold— and a thousand clothesline threads,

Fabric, shirts, and yesterdays suspended in the early morning.

A thousand cities. Stone arches offering shade from swirling sands.

graffiti under bridges, shadows passing cups on concrete.

Every time the sun’s smile falls into Earth’s hands, Earth is born again.

In every soft ray, we have all lived a thousand lives this way.

I have been Atlas balancing on the precipice

and the shooting star kneeling on the ground.

In how many lives have I seen the end before the middle?

In how many lives have I proclaimed midnight,

Reaching for the end as if it were a half-empty cup

Containing the last dregs of clarity?

I have watched a thousand tender kindlings choke on lies,

These soft things have been extinguished before they saw the dawn.

In every life, I have strived to keep a flame alight

But the candles went out and I survived, gagging on honesty.

Atlas climbed down back to the ground and the meteorite dusted itself off.

I survived to find my resurrected skin stained in secrets

And that it was so much easier to die for a cause

Than to lower my cup and live to trust in one.

A thousand times I am reborn, and every thread running

Down my palms stays suspended all the same.

Death is a long long night, but dawn knocks on the windows

And paints the walls. It is time to wash the dishes

And ready the laundry. To place trust on the clothesline,

Taking down yesterday. And to live for the one thousand and first time.

Fatema Rahaman is the creative writing team director and a poet for the Incandescent Review. Her work is often inspired by her culture and love for imagery and nature. She has been previously published by Hey Young Writers and her work has been recognized by New York Times and Molloy College.

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