the walks i take whilst the moon is still awake

going to work too early makes my mother tremble, fill up with worry
“say a little prayer before you leave,” she says, handing me a booklet she has used all these years
she tells me she had been guided by that tiny prayer book whilst she gave birth to me, my sister and my brothers
and i think to myself, maybe it will pass the same kind of protection to me
maybe not
going to work too early makes my mother tremble, fill up with worry
“leave a little later, maybe when the sun cracks open the sky and darkness would no longer be alive” she says, holding my hand a little too tight
i don’t think i can do that, mom
i’ll run late, and you know how that creates knots inside my stomach
nausea kicking in, forgetting how to breathe
forgetting how to breathe
breathe, breathe, breathe
i don’t want to see the sun shining as i walk through the same paths, drive through the same roads as i did yesterday and the days before that
going to work too early makes my mother tremble, fill up with worry
“wait until the moon and the stars are no longer in sight, will you?” she says, still holding on to me
you don’t understand, maybe i don’t too
but this is the only time i can telepathically write letters to the moon
i wonder if anyone else looks at the moon without waiting for the sun to devour it soon after
without waiting for something else, anything else to happen
going to work too early makes my mother tremble, fill up with worry
“it’s too dangerous outside” she says, her voice shaky as she stares deep into my eyes, something she doesn’t always do
i know, mom
i know
i have become afraid of this country too
hungry for streets painted with the blood of its people
blood of nameless children no longer nameless
blood in every corner, the stench tingling our noses, reminding us of all our recurring nightmares
blood and violence in a crazy mix driving everyone to their feet
to their wings
i am afraid too, mom
but mom, i have to go
outside where i┬ácan’t pretend to be blind
outside where i can feel danger’s foul and heavy breath licking my neck over and over again
outside where i can do more than just ignore what’s happening out there
because i can’t close my eyes anymore
because i can’t
because i won’t let myself
going to work too early makes my mother tremble, fill up with worry
but i step out anyway
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