thunderstorms mock me and so does the concrete

by Fadwa Ahmed

Illustration by Isabelle Rea

published March 24, 2017


(for 3 days i have known but expected nothing)

i watched every minute bring itself 

in fractions 

i waited 15, 

(but really 9 months  


and said words i had recited 

from a script, different; 

(they existed once for me and 

twice for him) 

and he said no


(in layers of off-white mumbling 

translucent enamel on thin teeth) 

and i waited in off-white for 3 days 

(fractions of more)  

knowing but not expecting 

until he waited for me in a night 

off-black with light pollution that smeared the sky old blood on black underwear

there were 8 shadows between the 2 of us and how can you protect yourself when you have 8



i saw my first city rat


his only words 

(this boy has all of the words, in an accent that is not his and twice his)

his only words

i love you as much as i can 

as much as i can 

                (yes i could have guessed we can’t have you Overflow now can we can we your stuff

is the releasable kind the relievable kind the kind that only comes in the light of your

incandescent light bulb and blotches of ink on your sheets) 


I break all of your windows