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Farthest thing from sunlight: A poem of overflowing thoughts

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JANUARY 28, 2023

it’s 3:36 AM
I open all my kitchen cabinets
and leave them swaying

my head is exploding
and the world reverberates with static
I am an old abandoned tv that
no one remembered to switch off

so the air buzzes with sparks of broken electricity
the kind that leaves a bitter taste in your mouth
and makes you question your sanity
like that’s normal

I look at my old blunted silverware, my mismatched plates
the chipped rims of cups that I couldn’t bear to throw away
and I tell myself that holding on to such ancient sentiment is okay

I am so tired
and so sorry

that all the colors clash like light through fractured windows
I tried many times to buy a matching set
but they always shattered in the sink

my metaphors — smoke signals and tornado warnings
always lost in the pacific zephyr

all day today, I attended lectures and set alarms and cleaned out my inbox
and made to-do lists and studied at the library —
the facade of normalcy I try to keep up,
desperately hoping no one sees me gasping for air

but I fear cutting my lip when I drink my tea from chipped cups
and I shudder when I hear the clang of splintered silverware

anyone that stepped too close, saw all the cracks in my painted-pretty porcelain
how there’s nothing in me of substance, nothing worth holding on to

I quickly close my cabinets and
meticulously swallow my red and blue pills
hoping they’ll numb me enough to ensure
that my thoughts don’t make me lose myself

but tonight, the facade crumbles:

like the storms on Jupiter that I learned about growing up,
the ones that have persisted for hundreds of years
– reading about them used to excite me, but now they remind me of the hurricanes that wage inside my brain,

my past that I had been running from catches up to me, turns out –
I am just a broken plate after all.

sometimes I can pretend it’s just rain inside my mind and not sharp jagged lightning
making me want to wait on train tracks, desperately hoping the pain will end

it’s insane how I could’ve ever imagined that
I could be close to others and have them want me there
I’ve opened all the cabinets tonight, hoping someone would say

there are too many old broken bowls with awkward edges
that’s an awful lot of teacups for just one person

let me take the redundant things away –
lessen your load, make everything feel better, easier

but that never happens
how could it?

when I taste of heartache and war
and my body and mind slowly rot away from the poison stuck inside of me

inevitable. perpetual. destruction.

I am made of
lightning and thunderstorms
broken shards of glass that cut and leave deep deep gashes

I am so sorry I ever pretended to be sunlight
I am the farthest thing from it.

Contact Nishat Sheikh at 


JANUARY 28, 2023