by Mina Shoaib
She did not remember what it felt like.
She forgot its treacherous, tantalizing taste.
It was not that she had stopped chasing it.
She spent every moment seeking it, soundlessly searching,
On a quest in her mind and on the earth,
Trying to find it again.
Every day, she awoke,
And she told herself to survive,
She told herself that the feeling was not as magnificent as she imagined it to be.
She tried desperately to convince herself.
But when her mind listened,
Her heart would not and when her heart listened,
Her mind certainly would not.
And so, she felt more caged, more stuck, more trapped every waking moment.
She grew frantic.
She looked in her cupboards,
Under her bed,
Between the sheets,
Inside her wallet,
Beyond the horizon.
She rifted through the pages of her journal, growing more desperate.
She ripped up the pages and threw away the paper.
She looked in the gap between the stars
and crawled between the savage waves in her search,
She could not find it.
Why, you might ask,
Was she looking for something so fickle?
For she wanted, needed to remove that block between her lungs,
The block that she herself had built,
That caused her a pain like no other.
The block was all the darkness and despair and bitterness of her heart.
It had to be removed.
And so she continued her search.
And in her desperation, she forgot two very important things,
The first, what freedom felt like,
How it turned her bones to kindling,
And the heat of her heart became the spark.
That lit a wildfire in her very soul.
And secondly she forgot that freedom was a feeling,
Not a place.
Mina Shoaib is an aspiring poet/author from Pakistan. She takes inspiration from the community she lives in and various equal rights and feminism movements around her. She’s an avid reader, and a total movie geek who adores traveling and dogs.