Susie Gharib is a graduate of the University of Strathclyde with a Ph.D. on the work of D.H. Lawrence. Her poetry and fiction have appeared in multiple venues including Adelaide Literary Magazine, The Curlew, The Ink Pantry, A New Ulster, Down in the Dirt, the PLJ, and Mad Swirl.
I do not really know what should make me happy now my fifties are having a speedy countdown and being sixty in this culture merits the term ‘senile’. I know that a child dwells inside: I like to swing until my heart screams loud, and a cone of ice-cream can dispel the clouds that brood above my ageing brow. The plait that brushes the tip of my bra is redolent of the elegance of my doll’s who was almost my height when I was five years old. I yearn to dance to Tiësto and Snap, to purchase the outfits that teenagers wear, to speak the language that is threadbare, unpadded by puns and etiquette, to heartily laugh like a ticklish child, to resume living without being constantly reminded of my age.
An Epistle from Syrians
You embargo our postal services worldwide, but what can a letter accommodate within its folds? Neither a gas pipe nor a nuclear bomb, though one with a large bosom may hold a printed book, a literary magazine with my published thoughts. What benevolence that robs one’s tongue of words! You forbid incoming supplies of fuel, censoring light that is needed at households, depleting our harsh winters of any warmth, endowing our summers with infernos. How can such measures bring a frowned-upon regime down to its knees? Some hubble-bubble the dark hours in cafes. Others can only afford to saunter the lanes. People like myself whose productivity is clogged can feel nothing but contempt towards such plots aimed to swindle Syrians of human rights, and not to disarm a man you have decided to dislike.
Beneath a mass of green he dwells, seated on weeds like a sunken fish, viewing each bubble as it ascends: his idea of discourse with a friend. He spews his thoughts from pouting lips. Like spawn, they float towards her wit. They hatch amongst her inmost creeds, but surface only in her sleep. They congregate in a nightmarish form to blight any possible, nocturnal bliss. Like sharkish fins, they roam her cove scaring away all boats and ships. They thrive in every slimy hole that debates with idiots had delved and copulate with lingering hoards that despair and guilt had bred.