I grew up with a body, without language to form and exist in. As a child, I was timid and feeble, my bones were too fragile to engage in manly activities, and my soul was osteoporised. I hid in books for shelter, took their spine, and attached them to my back, slowly building a persona. In books, I felt seen. In words, I formed and existed.
Mahmoud Darwish, in one of his poems, said I am my language. In that same way, I say I am my language, and I write to preserve myself. No land on earth bears me. Only my words bear me. When lumps gather in my throat, I open my mouth to write, and language gathers onto the page.
Writing is my way of acting; of being; of existing outside of this body that doesn't make me feel at home – this body that I haven't claimed as mine in a way that language has owned me.
“Give me proof of the existence of God.” A male classmate pronounced in an argument, and my tongue locked with words in my mouth. Days after, hidden behind a phone’s keypad, I breathed and spoke, saying – “Hey God exists, and I’ll give you proof.” There was safety for me to live through words. To break part of myself, my flesh became a word, and the word became light, and the darkness could not comprehend it.
The first poem I wrote was about the existence of God, more so for me than for anyone; to speak to my bones and tell them that God exists, and he loves me even though I don't feel it. I write to empty the stream of questions in my mind that always trickled down to God, why did you make me this way? I write to stop existence and query – to ask if this. is. what. God. wanted. to. happen.
We are bodies of stories, and I write to tell tales stuck in our bodies. To tell the tales that raises the hair on my body. I write to make sense of the world. To undress the world with language and dissect it with words. To stitch it back and sometimes to leave it as dead if it deserved to die.
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