Tala Ah | April 19 2016
This poem was written a few months ago, shortly after I graduated from university. I found myself a bit lost in the in-betweeness of it all and I saw people around me change and leave and get jobs and get married. It was kind of a lonely time, because it seemed like suddenly everyone had gone somewhere, whereas I felt a little stuck and alone. It made me think of how transitions create space for aloneness, and so the poem came to be.
Where Aloneness Grows
This city is an airport, I’ve said it before
With hellos and goodbyes and take cares and see you laters waiting at every corner
Terminal gates among Roman ruins
Creating space in crowded rooms,
and receding hair lines
Aloneness is a sinister creature
that abuses absence
Like moss, abusing the hospitality
Of a slightly broken bathroom tile
Or weeds imposing
On a simple crack in concrete
Aloneness grows in the gaps
And feeds off the in-betweens,
In between phases and new jobs
between good friends leaving
Between happy birthdays
And deceased relatives.
Transitions make excellent homes for aloneness
Providing it with the perfect climate
In which it can thrive.
Aloneness loves it here
You can often find it lingering
At endings of sidewalks
And endings of school years
Deceiving children with grand notions of adulthood
You can see it licking its lips, anticipating
the controversially merry month of May
(Caterpillar season sends doubts
down even the most stable of spines)
You can find it dancing in dimly lit corners of
Or collecting flying caps at graduations
You can see it waving happy summers to the door
with that first hint at a September chill.
Or on empty Tuesday nights
swindling before sunken eyes
turn to screens for solace
Aloneness keeps company only to the ones who stay
And unlike moss abusing the hospitality of a broken bathroom tile
It doesn’t grow much on rolling stones.
Tala is a proud mother of two (cats) and hopes to be an official cat lady in the future. Based in Amman, this 22 year old is a full-time weirdo and part-time hipster who enjoys long existential monologues and all things artsy. To see more of Tala’s work, you can follow her on instagram.
Illustration by Annabel Amin.