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Artwork by Ahmed Gamal



by Naila Tariq


It starts like this

with you hurling venom and me pretending you missed

When the truth is this:

I caught every drop and let it seep through my skin

let the anger and hatred fuel the idea that one day I might win

Begin anew

Leave you

But until then

this cycle repeats itself again

It starts and ends like this:



The villain is always so good at playing the victim

At twisting words and turning tables

pretending this new arrangement

is how it's always been

So the roles reverse and I take the blame

Feel the guilt and the shame leave my insides maimed

Every day it's the same

It makes no sense

and it's more than I can take
But I guess,

whatever helps you live with yourself



I am so tired

of constantly being silenced

yet you have so much to say

So tired of your zero-sum games

So sick of the way you always have to be right

God, your delusions are so hard to fight

You call me out on what I do

but you're the one who taught this




The voices of the godless

are starting to sound sweeter

than all this double-think

Spilling ink, I made an ocean of all the things

that caused me pain (now watch me sink)

Let me drown

and come out the other side with a cleaner mind


Because this time

I'm no longer afraid

of being everything you never wanted me to be





Naila Tariq is a senior Mass Communication major, concentrating in Journalism and minoring in International Studies. The Kenyan hopes to run her own newspaper or magazine one day. She insists that she isn't this depressing outside her writing. You can find more of her work at her soon-to-be-launched website: 

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