By Hibaq Osman
1. Try “no”
Say it until it becomes a word your tongue recognises. say it spitefully, full of loss, with exhausted eyes. use it as your reply to everything. “how are you feeling today?” no/ "maybe you should go outside?” no / "what about washing your hair?” no / "c’mon, just pick up your phone” no / "i have a few questions to ask?” no / "do you remember anything specific?” no / "maybe i should leave you alone” no.
Say it until you falsely believe he would have stopped. Soon enough you’ll find everybody forgets to ask about you.
2. Start with soap
Then a toothpaste-mouthwash combo, use a pick until your gums bleed. Move on to tea, ice cold water, salt in juice, grind herbs with cinnamon - take it in one dry gulp. Try rice, baking soda, make cakes with painkillers. Next is bleach (consider swallowing. you’ll decide against it but you’re not sure why)
3. Insert lies
"this body is not mine. free for all. grab all you can while you can" repeat.
4. Name your hurt
Call it destiny. Doesn’t abuse leak down our family trees? Sap looking for thirsty mouths. We are to share all this trauma with our children. Another generation of ghost mothers.
5. Do not look for yourself in the news. The numbers do not include us.
6. Swallow wind
The next time you bravely step outside you will see him in every puddle and walk faster. You will see him in every drunk man and walk faster. You will not take the tube after 9, rather let the cold stab at your lungs.
When you bravely tell somebody of the thing that broke you
they will say
This is London. What else did you expect on a saturday night?
and you, will walk faster.
Hibaq can be contacted through twitter: @hbqosmn as well as facebook: Hibaq Osman.