The Earthquake of 6 Feb 2023 by Susie Gharib

We were safely sleeping in our roomswhen my brother was awakened by the foul breath of a stormthat violently rattled his windowand ominously groaned. As he was checking on inmates and locks,alarmed by the raging sea that not very distantly foamed,the floor shook beneath his feetand the walls began to move to and fro. I heard him call my namein a loud but shaky tone.I left my … Continue reading The Earthquake of 6 Feb 2023 by Susie Gharib

Alternatives by Susie Gharib

Give alternatives for the following, the teacher commands, with a grin,the twelve-year-old who is eager to pass his test.Moonlight, the teacher states with a grimace:A neon tube, the boy promptly replies.A canopy of trees for shelter:A bus stop.A proper bath:A free drizzle.A candle-lit dinner:Chips without fish.Sailing the ocean:Paper boats.A holiday abroad:A book from the public library.Doting parents:Street busking.A pair of pajamas:Old, tattered clothes.Attending church:Text messaging … Continue reading Alternatives by Susie Gharib

2023 by Susie Gharib

I am writing an ode for youour approaching twenty twenty-threeto appease the wrath in your genes,a hereditary trait,to appeal to the demented elements for much-needed clemency,to entreat the clashing warlordsto cease their animosities,to spare our infants displacementand drowning across traversed seas, to annul the prophetic proclamationsof a postmodern Madame Sosostris. I am writing an ode for you despite our embedded despondencyover the plagues that stride the avenuesof underdeveloped … Continue reading 2023 by Susie Gharib

The Cost of Living in Hell by Susie Gharib

After years of living in Frostitowne,of surviving blizzards and unabating snowstorms,he resolved to renounce one of the ruling gods,and by incensing his anger,secure a lodging in the infernal underworld. His frozen marrow that imbibed the heat with gleeastounded Charon who had earlier ferried him.The cramped toes that looked like frosted clawsbegan to drip their molten wax.His chilblains dissolved in the boiling sulfur that poured on his … Continue reading The Cost of Living in Hell by Susie Gharib

Virginia Woolf by Susie Gharib

Your agony is flowingin my veins,the accumulating residueof thousands of decades,of women entrappedwithin allotted spheres. In the name of protection,you were banished awayfrom the stimulus of Londonwhich had allayedthat innermost lonelinessof the emancipated. A new type of atticengulfed your fragile frame,so every woman is made to believethat madness is the outcomeof intellectual freedom.  Continue reading Virginia Woolf by Susie Gharib

Grace Under Pressure by Susie Gharib

The first time I became familiar with such a conceptI was teaching For Whom the Bell Tolls to undergrads.The idea appealed to my sense of decorum,so I decided to adopt such a challenging stance,yet it came to me naturallyas I was attuned to the stoical way of lifeand one manifestation was during the never-ending Syrian war. Four rockets fell not far where I stood,lecturing on … Continue reading Grace Under Pressure by Susie Gharib

2022 by Susie Gharib

In twenty twenty-two,there is no need for Big Brother, telescreens or torture tools.You are under your own surveillance and extremely scared of what people might think of you.Self-censored, there is no need for the Thought Police,since you have been transformed into a puppet whose conduct is condoned by all.This becomes your self-proof. In twenty twenty-two,the wars that George Orwell exposed becomes a reality more tangible than before.Everything is … Continue reading 2022 by Susie Gharib

The Floral Code by Susie Gharib

He distrusted utterance because he stammered at schooland lame words had made him the object of ridicule,so he took up painting and started to compilea language whose figures typified flowers. The only person who patiently accepted his flawsand reiterated his words with a reassuring voicestood by him to witness the birth of a codeaesthetically borrowed from the floral world. He kept in his pocket the … Continue reading The Floral Code by Susie Gharib

No eye contact is to be had by Susie Gharib

I walk the streets since I’m still part of the herd,which our ancestors had called humankind, but no eye contact is to be had,only an ocean of heaving, bowed heads, absorbed in the contents of their possessive hands. Little, local gossips have swelled into global slander of the first class.Domestic, personal festivities are available for pernicious sneers and heated debates.Each ego is inflated with the aid of … Continue reading No eye contact is to be had by Susie Gharib

Derision by Susie Gharib

It all begins at home,with the wooden pram,the set of coffee cups,and the two-plaited doll,the daughter who is destined for marital servitude,whose dowry may bring some profit to a household,and who in olden times used to be buried alive for she was considered an ill omenthough her father who buried her was himself conceived in a womb. At school, she is not supposed to compete with … Continue reading Derision by Susie Gharib