BY Saraaya Sulaiyman




It’s a happiness that’s out of control

I feel it welling inside,

I feel it spill from my pores,

Spilling and spitting and interrupting

Interrupting and flirting with you and you and you

Flirting and flitting from thing to thing to thing

Do you see my eyes shining? They have too many stories for you

They don’t realize that they don’t make sense

It’s a happiness that leaves a hollow aftertaste

Tingy and metallic

Full yet fake

solid yet shadowy

Eternal yet ethereal

Without reason or foundation

A euphoria that’s built on top of a sandcastle in the eye of a storm

The edges of my consciousness glitter and a portal opens up beyond

The rods and the cones and the stimuli add up to far more than the sum of their parts


While your seconds are stuck together with sweat and your minutes meander

I’ve expanded into areas I didn’t know I’d find

I’ve discovered new planets, I’ve advanced mankind

While the heat makes you fuzzy, and you succumb to drowsiness

My mind is clear, and my thoughts are ice-crisps

You like to crunch them to understand me

But they melt into slush as soon as you touch them

Coalesce and trickle away

It’s hard to distinguish them from my tears, my face wet and heavy

You can see I’m in freefall so you hold me near

I get angry. You don’t recognise me.

Your look of admiration has switched to fear

We don’t speak the same language no more.


The gentle brush of your hands on my skin is the pain from a thousand friction burns

The single candle flickering in my room is a solar eclipse without glasses

Your voice soothing me on the phone is a rocket launch without earplugs

It’s a happiness that’s painfully raw

My plane of vision expands and I saw things I never saw

But when you rise to the sun you’re bound to slip, and normally it’s more than a dip

The despair drip drip drips through the chinks in my joy


Cover image by Des. D Mona