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cycle - zainab athumani


running on exhaust fumes

I stray, wilted,

feeling the accumulations of

missed chores

missed calls

missed chances

build a crust around me

I am poisoned by my own

exhaust fumes and my body rebels against it,

removing the images of dirty dishes by passing out entirely I ache. I sleep. I slide into a state of such anxiety and utter desperation that every action

has an equal and opposite paranoia.

impenetrable fog. a complete removal

from the changing of the weather,

the transitions in internal seasons.

the fog sits thick on my mind and

heart. a guiding light

is found through the screen in my hand,

a false friend,

mistranslating my emotions and the world around me. if action brings good fortune,

change returns success,

then I wallow, static,

in purgatory.

the day's dawning minute looks identical to the one at its dusk. I gorge myself,

engulfed in a blissful, indulgent fullness,

the strains of my gut a welcome distraction

from the aches of my spirit.


Zainab Athumani is a Kenyan/Italian writer and director living in Cambridge, England. She has produced plays at the Edinburgh Fringe and most recently directed a performance of Jean-Paul Sartre's No Exit. You can find links to her work through her Twitter, @ZainabAthumani

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