Zamiya Akbar

All the Ways Love Can Leave

 The sadness comes later, after the shriek
of the wind is caught inside its throat
and anger sleeps inside its tightened fists.
It was always the sadness, I think,
sitting around like dirt buried beneath 
uncut fingernails, jagged and brown.
So many have come and gone. If you look
closely, you will see that the cycle of loss
is mirrored in the gasp of the candlelight,
in the old widow's sallow face.
So many have left without saying goodbye,
and yet it never becomes less painful
to watch someone slip into a place 
beyond the fog, never to glance backwards 
again. The truth is that love, like death, only
leaves in two ways: slowly, like an 
uncomfortable quiet, or as quickly as
a forgotten dream. 

Zamiya Akbar is a Singaporean writer, visual artist, performer, community organizer, and mental health advocate. She is also the founder and head creative director of Velvet Voices, an arts organization dedicated to literary and performance art. She is currently working on her first collection of poetry. 

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