yesterday, grace & i drank white wine in bed. it tasted light, like new friendship. we counted good songs & epiphanies on our fingers but the next morning when i smelt the bed stains, the night was already of the past. my aunt is famous for saying life is a series of souvenirs so pack wisely, but my pockets already feel heavy. i cannot bear leaving anything behind. my memory box is kept at arm’s reach – this note from my best friend in grade six, this my freshman essay on world war two. sima and i once talked about time in a forest. i felt as though the old pine trees rolled their eyes time is in flight move on this is not about you and still, a question i always sleep on is what happens to plays we watched & no longer remember? after barrymore theatre, nawal stood on the tube, her reflections spilling out like cold yogurt from the mouth of a bottle but i forgot what she said only how her curls cascaded. i mean, can’t we just be weightless? must we carry such trees & gas & dust in our bodies, must i want to take them everywhere i go? in high school, i hated sylvia plath just as much as i didn’t. when her falling figs flopped onto my lap i wasn’t distraught by what i hadn’t done. the shame was about what i’d already forgotten so when abudi calls & he’s reminding me of how we spent our childhood running after falling mangoes, how teachers knocked our heads when we spoke too much, i feel the familiar pang & ask him whether he thinks our memories bid us goodbye before they hover gently into that galaxy, whether we just spend a lifetime trying to cast them back.
Nur Turkmani is a Syrian-Lebanese researcher based in Beirut, focusing on development policies and gender in the Middle East. She is the Managing Editor of Rusted Radishes’ website content and her writing has been published in London Poetry, Rusted Radishes, Juxtaprose Magazine, Syria Untold, and others. She is currently working on a short story collection while studying creative writing at the University of Oxford.
Featured artwork: Monday, 7:30AM 35mm Connor Martin is a writer/director living in New York City. He is currently writing the follow up to his debut feature, and is counting down the hours until he can hit the beach again. Contrary to the title of his work, he is not a morning person.