Fear of the Unknown

red and orange sunset

Editor’s note: Maliha Zaman’s ‘Fear of the Unknown’ won first place in The Kiosk’s Fall 2023 Fiction Story Contest for the poetry category.

Bright colors of red, white, and orange paint the sky
Rubble surrounded me like an embrace of my once close relative
But closure, there is none
My breath burdensome in the dust,
Breathing in the chemicals
Explosives bursting down where I once lived
A future that I can never dare to hope for
The heavy borderline between death and consciousness
Pulse rapidly beating like a beast violently shaking my insides
Sisters and brothers alike flattened by the soft kiss of death
Their bodies leave nothing but wisps of blurs of grey and white
Wondering whether my turn has yet to come
The red I once loved stealing my breath away in an instant
Leaving anguish and despair in the wake
These shining hues of red, orange, and yellow brightening my life
These shades signify the clear path that I once dreamed
Now I lay here with a ghost of the person I once was
The looming anxiety hovering over me
With just gray planes that clouded over
The hovering monster that caused this over the burdensome present and future
Alive with melancholy clinging to the atmosphere and emptiness in the confinement of myself
Honeyed painless whispers of temptation of eternal rest
Fate left up to settle the matter like an indecisive politician
The fight of surrendering control or fighting back

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