As I sit in the burning piece of land
That has always been my homeland,
The borders around it continually shrink.
Confining me to a smaller and smaller area.
Thrusting my soul and my spirit
Into a corner
Where hope does not exist.
Fleeing is not an option
Because I can never flee
From the horrors
Of what I have evidenced in my life.
The horrors of death, abandonment, immurement, and captivity.
The labels of rebel, insurgent, and extremist.
I cannot leave
For my soul would yearn to return
To this smoldering cage.
I have to stay.
Because only staying will liberate me
From this curse of encagement.
Leaving will increase the torment of my soul.
I know no help will come.
I wait for the siege to push me into the waters of the Mediterranean.
I look into the gradually decreasing sets
Of equally victimized eyes around me.
I see the same despondence.
But also the same iron will
To hold our motherland
To the last breath.
Even if it eventually pushes us into the dark, abysmal waters.
Escaping will not bring relief.
Abandoning the soil will not bring relief.
Faith in our heritage
To the last breath
Will be our only relief.
The fire can reach my door
By ground or by air.
I patiently wait.
Aalia Suleman is a freelance writer from Karachi, Pakistan. Her writings can be accessed at sociopoliticallypakistani.com. Aalia can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Read other articles by Aalia.