It’s 6pm on a Saturday night 

and you can’t feel you heart beating in your chest 


You can’t feel the blood rush around your head, to your liver 


and back again 


You can’t feel the oxygen slide down your throat like it isn’t yours

like you stole it 

and you feel kinda lost because you’re so sure you had the correct change when you got to the store 


And just like money

you don’t have the energy to beg your landlord for another week in your own body 

so you let him pack up your things and take the keys 


And your voice is shaking so you don’t trust yourself to speak 


Then all of a sudden

at 6pm on a Saturday night 

your own body is the coldest place you’ve ever been 


My neighbours kept knocking, telling me to keep the noise down; 

saying that if I’m going to stay here, I’m going to have to learn not to think so loud 


or care so loud 

or breathe so loud 


And all these words fly at my face so fast

 I almost forget that I’m standing in my own God-forsaken house 


Now your hands are shaking as you try and shut the door

but all of a sudden it’s 6pm again 

and you can’t bring yourself to breathe anymore 

and you’d very much like to move out 

but you lack the strength to swim to the shore 


So you sit in the same room 

with off-white walls 

and pills to ease your presence 

because apparently you wanting to move out is a sickness 

a disease or something 


you kinda found it hard to listen when he was speaking 


and I wish everyone would just stop speaking 

take comfort in the noise that is silence 

be still long enough to hear their heart beat,

feel their blood 

pay for their oxygen 


It’s 6am on a Sunday morning

the landlord gave me another week 


-Paula Abu