by Tahira Rifath

In the darkest of corners exists your naked emotions -the ones that aim to exhaust your body of its last remaining drops of sanity. It is these thoughts that arouse your demons and lay you bare, perfect for mutilation. But you plead and plead for them to set your soul free, until you realise your soul was long gone – desecrated by your last lover. For you see, they say love is for the weak but it is for the brave – for the brave, time and time again sacrifice their very souls for your breaths. These lovers rip their chests open and present their souls in an open casket, but you, laden in black cloth, mourn the very same souls that want nothing more but to rid you of yourself. To rid you of every painstaking breath you take. And now you mourn the lovers that once held your breath in high regard, only to realise they weren’t lovers but demons – the very same ones that haunt you in your most vulnerable hours. So you plead and plead again for them to set your soul free, and they do – only this time, presenting themselves with an ultimatum. So you plead once again, and they give in and present to you your scarred soul; it isn’t worth much, but it’ll do. And with it you set sail in search for another soul to prey on, in the hope that it’ll cure your soul once and for all – but again, that soul only wreaks havoc within your very bones, propelling you into a cycle of destruction. Then the demons surface once more and plead with you to sell your dignity as a meagre price for your ravaged soul. So you stomp on your dignity for an ailing soul until you’re left with nothing but an empty heart and a distress of viral plague. So you promise your demons you’ll never love again, only to love more and more until your heart gives in and you become a heartless corpse, incapable of loving.

And then it hits you like a slap in the face: you are loveless.