for my birthday
give me solitude
a chair to call my own
no warm bodies
running circles
no eyes
weighing seconds spent
not returning
a loving gaze
give me no one
to witness or swaddle
cook for or kiss

give me the skies
permission to land
near a cottage
some secluded space
send my laptop
dark chocolate
paper and pen just in case
send me roses
if you like
I will sniff them
but I make no promises
to think of you
except with relief
you have not come along

give me loam in the soil
give me beach
give me sea
give me understanding
my desire is not
lacking in love
trust me my dear
I will come home
and all the brighter
after renewing my spirit
union with the page

Shawna Ayoub

Shawna Ayoub is an essayist, fiction writer, poet and instructor with an MFA in creative writing from Indiana University. Some of her work has been published in The Manifest-Station, Role Reboot, [wherever], The Huffington Post, The Oxford Review and Exit 7. Her writing explores the intersections of race, place and survivorship. She writes with honesty about her own experience in order to transform pain.

0 Discussion to this post

  1. kirsten says:

    I love this! I recently had a birthday weekend writing retreat and it was shamelessly wonderful. No one to cook for, swaddle and kiss. BLISS.

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  2. Thank you, kirsten! That sounds blissful. 🙂

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