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This Is Your Universe

by Nariman Youssef

You wake up every morning and you hope. Or turn to a warm body beside you. Or pray to no one in particular. This is living at its most essential.

Bared down to a shelter, a meal of bread and time, a book by candlelight, a perpetual scraping together, survival of loneliness, or a bomb that grinds to dust the house across the street.

To the absence of panic, the drawing of the next breath again, the fullness of nothing, or to love, which is to say, the necessity of faith in the reality of what is impossible with or without a god.

One day you walk, alone with an hour to spare, past a dozen empty streets, and stop at the sea.

Peace is the quiet you do not question. Freedom is to take your shoes off now. Possibility is a stillness that equates your being with the salt in the air.

You spread your arms to cover the solid land behind you. Everything you will ever lose is here.


All artwork is courtesy of Reda Khalil.

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