By: Daania Tahir
Laruel School, Shaker Heights, Ohio
I hope the sky is blue back home. A lustrous, vivid blue that infuses your heart with hopes of new beginnings. The sky is what keeps me sane these days. I think of it how it’s a blanket draped over the world, holding us under it’s beauty. It reminds me that there are gentle things in the world, fragile things that we humans cannot impair with our corrupted minds. It’s with you, suffused in our house, and with me, following me through the labyrinth of trenches. I keep to myself these days, terrified to open my heart to a friend, only to have theirs shot clean through the middle, or bombed into grim ashes. We are all intertwined, each pair of eyes in the trench shares the same hollow look of fear, fatigue, pity, and desperation that is irreparable. The pounding beat of bombs echoes in my ears and fades into a high pitched buzzing. I watch as my brothers eyes go black for the hunger of bloodshed, and it’s as though death has already caught us with its viscid fingers. The rats scurry throughout our trenches, nibbling our food and resources as though they are condemning us for our actions. All I can this is: we are no better than them. It is the human capacity of mercy, of undergoing sorrow and remorse that separates us from barbaric animals. We mourn and love and feel sentiments so deep in our souls which is what makes us so tragically beautiful. But I have been proven wrong, this race has proven itself wrong. We are brutal, deadly, moronic animals whose brains are dense with our own desires. We are taking lives, minds, hearts, souls, and people as though it is a daily step in our routine. When I see the silhouette of a man, I raise my hand and shoot without blinking, then scurry away like a rat leaving it’s meal half-finished. It is how we greet one another, a gunshot. It is how we gather together, a bomb. We tuck each other into our graves to say goodnight. All I am now is a remnant of war. After the battlefield has been worn out I will be the ghost of misery, a simple recollection of the human race stripped to it’s worst qualities. A reminder of the ruthless and infernal doings that one man can do to another. None of this can take away my glorious sky. The shrill of bullets, screams of comrades, splatters of blood, nights of constant terror are all hidden under an ominous and breathtaking curtain of blue. I hope that when the day comes for my life to be taken, for death to finally pull me under, that I am lying on my back and looking up at that sky, letting it inhale me into its wonder and innocence.