By Leila Tualla

There is an echo of a shadow that follows me everywhere I go.

I catch her in glimpses; she’s bent over like a child,

a still statue on the floor.

I’ve seen her in passing;

pale figure, eyes red from crying.

I hear her screaming from time to time;

scratchy, desperate,


The stillness hums and light is snuffed out in an instant.

It’s the darkness, the screams that pierce it and

the constant humming that drives me


I can’t tell you the precise moment this echo of a shadow

envelops me

But I am her and she is me.

I am bent over like a child

willing my heart and breath to slow down.

I am a shell of brokenness

passing by life and hoping

someone looks at me in the eyes and holds me.

I am screams of anguish

terrified of what is inside me.

© 2020 Leila Tualla

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