I used to live,
but now I am just alive.
Alive in this beautiful casket,
watching all the people living around me.
I pray someday I will be able to walk among the living.
But for now I have to lie in this beautiful casket I live in.
I yearn to live again.
And in the darkness of my sorrow, I can see the bright lights.
And in the echoes of my screams, I can hear the applause.
And in my nightmares, I can dream of the happiness to come.
Hands to the sky
weeping in my casket
tears rising so I climb higher and higher
looking down in fear for my life and the ones lost,
praying for someone to open a door and let the tears out and let me in.
“I came to ASCNYC’s Creative Writing Workshop losing air, losing my voice, losing my soul buried in an emotional turbulent grave. I sat quietly and the class began. I felt like a weed in a rose garden, but by the end of the first session, I realized this was no garden, it was an orchestra…an orchestra of various stories. As the weeks went by, with every poem I read, every person I met, and every word I wrote, I felt like a shovel of dirt was removed from my grave. Finally, I saw a beam of light…and as I continued creative writing, the light got brighter, my soul got stronger, my voice got louder, and now I am radiant.”
—Azeem S. Khan, ASCNYC Poetry Leader
Photo: David Nager/ASCNYC