ambition, love, ambition

By: Samiya Rasheed

Hours are not spent well in lethargy
nor in deep-seated exhaustion
Hours are rarely spent
more – lost

I live in a state of competition
Each breath a race to completion
I have almost spent more time
crying than sleeping
But my resume will be beautiful

Reflect: I am clawing over the gaping maw
the pitfalls of failure, of burning out too soon
I don’t have the minutes to breathe
the air is thin on this Godwin Austen we built
I’d still summit with my lungs collapsing

I hold in this brittle absence of warmth I made
where my joys drained out into obligation:
a ladder rung towards those burgeoning heavens
where the oxygen is honeyed sweet
tinged acrid by ozone
and Nike will smile sphinx-like and proud

For now I am drinking
the chalk pastel fumes
and bunsen burner lights
Talent is unattainable as it become the scale
the colors have never been so vibrant
I try, yet

Script. Running letters, rushing water, ink in motion
My craft is lovely – I am not so fine for it
I am ink boiled down
globules, mucus: it does not run well
the time taken
I cannot keep up

My dreams are out-lapping me

Ambition, love, ambition
fake the talents you don’t possess
Cheapen their worth –
inflation in the face of the girth of expectation
paint all you do in jewel tones even as you drown
the more that you have, the better
Don’t pause and leave your fields fallow
the seasons are quick

It is not so far now
I will approach that great leviathan – presenting
what I almost could have built,
in the cherry red ink I siphoned off my veins,
the eldritch horror I assembled with every mercurial hour
Pleading, am I enough?

It will not dredge the void I insisted upon
nor erase the hours I spent hefting a reverent ideal
I’ll chant ascension in glory glory glory
Though I am no more than the sum of my parts

The answer
will be mundane
Take that as it is