Is This What Bravery Feels Like?

Is this what bravery feels like?

Crying in the middle stall of the Schönefeld  airport

Missing you dearly and not regretting a moment, decision, or choice.

Is this what bravery feels like?

Life in two suitcases

One abused violin

and objects left behind never to be reclaimed.

Is this what bravery feels like?

Denying the handouts

Living in an abandoned warehouse

Sleeping on pallets

because your parents said,

“You chose to be that way.”

Is this what bravery feels like?

Ending a marriage of 20 years

To live in a one room apartment

Racking up debt from never having worked a day in your life

Children visiting every other weekend

Loving you, hating you, never understanding you.

Is this what bravery feels like?

Shaving your head to hide in a basement bar

With foreign tongues lapping your ear for language

As you drink piss tasting piña coladas.

Is this what bravery feels like?

Period sex and discarded tampons

Clots clambering down your leg

Wondering where all the bleeding was truly coming from.

Is this what bravery feels like?

Loving this

Hating this

Living this

Licking this

Just a little taste

And wondering

Is this what bravery feels like?

Published by Allia (A.E.) Sadeghipour

"When I was a little girl, a spirit followed me to Las Vegas. Running alongside the moving truck, it's legs twisting into wings, it howled, 'Write damn you!'" Allia (A.E.) Sadeghipour is a Queer Iranian-American Surrealist, humanist, writer, teacher, punk and poet. She is the President of the Women* Writing Berlin Lab (WWBL) and taught workshops for GLADT and Feminist film organizations. She won the Sherry Debrowski Prize for Best Feminist Multi-Genre Fiction writer in 2009 and has not stopped since. Most recently, her work has been featured in: The Bear: Favorite Storyteller (2018 & 2020), KCRW and the Goethe Institute (2018 & 2020), The V Series Poetry Anthology (2019), Berlin Untelevised (2019), Coven (2019), What's Afghan Punk Rock Anyway?! (2019), The Ghosts of Berlin: Der Geister von Berlin (2019), Literarische Diverse (2019), Teach the Rainbow: Insights from LGBTeachers about Queer Visibility (2020), and much more. She has had the honor of performing for GLADT, Wicked, Nightschool Berlin, Viva Con Aqua, the IDP Collective, and the Iranian Re(connect) Festival. By sharing her narratives and perspectives, she hopes to reach out to the world and introduce them to hers: www.awerfjil.com.  @awerfjil #awerfjil

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