I Know Why

Featured art by Sulola Imran Abiola.

As in my warmly blanketed comfort I

Devour reams of torment and misery

With lusting, shuddering glee, I know why.

I know the hushed why of all history.

I who wince and cradle a stubbed toe

Read of the sleep-robbed, the starved, the scourged

And with absolute certainty I know

That’s not me. I would have survived, emerged

Glorious. Unbroken in soul if not

In body, scorning to beg, to betray

A brother for a crust of bread, a hot

Drink, a whip’s lash kept one instant at bay.

I know why they marched boys by the hundred

Coolly into the cannon's blazing maw;

Why while their volcano seethed with dread

Fires to melt them, they shrugged on: the law

That selfsame law of me-immunity,

On which our Armageddons of fiction

Rest: it shall slay the others, but leave me

Alive and whole, shall bring me redemption


As in my warmly blanketed comfort I

Devour reams of torment and misery

With lusting, shuddering glee, I know why.

I know the hushed why of all history.


Hibah Shabkhez is a writer of the half-yo literary tradition, an erratic language-learning enthusiast, and a happily eccentric blogger from Lahore, Pakistan. Her work has previously appeared in Wellington Street Review, Black Bough, Across The Margin, Borrowed Solace, Ligeia, Cordite Poetry, and a number of other literary magazines. Studying life, languages and literature from a comparative perspective across linguistic and cultural boundaries holds a particular fascination for her.

Blog: https://hibahshabkhezxicc.wordpress.com/

Twitter: @hibahshabkhez

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/hibahshabkhezsarusaihiryu/

Instagram: @shabkhez_hibah

Sulola Imran Abiola is a poet & a phone photographer, a public servant, a lover of arts and an optimist who believes breakthrough in every life-sniffing situation. He writes across all themes. His work is has appeared/forthcoming in The Quills, Kalopsia Lit Magazine, Writenowlit, Lumiere Review and several other magazines. He writes & savor the sound of phone shutters from the state of Osun, Nigeria.

Instagram & Twitter: @official_sulola

Facebook : Sulola Abiola Imran

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