Torment

by ELAINE NADAL

I don’t know if I dream in English or Spanish–
in color or black and white.
I only remember faces and figures–
sounds and scents.
I dream of expeditions and trips–
wild animals and pets in cages.
I dream of broken windows and closed doors–
sometimes, they’re open.
I dream of dirty fans–
my grandmother’s house,
the house I never saw in person or in photos.
I dream of fists, swords and machetes–
weapons and shootings.
I hear screams and cries.
I dream of people I want to hug
but can’t reach.
I dream of trains that come and go–
thirsty lips,
contaminated waters,
sneakers hung on a clothesline,
bare feet and empty tables.
I dream of hands strangling me,
stifling my speech,
and I wake up like that–
with a knot in my throat.


About the Author

Elaine Nadal is a writer and educator. She holds a master’s degree in liberal studies from Wesleyan University. She also has degrees in Spanish secondary education and fine arts (music). A Pushcart nominee, she has been published in several journals, including Pilgrimage Magazine, Haight Ashbury Literary Journal, Arsenic Lobster, and La Casita Grande Lounge. READ MORE

TORMENT first appeared in the 2018 issue of From the Depths.

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