from The Teeth of the Comb

by Osama Alomar



“It’s rare that anyone gets away from me,” the quicksand said in a voice filled with confidence.

But the quicksands of life answered her scornfully, saying: “How many people keep flailing and thrashing in me all through their life, and they neither get away nor drown entirely!”


When the slaves reelected their executioner entirely of their own accord and without any pressure from anyone, I understood that it was still very early to be talking about democracy and human dignity.


When I crushed a large number of ants by accident with my feet, I realized that weakness is punishment without wrongdoing.


I turned into a swamp of inactivity, and because of this no one was able to see the gems in my depths.