A Fractured Performer

by Abeer Bshtawi

Edited by Reema Assaf


Your body becomes your worst enemy


You drive yourself insane


No matter how long you hang in there

You know that eventually

You’re going to fall

Rising up, is a matter of time

Like gravity is for falling

Can I go to outer space?

I want to float.

Can I play one last game?

In the streets, as a kid

Like I never did before

Because where I come from

You can’t play in the streets, sir.

You can barely make a path to your car.

Where I come from

Neighbors fight

They come home from work

They find nowhere to park their cars.

Our streets are for cars only, sir.

Our windows, for watching the neighbors scream at each other, sir.

Our internet connection

From me sitting on the washing machine by the window



For free Wifi networks.

Our clothes from my father working night shifts only.

My love from my mom’s sweetness.

My goals from the pool of disappointments

I’ve been swimming in

Since I’ve seen light.

My pain from loving too much

My scars from trying too hard.

My life from someone else’s death?

Some might believe so.

I do not know

Whether it’s true, or not.

I’m certain of nothing, sir.


Abeer Bshtawi is a 26 years old Palestinian artist. She is experienced in the fields of theatre, digital, and performance art.This is her first poem to be published.

Reema Assaf is a 20 years old actress and a third year student in Haifa University, double majoring in Theatre studies and English Language and Literature.