Outside the café window
fall heavy drops of rain to hide
a thousand mysteries,
a thousand sorrowful stories.
With my stained, brown leather notebook
and black pen abandoned on the table,
I hold my cup of dark tea with
fresh cow’s milk and honey,
and the smell of old black leaves
and sweet, sharp spices.
Outside, thunder and black clouds
in a dark foreign sky,
pressing down on them.
Pushing against its weight
they hold up umbrellas and bags.
Are their souls unhappy?
All the tables quiet down to
hear the radio’s words:
Another explosion, this time close to a girls’ school in Kabul,
Ten teenagers dead; two injured.
I look around,
Everyone seems to be staring at me.
Is it my hijab?
An old lady, white hair, white dress, white fur hat,
lifts me up, holds me tight.
Her warm tears drop on my shoulder.
She shares my pain.
Farahnaz is studying abroad. Photo by Omar Sobhani, Reuters.