The Next Morning

Our hearts are wild things,

That’s why our ribs are cages.

Tracheal rings

Of cartilage through which breath

Spills on all these pages

Push out words falling as ink,

Like petals give off their fragrance.

These words were meant for clouds,

Precipitating in stages,

Carried on through the ages.

But just in the blink

Of an eyelid that stings

From harsh notes heard,

Words can be spared if not misheard

When blurted out in a fit of anger.

You know how powerful rage is

But just like a sage is

Calm, the heart will long for its balm

Which soothes even the most rocky of waves.

The most in danger it saves.

And when your eye opens again

It will lift all that was weighing it down,

Releasing that permanent frown

And with it the pain.

Leaving not even a stain

Of the forgotten moment from which you had nothing to gain.

But that ache.


That ache.


Nothing is worth feeling your insides break,

Clawed at with a rake,

Made of your own making.

The heart should stop for its own sake

Turn the dangerous sea into a tranquil lake

And when you wake the cage will be intact

Still there in fact

Thinking that what you lacked was not patience, no you have too much

You were simply out of touch with reality.

But you don’t have the capacity

Your cage won’t be enough

To keep you from being the tough one you think you need to be.

You say all their hearts are depending on me.

Theirs is a paper plane proven to always reach the ground

Or stoop even lower

You don’t hear their hissing like the tunes of a Boa

Constricting my neck so the air comes out slower

Till I just




Now you no longer seethe

And the ache is gone, you wonder how.

You still have your cage


But what good is your heart to you now.



Misbah Shafique is a third year medical student currently intercalating in Nutrition at King’s College, London

Featured Image by Lenore Senior



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I RISE Magazine is an online platform dedicated to showcasing the stories, talents and trials of women of colour and non-binary people of colour in educational institutions. Our aim is to collectively represent, lead the way and inspire ourselves and future generations.

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