Saad El-Asha Avatar
A prose poem by

Saad El-Asha

Submitted Aug 11, 2019, 2:20:07 AM

Algriqa, Libya September 13, 1973

Algriqa, Libya
September 13, 1973

Dear Catalina,

I've just heard the news. I'm already two days late and god knows when this letter will find you. I'm still in Algriqa, extending my summer vacation. As you may already know, news of the world come in installments here, especially those of the newest coups.

I am terribly sorry, Cati. I know how you were hopeful and serious about change in Santiago, in particular. I am not in the least patronizing you; I've got a thing or two to say about dictatorship, and I'm sensing things will go even worse in here too.

Our own esteemed leader says nothing about the issue. I'm not sure if he'll ever do. But then no one knows what's in his head. At any rate, we're both fucked. I will be speaking to you as someone going through it all. I will try to prepare you to resist.

I'm almost in my thirties and I'm still gleaning almonds with the boys. As much as this appears as surrendering to a shitty life, it might look like a form of resistance. I pat the back of the cows by the gate of our farm. I approach them without fear so that they may sense no danger in my human touch. They remind me that life goes on. I remind them that I'm willing to understand their consciousness. This should feel nonsensical to you now, as you are going through the shock of displacement.

I need to know what you are going to do next, Cati. Will you be leaving the country? Will you join a weak resistance? Or will you glean your own almonds?

We've always spoken about how knowledgeable and experienced we are, and yet, here we are tangled up in blue – excuse my inescapable Dylan references. We are helpless, hopeless. What can we do when the only alternative to death is an Unexamined Life!

Cati, I may write to you as a mentor, being a citizen of an oppressed nation, but I'm also a friend who seeks solace. I need you to fight. Not for ideals. Not for patriotism. I need you to fight for yourself so we can meet again and rediscover these misfortunes. Can you imagine a world without a futile resistance? It's terrible!

I love you, Cati. What we have is historically greater than all coups: it's friendship! Please, let's not lose it! Resist! We may not be able to change our reality, but indeed we may change our present histories and meet in person very soon! I can't fly to Chile, naturally, so we may come to a compromise where we can tell our stories to the world, or better, to ourselves!

Much love.
Your dear friend,


kt6550 Avatar


Commented Aug 15, 2019, 10:42:49 PM
This is superb. Very well done. I think I will even rate it.
Saad El-Asha Avatar

Saad El-Asha

Commented Aug 19, 2019, 5:54:37 AM
Jesus, Kt. You've done enough by reading this! :D