Dear Ali

Dear Ali, when you were 7 i know you told your mom you wanted to be an artist because that's what you were good at, was drawing the world as you saw it. like big yellow school buses and fields of growing flowers. Dear Ali, when you were 11 i know you told your mom again you wanted to still be an artist because you had gotten even better at drawing the world as you saw it. like what high school might be like. Dear Ali, when you were 16 i don't think you told your mom you wanted to be a mime, but that's what happened when you were pulled into a strangers car by invisible ropes that no one ever saw, vowed into a life of silence,by a hand not of your own and not by choice but by an awful chance; you went from being a regular teenager to a professional mime in a matter of seconds. i know you still want to be an artist, Ali. how do you see the world now? how do you draw it now? do you draw pictures of your home with the bloody fingers that try so hard to escape, against the walls you're being kept in? or are you finger painting your family's faces in the mud? because the only art supplies you get when you're face down in a ditch in the middle of god knows where is your imagination and your cold fingers. and those picture of flowers you drew when you were younger now have illusions of the flowers growing over your body. Dear Ali, i know you still want to be an artist. i know where ever you are, you still draw the world as you see it. Dear Ali, i know you wanted to be famous for your artwork, but only if you were the one to draw it, not because someone else has to sketch what you might look like 7 years later. Ali, if you can hear me, rip the hand from your mouth that keeps you so silent away, retire from being a mime and say something. anything. those pictures of what high school might be like for you are no longer in the grasp of your reality. the bus you drew would only become a prediction of what was to come. Dear Ali, i told my mom i wanted to be a photographer when i grew up, but i could never picture myself missing you this much.  

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