Pulse Issue 2: 2023

Racing / Running / Something

by: Reem Rizk

I wish I were in grade school, and I wish you were my classmate.

Outrunning streams over mossy stones designed for slipping.

Your toes in light-up shoes, LED beacons of my BFF,

Or bare, gripping pressurised sands and releasing them to the wind's verdict.

Whether uniformed or casual, we would be of stomping age,

And our garb would not yet mean a thing.

In the evenings, when the streetlights would call us for dinner,

We'd go home, so as not to worry our mothers or inconvenience our fathers.

Or perhaps we'd play a card game,

Get so lost in dealth tangents and forget whose turn it was.

You'd teach me helpful tricks and look away from my exposed hands--no fear of the


We'd wish for Jenga towers to tumble just so we could get to the part where we built

moated castles on the carpet.

Neighbouring princesses, you'd say,

And we'd vow to rule this matriarchy in harmony

I wish I could be next to you on New Year's Eve without feeling the need to be picked up

in my mom's van.

I wish you felt like a congregation done right or the girls' bathroom at a loud club.

I wish I were in grade school with you because sometimes, you make me feel like glitter

glue and crayons, and like I'd be such a good mother.

But most of the time, well, it doesn't matter.

We both need to start looking on the bright side.

What I really wish is to have met when we were in grade school.

I like the thought of running or racing or something.

I wanna look over and see your first draft baby tooth gap smile grinning back at me,

Before we cared so much about winning,

Before summers made these bodies compete.

Reem Rizk (she/her) specialises in the intersection of literary and visual arts. In her time at OCAD-U, she has led the development of the publication "Petal Projections", published short fiction collection “Tuck Me In”, and has crafted the graphic novel “Dream Diary”. Her multi-disciplinary passions interweave to fuel the themes of personhood, femininity, and nature that her narratives often take.