Somehow, it was understood by everyone in that room that our expectation of happiness will never be met. Even as we smiled and exchanged pleasantries and got each others name right (if not each others lives), we could see the powdered snow of truth on each others shoulder. We looked at each other stumbling through the halls, stubbing our toes and losing our limbs to something as simple as a heartache, to something as trivial as a phone call not made. We would drink each other’s suggestion and make visits to tables where greatness lived yet all the time barely holding ourselves back from asking the obvious – “do you know it too?” or sometimes from even asking the absurd – “can you love away this realization, exorcise this pain from me? look at me so that I stop breaking. look at me and make me feel true. look at me, so my hands can stop clawing at your throat for attention. I hate being reduced to this, don’t you” Too tired to pretend, too dejected to accept, stupidly, recklessly we hoped, even as we tried not to.
The hand that writes on the board of sky erases everything in a haste again. She, the deity of hope, stands flustered offering her pink cheeks and silent lips to our cold eyes. She looks at the swamp, the dirt, the knees dancing with the flow of earth and waits for us to write a flower on the lines of our fate. She wanted to tell us about something beautiful, about the world that waits to be worshipped. It was supposed to be a class about becoming, about the skin of baby that would come to our surface when we let ourselves feel something. But she knows all correct words will first do us harm. She has suffered that harm before she found the softer light of life. She fumbles with her love, her offering for she knows not all of us will make it through like her. She wanted to make a list of her loves to write us a path that is only made of light but ended up writing the names of all those who drowned because they felt too much for too long. She can’t stop her tears, can’t stop apologizing. She wonders if she has broken us permanently while we look at her own broken form and silly love and wonder if this is where worship, where light starts.
Light drips from the edges of the window where you once stood, where you now hide, where now you lie buried without a body. That light from the past frames my cold figure, it takes my withered dream and writes your name on my budding hopes again. Again I am left wanting you. On the streets where young blood builds new worlds my hands want only to build you back as you were. My ungrateful hands tries to sculpt you on every skin it is granted. My cruel cold words of love-not-meant decorate coffee tables and dark beds. I have become so hateful that I fail to grasp how you could have loved me. It is now impossible to imagine that once something in me knew something of love.
The home I had in me for you stood in silence at the the slow curve of every approaching road, it stood with hope facing the ocean of molten cold dead ends. It was a beautiful place really, a place where sleep hunted for eyes, if only for some consolation, if only to feel alive. A place of hollow abundance, where one could only pray for a bit of loneliness as relief. Morning dreams of lace and scissors, the shade of some long lost sorrow, the memory of rain always remaining on the clothes, the sunlight forever imprinted on your chest, the light of the-world-lost always clawing its way to the dead center of your heart. It was the world of bleeding fabric, lying on skin like a pet waiting for a tamed life. It wasn’t really much of a home, there really wasn’t much space there left – for life, for you, or even my changed love-filled self to survive.
The monsters brought their shadows as they climbed into my bed and I gave them stories that promised to make them human again. I had talked them into the idea of change and love and the broken petal that became a flower overnight in the embrace of a care so fierce it that nothing in the world could stay broken once they knew its warmth; just liked they talked me into the ideas of strength and hiding and the stones that teach the skin of blood, bruise and eventually a strength so stubborn that it can never be separated from our bodies, our sorrows, and our will to fight. But many hours and a sleep and a love later we still found ourselves staring at the broken windows of hope, and the stone of disappointments melting in the morning light like snow. Each half of our heart now wouldn’t stop crying and begging for the other half to change. Every part of us was now contending with each other on the monopoly of truth, the right way to love, and the safe ways to die. Our surety of self was evaporating faster than ever. We were being broken from inside, scattered for good, while our skins now knew the same battles of keep up a form, keeping our reality hidden. But now we could at least now sit in a room and look each other in eye and smile, knowing we could never be separate from each other. Knowing there is no hell or heaven we would go to alone, no forgiveness only granted to one. There was no sin or or grace in this kingdom of cries, there is no beautiful escape from this knowledge of life.
A summer comes alive, a branch flowers at the touch of my hand. My hands that were just held by you they find all dead things, all dark corners of life. There is so much of life in these hands that are now desired by you. There is so much that can now be brought back to life, so much that can stop hurting. There is no way to stop all this warmth from spilling out of me anyway. This world, this path of ruins, this history of us, existed for this moment maybe so that we may learn the texture of hope in each other’s skin, so that we may see the rebirth of light in each other’s eyes.
the towers are open to the public now. the crowd can now crow and row and climb to the better views- a softer light, a smaller distant world, the illusions of gods growing on our own earthly skin. this radiance was supposed to mean something else, something more, something new though. but these deafening footsteps, this meaningless chatter, these houses now growing like shrooms, the clothes now drying on every step, the resurgence of life and the blooming bruise, the grass growing, the herds living and dying in the shade of the tower- they only make me cry. even in their most wretched moments they still remain things i can’t have. the singular monument of hope and its playground of chaos and me, the only child who doesn’t belong, looks up at the promised sky, feeling a new hollowness creeping. feeling myself break for the same old things in new ways.
There is mercy in shadows, there is healing in light, and in the darkness? There is always something in darkness but we never know what. Only there I can invent, imagine and pretend. Pretend that this is my heart, these are my people, these noises that scare me are of ghosts, here I can see their teary eyes Pretend that the one coming towards me is a kind monster, that the bleeding has stopped that outside is spring, is a life better and wider than this Outside is always spring till I don’t open the windows, till I don’t look out. What a sad fragile relief this darkness is. A never-ending cycle of hope and pain.
I looked at the beautiful beautiful plate, the rice lit like pieces of paradise, the spice, the salt, a garden, a farm, a forest fit into morsels. I wanted to write about food and realized how it no longer fills me but what feeds me are the hands that make them. Carefully they serve the empty cold plate, fill it with love and color and texture and sprinkle “i love you” and “hope you are always happy” and “hope you are always full” without restrain, always, always in excess. But I am never full, and I am often not happy. I eat this world and their love always with half my heart heavy with ugly yearning for things that cannot be. But whatever good remains of my heart remains because they love, they care for me like this, without reconsideration, without restrain, always, always in excess.
The stones are stacked, a song is sung. The invisible hands and wailing throats are at work again.
The yard grows sand, grows salt and sun and water is what it waits for. Colorless blue is all that eludes the grand plan. And the wait for it is a snake –
a snake crawling through the alleys of heart, upturning graves and homes, looking into the eyeless sockets on walls, waiting for some light to illuminate something true here.
Wait is the girl who pukes at the mention of hope, and walks off the cold by lighting her own legs. Her feet that always survive miraculously, dance on the grassless yards yearning for blue.
The yard grows feet grows heart and fun. The yard is lit with the light of fried birds – this is the liveliest moment that all hands here know. What else can one do with life? What else can one do with death?