twenty-six steps away from the cold end,
we stand together as if we are both looking
at a foe we must defeat together.
a child passes us by with a yellow balloon.
how misplaced it seems, this child
in this place made of storms.
this is something i don’t want to do.
our steps will fade into the deep end of this lake
while the mother in me would summon the face of this child
as a hope of what i could have had
if I could endure a little bit more.
an invisible small hand curls around my fingers
as your voice falters and you mess up our last song.
the ghost of your future, whatever face they may have, have also arrived.
so i put back the sweater on
and you check the calls you must return
as the ones who intend to live on only do.
I am sipping my 27th cup of coffee
waiting for the shop to get crowded,
so people will not eye me with suspicion or pity.
So I can be in company of people
who have nowhere to go, like me.
For whom, home is just a place you run away from.
I wait for the sun to set.
I wait for the sounds of your approaching footsteps.
I see you make your way
to the table behind me.
I don’t have to look, to know it’s you.
I know you much more than I should.
We have lived together for too long.
And you wouldn’t know me
even if you saw my face.
You have only known yourself,
your world knows nothing but you.
And slowly the seats around you
are filled one by one.
And empty chairs
are being drawn and dragged around you.
And with these strangers
I hear my stories from
your mouth that seem like
the only warmth in their life.
I hear every word you say,
I hear it everyday
waiting at this shop.
To hear, if you ever came to miss me.
Ever said my name with a melancholy
of losing something precious.
If in the stories you tell,
if you could still see me.
If for a moment I could hear you utter word “love”
with my name in its periphery.
I do not love you.
I’m not here to claim you back.
Not here to prove my eternal undying love.
I am just waiting in this cold
that when I sold you my life,
when you used up my story
what you did with me?
Am I there in that heart?
Or at the bottom of some frozen lake?
I need to start looking for it.
And I don’t know where to start.