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 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.
The walls gave birth to new ghosts
and the chill in our lungs
grew as a garden of hyacinth.
Whatever remained of our suns
was now dying with us.
“Give in to the end with grace”
said a detached cold voice on screen.
So in my remaining breaths
I tried to write something wise about life
but somehow it all came back
to those few names
repeated again and again,
it somehow came back to not wanting to die.
I looked at her across the room
as she ran her fingers through the spread of cards
with a smile that still brushed against my heart
like a butterfly with one wing of metal
and other made of light.
It doesn’t make sense that this all has to end.
Someone out there in the snow
continued to sing about heartbreaks
and the glory of this release
and yet what wouldn’t I give
only to feel another despair of love
if that is how she could live a little more in me.
I light lamps, sow seeds of lighthouses
in gratitude for this weak flesh
that can build itself anew, in spite of the nights
when all the warmth in the world evades it.
I chant the names that don’t belong on my lips
with boundless grace and bitterness and longing
and not die from the memory of having lived.
I sit content and complete
knowing my breaking cannot forever stay in me.
I smile with relief,
knowing nothing would hurt as it should, as it does.
I write another poem of love,
knowing nothing I love will be loved well enough.
I look back at our old odd selves and find the heart to smile
knowing that the list of “beasts and wonders extinct” – only grows longer.
Drop by drop the wax fills
the bucket of broken butterflies.
I am falling into another sleep,
into another death that is warm,
that embraces me like no lover ever has.
I feel the pain in my wings, and unlike other days
I try to think that this will never pass.
That I will remain like this, with a bit of pain always there
in my shoulder blades, under my ribs, aching for a memory that floats
above my body, above my existence.
Someone holds my hand and I let them.
I was always afraid of living and dying alone.
I guess there are many like me.
Years from now they will find us
and probably write stories
about how we loved each other even in death.
As they look at our almost ruined and almost saved faces
they won’t know how we died heartbroken,
how we held onto each other
but never dared to look at each other
or ask the names we had started to hate.
How our skins melted into each other only because
we had nowhere else to be.
That even as light broke free from our eyes
we didn’t want to look like failure.
The moment I pass any door
a part of my brain whispers-
too many people,
watch you step and watch your tongue,
lest you want to be branded as one of those women
that you are are and aren’t at the same time.
For if you are not careful enough
you will soon believe everything that people say about you
as you are doing right now.
Right now only half of you exist in this body.
I know this because that is what I was calculating
in the class of areas and volumes,
as teacher taught how we determine
the volume the water left at in a cylinder of flesh
once it starts leaking from all the words that have pierced it.
Or that’s what I heard at least.
I got had good score for that class
and I got called many more names.
A little more of me seeped out
and now I am less than half of what I was.
I know this because I have lost my friends
(maybe they see I am no longer me).
I know this because my heart no longer protests
when I hear people calling me by wrong names.
She left the door ajar
and closed the curtains as she left,
like she did so many things
that I didn’t ask her to do.
Like so many things I didn’t notice.
Did I fear darkness of the room?
Did I fear drifting into sleep
no longer be sure
that this body would continue breathing?
I feared a lot.
I knew the names of imaginary insects
that crawled inside my mind.
But only she knew how to close my eyes
and close my heart
to the pain and paranoia
that only I could feel.
I woke up to curtains soaking the sunlight
and the sweet humming from next room.
And I didn’t want this humming
to go farther
In that house that stands
on the border of two hearts,
where as your eyes scan the room
I became one of the collected belongings.
I found your curses and blames
hidden in odd places.
In the bottom of a tea cups, of tea made too sweet
In the peels of an apple left on tables.
In the picture frames full of strangers.
In the list of unanswered calls.
In the names you murmured in your sleep.
Where I ceased to belong to either world
and belonged just to you.
And it made me sad.
In that house
Where the promises feel the lack of ‘forever’.
I took my last breath
as your love.