All the stories and songs and in this part of land, at this end of life – they are all about the boat and its wood, about the shine of its old surface, the sound of water it carries even as it sits on the dry dying land, burning for hours and hours. Hours not measured in the cups of water nor in the shadows that refuse to fall in spite of all the light, but hours measured by the cries of gull, the number of sails torn, the diminishing weight of the men, and the the silent wrath of all the glorious water. We ‘the ones rooted to the shores’, we sing from the shade of generous trees to ‘the ones who only knew the abundance of salt and wounds and undying dreams’, trying to understand their alien love. We sing of them and their hateful dreams, of the tears they forced us to swallow because they couldn’t love us if we wanted to be their shackles, we narrate these unchanging facts every morning, we dig a new grave for the same person again and again, with each hole in earth as empty as the other.
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.
The metal bubbles. The knives and the rust reach our softest tissue, our dearest happiness. My skin, like his, is torn and sewed up. A new design forced into our veins. A new love written. Something old and precious bleeds. Something soft leaves our hold, leaves our hands, our dreams cold. The blessings, the gentle shade, the sun showers – all a memory too unreal to be trusted now. Soon we will speak of love and not mean each other.
In the shade of a fruitless spring-less tree as I tried to recall and write down all the phone numbers I once knew by heart, I looked at the sky and laughed for thinking too highly of myself and thinking too little about my heart. That is the last thing I remember before I was possessed.
Oddly I always remember this point of contrast marked by the last tear I actually cried. Whatever now had made home in me convinced me that I could be complete even if I stay as who I am, that I could stand in this world witnessing beauty, love, companionship, faith, life and be happy even if it could do nothing for me, even if they were not mine.
Someone, who couldn’t possibly have been me, lived my life in my place from that moment, and I never had to wonder again if I am allowed to live like this. I never picked up another paper I threw in the trash. I now never tried to play the role of the one with bigger heart. I was finally free of hope, of love, of being myself. Now it was the work of whoever wanted this body, whoever wanted my life.
As I climb, my steps remembered the shoes I once had the ones that didn’t hurt so much and how hands of mine that hacked through them just to become my own person, some sort of grown-up. I climbed over the yellow soft dress and the light that it caught just to get this, this body that looks held together but is not (this body knows only how to fall apart), just to get few more shadows that ruin my beautiful wrist with their persistent passion. They claw through me, to see how I am made, how I look and speak once I break. A stranger once left me at the bottom of a black pond and called it love just so that I won’t cry and in return I called him my love just for few breaths, just for my life. I climbed over the right to mean the word “love” thereafter and the dream of knowing a heart other than mine. I breathe as if I have sinned yet I walk like I am happiness and determination in flesh. I cling to all the bitter bits of this world as if they would ultimately save me. I climb over, get over, and forget so easily, so bitterly that each feeling of mine is just a shade of resentment.
The wind is picking up. The white sand unlike water sinks everything too slowly. And so the shade less trees of eucalyptus become shadows that I learn to love. They become compass that knows no direction, but just piece this world to hold, the silent assurance that I am not yet lost, though my eyes can’t tell.
The wind is picking up. In the middle of this small storm, my careful hands writing the date on black board suddenly realize the need to be held. And so I fold and create a crease on another part of my face- the part that shows my heart too easily. Someone yells out my name and unknowingly they moor me to another violence, another need that I don’t want to carry in me.
the doll with black buttons eyes – i can be that, if you also don’t mind being one. we can sit under the shade of broken wooden chair. we can call this air-conditioned room our world. the ring on your finger will longer fit you, these bruises will finally leave your life. we can wear dresses that carry no scent of rain. and we will stay forever as girls without love, girls without heartaches to cure.
Now that we have buried all the clocks, a day passes only when our eyes meet again, night comes only when we say goodbye. And when I walk away from the shade of her smile, I think that I am forgetting something, something that would have made me sad. But her name, her words have grown ferociously, violently on whatever I once was. So it doesn’t matter I guess what kind of person I was till I can continue to be the person she loves.