The last stranger at the funeral home brought in the worst rain of the season, the coldest wind of the night along with your last letter. He leaned against the window and called up everyone he won’t be able to meet today looking at me all the while. As if he knew every word that I was reading. Probably waiting to see whether I cry at the same lines that he did. His eyes look like the ones who have got used to crying for things that cannot be undone, for a life that cannot be. I wondered if he loved you. Maybe he did. Maybe you knew. I hope you did. He sat beside me trying not to grieve more than a mother, trying not mourn like a lover, making himself invisible with every word i read under my tearful breath
“…even when I sat at the dinner table with my brightest smile and deepest hunger, i couldn’t convince me that i needed to exist here. even the warmest embrace of this world could do nothing but break me. i knew opening my heart could only bring floods and all ends of all kind. i knew all along of this end. forgive me for pretending otherwise….”
He lived in the cracks of the window I could never close. The sun and the wind, the winter on my cheeks were all him. It was a reminder of the mornings when he held the hands of his softer feelings, when he silently took the path to brokenness and named that day after me. It was the reminder of his kiss that would make me look away, make me look awkward, make me do everything almost wrong but with innocence- everything that made him smile. I would step on his shadow and before I apologized, he would step on mine. He would call it dancing cause there was no better word for that. I would smile back forgetting myself
It was a beautiful word. It was a moment that answered the question that I never knew how to ask.
The glass window creaks under the weight of my head. I wonder if I should sleep. Not that it is in my hands. I wish it was . But then I am afraid of wishing for anything that I might not be able to bear-
like her face alive in my dreams,
like seeing myself with a smile that I can never wear again,
like wanting to smile again even when I do not want to want such things.
Even when I stay awake, stay alert to the turning and tossing of my heart even when I stay glued to the place I had in her heart, I feel that time is dragging me away from everything that is painfully comfortable and familiar and lost.
I feel the world trying to rush back into me. I feel I might lose her too soon, too easily. I fear there is only so much that my heart can take. I fear that I will find the peace that I do not want to feel at the other end of this suffering.
i remember your hands and their warmth like i remember the versions of me that were easier to live with (or so i think). the colors, their unnatural brightness, the scent of acetone always lingering on the tips of your fingertips, always hiding a sad rainbow (just my type). always a star that you forgot to rub and break, shined on your skin. under my lips, they shined brighter than my world. i swam to them as they stood in a world of darkness in the shapes of you and me. it is so odd that in my constantly breaking and building and growing brain and its images and meaning- everything about you meant love. i loved your flower hairpins and fake bullets and the magazines of the the people you would rather be and the window you glanced out of when didn’t want to look at me and your back against mine. it is odd that i could love you so even when i didn’t know why?
the most beautiful bitter bits of this world belong to me now. a car rushes by far away and i wonder about the girl crying her eyes out on the table not far from mine, or the middle-aged man looking lost in front of his home in my window, or the woman who left her phone and purse on her table on purpose and turned back at the door to look at something i couldn’t see. i wonder if they feel the same as me, if i would ever feel anything brand new, if i would ever have a feeling not felt by anyone in this world. even when i know how ordinary my extra-ordinary pain is, why does it feel so deep, why do i struggle to walk on these crowded roads why can’t i wear my sadness, my tears on my eyes and let this world be the audience for once.
I saw you in a moment abandoned by every story. I saw you slowly circling the window of life to find a way in. I watched you, waited for you as I lay on the painful bed of abandon, as I wrote my hundredth song on the beauty of giving up. With my eyes glued to you I ate another scoop of air and lied about the sweetness it fills me with. I wondered what a person like you would think of me. As you flit across my only sky I can’t help but hope for you, hope to be like you. I also can’t help but hope to be free from you. To wake up to a frozen window with nothing to stop me from…
a blue cloudy sky over a banana plantation. the only word to be heard – rebellion. someone is crying far away. another round of bullets leave the shaking hands of the one who can’t seem to stop crying. now he must die just like me. he rests his bloody head and its murky thoughts on me. in this last afternoon of my life i drift into bouts of darkness, without fear for first time, with the company of only his confused memories. will this be my last dream – his life? even in his head my homeland and its afternoons are beautiful. he has a face that he doesn’t want to forget, he has childhood home he can always return to but he didn’t, he regrets it now. he remembers the red color that his sister stopped wearing on her lips once her heart was broken badly. how he kept it with himself, as a symbol of happiness that he can’t have only for himself. there are ports on rainy days and buildings that became sadder at night. he once painted the window that would never open to him or anyone else for that matter. he cried when another nameless woman was found lifeless on the last page corner of newspaper and the window never lighted anymore. there is a cafe filled with few bombs that didn’t go off where the only one spared was him. he doesn’t want to be spared anymore. i wonder if he thinks that he can have happiness when he ends. i wonder if i will be able to smile on a rainy day, even if i am born again.
The dead world lives through her. Her escape is a door left open for the violence to spread, or so she always believed. When she saw someone who reminded her of love, saw that the fragile bird of happiness would choose sit by her window and wait for her to sing back, when all that could make her feel safe and somehow better smiled at her and asked her name. She would remember how from her skin and her mind grew trees of fear every night. The flood that has left her land loomed above this forest. Anytime the cloud would burst, the past would burst through her smile, and all would be lost. Today, tomorrow, day after, on an afternoon when she would forget about it all, on a beautiful day like that she knows she will find sorrow again. So she stays quiet and writes a softer tragedy of a girl who could never tell her name to anyone who chose her hoping for happiness.
The night doesn’t quite reach my land. There are columns and mountains of light that my people have given themselves to.
I never roll down my windows. There is a scent of death in the air. I don’t want to remember how burning is painful.
In my mind I run towards the memories of my perspective correction classes. I pick out a card, a line that works the most “burning is luminous”.
Yes, burning is lumious. Burning is magic, burning is beautiful. It is beautiful as long as I don’t hear the cries of one being burnt. It is magic as long as I don’t ask for confirmation of my worst fears being true from the others who never open their windows.
There is red in the news no one talks about, there is red in the names that disappear over night, there is red splattered inside the world in my head but the world is suspiciously clean even when all I smell is death.
When I close my eyes, it is never dark. Something burns before me, I am always aware of it. I wonder if I would ever know sleep again.