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.
I roll down my window hoping for the first time that I knew how to drive so that I wouldn’t have a confused witness to my impulse of moving forward by a mile and falling down by a heartbeat.
“Is everything alright?”, he asks me too often. I don’t bother to calm him down by saying ‘yes’ as I was doing an hour ago. Nothing I say can now convince him of my normality. So I let him drive and let myself collapse. I bury my face in my lap and breathe better by suffocating myself a little bit more.
He hums a song that reminds me of the love that now lives in a country I have not seen in a life that I will always guess inaccurately with a girl who has a serious case of klemptomania. Last time I called the stolen one, I was given a sorry and an address of a better therapist.
I let my ring burn my heart. I ask the driver to leave me somewhere no one can find me knowing he will not, he will take me home just like he doesn’t everyday, and he will make sure to greet me with a kind forgetfulness the next morning.
I wish I had kept more strangers like him in my life, someone who would worry about me.
I board the train that I could thinking, only thinking about the one I couldn’t. There are only tunnels, only darkness, no network, only cold metal that I rest my head hoping for my fever to come down, only windows that turn into mirror.
In those momentary mirrors I always look like someone on life support. In the crowd that no longer suffocates me I cling to the wires that fill my ears with the sound of past, with love that will never come back, with the love that I will never be, with everything I can’t bear to talk about nor forget.
Though it pains me to look at myself for more than 2 seconds, I force myself to withstand my stare. For if I take my eyes away from me I end up looking into eyes of strangers who twist and distort their faces asking for a reason they can understand or they end up looking away, their heart as fragile as mine.
We all act as if we can know each other by a glance, as if we would prefer to be the backdrop, the wallpaper than to find eyes that can actually see us, than to know one more human who is hell bent on proving the brittleness of our species. I understand their heart, their fear all too well. My skin remembers what their heart has forgotten. Though I don’t think anyone really forgets things like these.
On Sundays, I wear the purple summer dress that I once promised myself I would never wear. I paint my nails, I color my lips, and I open the windows in me. I become someone I was taught to hate, I try to break my hatred with my smile. I let myself be reigned by the greed for beautiful, sweet, shining things. I think of all the things I have tried not to want. I let myself be the delicate vulnerable woman that is easy to love, easy to idolize, easy to abuse, easy to blame, and easy to hate. I tell myself that it is not my fault, but the more I live the harder it becomes to believe it. I fall asleep on the floor where first I tasted blood, wondering why I can never give up on this dress, this dream that has given me nothing but hurt.