I have never been one to write letters that begin with dear
I have never been one to write letters at all, actually
I have never been one to say hello or smile that much
because I hate my voice and how my mouth curls
so crudely into something more of a grimace.
For me the past isn’t a series of events that had trans
pired, I don’t believe anything ever really ends
and history repeats itself anyway, doesn’t it?
Just yesterday, for instance, a stranger smiled at me
from across the street and it reminded me
so much of you that I started to cry right there
and when I looked up, he was gone and I felt
a little bit better. What I mean is that the pain
won’t ever really go away, would it?
Because for me, the past is you
and I’ve never really been one to say goodbye.
Sometimes there are ocean waves that look like dead men’s fingertips, beckoning. That’s probably why he jumped off that cliff last Sunday when he was supposed to be singing at church and smiling and, well, alive. At least that’s what the news reports say.
Because it couldn’t possibly have been the children in his third grade class who called him burnt toast, could it? Oh no, it couldn’t possibly have been when Samantha told him he belonged in the trash or when the school janitor used to come around and they’d tell him to mop away the spilt coffee before it leaves a stain.
You met him in high school and before the other kids could call him grizzly, you gathered up the bear traps and loved him. You swallowed the sea foam before they’d start to lure him with a single gesture, the same way death coaxed that man head first into jagged rocks.
It took you a while to realise he’s strong too. You both have gotten used to the young mothers whispering into their blue-eyed daughters’ ears whenever you passed by hand in hand. You’ve gotten used to the train journey stares with his warm hands on your hips. So when the next old white couple in the park comes up to you to ask why, just smile and kiss him long and hard until they go away. They always do.
I’d paint my walls with it.
Some days they’d look like flowers
blooming beneath Winter skies
when the snow’s stopped falling
for a little while to let us breathe.
Other days, they’d be paint water
spilt on the floor and we’d lie arms
outstretched over them, staring at
the ceiling, soaking up our mess.
We’d make snow angels.
Then there are days when I could
stand so still, back pressed closely,
so hard on the wall and you wouldn’t
even see me. You’d pass by like the
breeze and I’d be the music sheets
fluttering quietly to the floor.
Your violin won’t be able to mask
the sound your fists make when
they collide with my ribs forever,
Everything sounds strange inside an empty room.
A whisper sounds like snakes hissing inside your ear
a snake hissing sounds like the wind and the wind
sounds like screaming, but there is no wind and
the only screams here come from your head.
I guess this is what it’s like between you and I
and I’m only just finding out that this room’s not
so empty after all. There’s ash stuck beneath
my sole, and my footprints tell me I’ve come from
somewhere so far away, the mountains have
grown smaller and there’s only love songs in the
air because all the birds have gone to sleep.
They’ve been asleep too long, I’m afraid they’re
all dead. The trees are bare, their arms, such
stringy, little things now. If I were a tree,
a couple of tourists about to get married would
come from foreign lands to watch the sun set
in my homeland, they’d take photographs and
pluck our flowers, they’d eat our food and carve
their names upon my flesh, believing this would
turn them immortal. But trees die, and love dies.
And if I were a tree, I’d wrap my roots around
my chest and squeeze and squeeze because
everything sounds strange inside an empty room.
Aw, thank you.
finally updated my /writings compilation page! check it
Really loved reading this. Congratulations on the engagement! Thanks for letting me tell your story. :)
Wish you all the best.