“Much on earth is concealed from us, but in place of it we have been granted a secret, mysterious sense of our living bond with the other world, with the higher heavenly world, and the roots of our thoughts and feelings are not here but in other worlds. That is why philosophers say it is impossible on earth to conceive the essence of things. God took seeds from other worlds and sowed them on this earth, and raised up his garden; and everything that could sprout sprouted, but it lives and grows only through its sense of being in touch with other mysterious worlds; if this sense is weakened or destroyed in you, that which has grown up in you dies. Then you become indifferent to life, and even come to hate it. So I think.”—Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov
Be near me now, My tormenter, my love, be near me— At this hour when night comes down, When, having drunk from the gash of sunset, darkness comes With the balm of musk in its hands, its diamond lancets, When it comes with cries of lamentation, with laughter with songs; Its blue-gray anklets of pain clinking with every step. At this hour when hearts, deep in their hiding places, Have begun to hope once more, when they start their vigil For hands still enfolded in sleeves; When wine being poured makes the sound of inconsolable children who, though you try with all your heart, cannot be soothed. When whatever you want to do cannot be done, When nothing is of any use; —At this hour when night comes down, When night comes, dragging its long face, dressed in mourning, Be with me, My tormenter, my love, be near me.
I’ve lost you. In my mind, I know where you are— and it isn’t in (my heart) our not so humble home.
You escaped the cage. Was it too cold? I thought, perhaps, the lavender silk kept you warm— and when you smiled, and nodded with a glimmer in your eye, was that for me?
You were. Pretending. I wasn’t and frustration filled because it was like this. Each time. The quiet words I spoke I meant although I laughed each time.
I’ve heard about you. Flighty and loyal. ‘How can anyone be?’ I thought until I met you. Didn’t it hurt to have touched fire, and to have hid from the storm, and to have had that constant, insatiable hunger? To have searched and roamed for signs of existence? You once flew to the most appealing desert only for me to come and get you.
But I’m older now. You are too. I have seen and experienced changed. Tired lids of mine are still; yet, I’m somehow praying for you to find a way safely to me. Grow old with me. Remember. Your home is my heart.
And it puzzles me how you still have a hold on me. I’ve been changing. Slowly, slightly. But still changing. The innocence is ceasing but the quiet whispers of the melodies you once hummed is still a part of me. I remember that I wished, last year, when the airplane flew over my tiny self, of how lovely it would have been if our feelings for each other were prolonged. An hour would not have sufficed. A day would have been too short. A month I would have been contented with. A year with you I would have enjoyed without question. Eternity was not an option though. I wasn’t that silly.
My motives were murky; it was divided between ideals and affections. Didn’t you know I hesitated? My vanity was never wounded even when you turned to another person or when you stopped waiting and I was alone in paradise. I wish I had more time. You see, age meant something to you. “Go date boys your age,” you said with such a serious face and I laughed each time because I could only see you. When I tried, I grew weary. I entered into another daydream and I was smiling at the person in front of me because I was thinking of you. I was young then but I’m older now. A bit wiser. More hesitant than I want to be. I won’t blame you for that. It’s only my heart afraid of feeling so broken. I still smile easily though. Did you like that part about me? I remember that I kept making excuses for the both of us.
Someone will walk into your life, Leave a footprint on your heart, Turn it into a mudroom cluttered With encrusted boots, children’s mittens, Scratchy scarves— Where you linger to unwrap Or ready yourself for rough exits Into howling gales or onto Frozen car seats, expulsions Into the great outdoors where touch Is muffled, noses glisten, And breaths stab, So that when you meet someone Who is leaving your life You will be able to wave stiff Icy mitts and look forward To an evening in spring When you can fold winter away Until your next encounter with A chill so numbing you strew The heart’s antechamber With layers of rural garble.
Always doing whatever was working for me. Deceiving and avoiding myself. Irresistibly, I continue to rove for something to amuse myself. Pleasure and pain merges into one but even though I can only stir and watch it saturate into a squalid tinge, I persevere. I loiter. I endure. I linger.
Even now, there are no pleasurable thoughts of the future. Negativity takes hold of me as you rise and look so pleasing. The present is barely here. The past consumes me just like how you once did. Ignoring, diverting, and wishing such forlorn feelings away; it is futile and almost as impractical as the swimsuits in my closet. There are no beaches here. And I cannot even swim. I will drown if I dare to tackle those dangerous waves. But as I think of this, I remember how I used to wish that you would take me away spontaneously to a dreamboat under an auriferous sky. No need for a life jacket because, then, I had you.
But you see, as I inhale and exhale these thoughts in a constant cycle, I hide, and I fumble under my pallid sheets. I bite my lips and I sigh endlessly. I believe that this is incessant thinking at its worse. What’s the subject again? I forgot. But no surprise here. Or there. It took you, maybe, a crumb, a single morsel of effort to make me forget everything. And so, I forget the most crucial state of things yet remember the little nuances in your character. Someone, send me to the underworld. Please. I wouldn’t mind drinking from Lethe. No, no; that is what I want. I wouldn’t mind. I want to be drowning myself in it and to be finally free of how subtle your concern is or how your gaze is incredibly mesmerizing. ( Everything concerning you is at pause. Almost like a presence haunting me. When I close my eyes, there’s you, again, with that childish smile. ) But all I could do is remember because I’m still here. Not with you or by Persephone. Waiting for something. Maybe a stroke of luck, a change in season—or a falling star? so that I can wish my thoughts away to the fallen incandescent thing and hope that tomorrow, everything will be forgotten and I will be back to the person who I once was or if I am luckily, to a stronger person who can glide through such a thorn-filled path with ease.
I remember how I have believed, foolishly and excessively, that everything was to end exquisitely. But there was no grace. No goodbyes, no closure. A simple end that began with your avoidance has become into a constant, bittersweet experience. I have imagined for it to be without an iota of crudeness and wickedness. Goodbyes are supposed to be like that, I thought. It’ll be serene and I wouldn’t miss your gentle touch. But time passes as if it did not and soon, it was already a year. At first, I would count how many times I would twist and turn until I would forget and suddenly, I would stop. But on a night like today, where the sun is still at its amber shade and how slowly, it mutes itself like every other day, and how it takes its time turning into a cream of iridescence, I close my eyes and I forget. I take the china cup in front of me, delighted at its elaborate gold and burgundy design, and I sip leisurely at the caramel macchiato.
Dark tresses of hair on a pillow with such a gentle face. Oh, you cranky, cranky child—but I couldn’t hear your grumbling and muttering under your breath today. I called you at 5 am because it was Friday and I was an hour behind and oh! you had school. It was a whim. Such a simple, spontaneous whim of mine. I wanted to wake you up and be the first person to start your morning because the night does not like us being so close and I keep missing you.