Is it falling apart? Maybe. Maybe nothing really lasts. Like sand in your nails after an afternoon at the beach and the stinging pain of chlorine in your eyes after a swim, nothing truly lasts. At least, nothing strong. Your large cup of coffee, in its dregs tastes like muck you’d much rather spit out. Yet you sit down and gulp and let the unpleasant taste coat your mouth. First your tongue, then it’s roof and before you know it, muck is down your throat and you blink faster than you should have. You swallow the bitterness whole.
You keep walking, rain melting on your skin. You don’t look back, don’t stop for cars. Your feet ache from the pain of stepping too hard but you have to let it out- this fuelling rage inside you. This unmitigated sadness. You know the minute you stop, the floodgates will open, moments of bewilderment, a tangled mesh of tears and pain.
So you keep walking, just like you keep writing. Until you reach the bottom of the page where your wrist starts twisting and your words become more illegible by the minute, yet you go on. Because the words, they’re rushing at you- pounding at your head, making your fingers quiver.
You opened the floodgates. The second you put pen to paper and spelt out his name.
I’d kept on the windowsill
For they were becoming musty,
Gathering dust in my head.
My washed out eyes,
Did not notice
The gathering clouds and wind.
Night came and with it
The storm howled outside.
My feelings were swept,
Away by the wind
Out to sea.
Where tattered and drenched,
They fought to float a while
But were consumed by the wave
Before morning I could see.
My feelings were gone.
And with them,
A part of me.
I thought about writing a love poem today.
Compare you to the first rains of the season, the year.
But the comparison was so cliché, I chose to let it be.
Everyone says my lover is like the first rains.
I pretend to be more poetic and call you the tiny soft rays of sunshine peering through the clouds.
On days such as this I feel like I’m on a holiday at the beach.
I don’t know which one.
Sitting in my solitary square verandah,
Counting the many puddles of mud and water beside the cobblestone.
Summer is upon us.
As the rains wash away the grime of the day,
little green mangoes appear on the tree outside my window.
I am tempted to pick one and bite into it-
making my eyes squint with the raw taste of sour and sweet fruit dripping lovely yellow juice over my clothes.
The flowers have wilted.
You have broken off the knob that opens your blue door.
The sun doesn’t creep inside on bright mornings.
The sky hasn’t smiled on you for ages.
There is a death inside you I cannot describe for words are too few and dark passages are narrow and scary.
There is no more to your story. You are a world, a dying fire, a putrid flesh form.
There is no light you can touch, you are a shadow in the dark, a melancholy butterfly I cannot help but keep in a jar on my bed stand.
You were a star faintly twinkling when I met you on the bridge on a warm February evening.
I say warm, but the wind was cold.
I let my mind wander and I found you.
Your twinkle was a wilting stardust, a fading catalyst, the last bubbles floating on a soda can.
I put you, (like a rose from my old lover) crumpled in my favourite volume of Tolstoy’s musings; and left you there before you came home one night all brown and shrivelled, wet and tired, unable to speak.
You told me you had tried. You could not fight the man who pushed you down. Ripped you apart from the pages I had protected you in. You told me you called your mother at half past four and told her you were raped.
Your mother said in exactly half past four words “Men don’t get raped Charlie”.
I held you to my heart one last time before you wilted into the jar by my bed stand.
And you broke off the door knob.
I’m 21 and already I am beginning to find my life oddly blase. I have shifted four homes in the past few years and am planning to shift again in a few months.
I suppose this is the onset of early depression, something poetic like alienation or existentialism ( I can almost swear Conrad will write about me now). But I know quite frankly, I am bored.
I am bored in the least to say, with life. I’m 21 awaiting my graduation results, searching for a university to pursue my masters from, I will eventually get a job and then get married and have kids and die and well, I will have nothing to show for my existence.
I have not been able to write lengthy letters professing my love for someone drenched in the sweet scent of my embrace. I have not taken beautiful shaded photographs of the people I love and used to love in monochrome and compile them in an album with an artsy name. I have not named a dog and had it run up to me wagging its tiny tail in joy when it sees me.
I had dreams of travelling the world, backpack slung, hand in hand with someone I enjoy kissing. I would laugh at his absurd jokes and spill wine on his white shirt on an open top terrace in the wake of a starlit sky and we would sway to tacky jazz or wrap each other in midnight blues.
I have not tried on a white dress that bares too much skin with a sunhat and gladiator heels with my brown skin glowing in the evening sun. I used to dream of light, of roses, of winds. I had my head in the clouds.
I wanted to leave behind a legacy. I did not want mediocre, average, everyday.
I wanted to burst open and burn up in flames of golden blue.
I wanted to be stardust. How blase it is to realize I am merely dust.
I haven’t written something in so long, I have forgotten how to write.
But then in the middle of the night, when the world is in silent storm, I sense the falling breath of a leaf and I quiver awake, sweating and mumbling, and I know you heard me.
Miles away from me, under the covers of a darkened sleep, I know the whisper of a tiny broken wing reaches you. And I know that for a second, your left eye fluttered open and looked for me.
And you saw me, sitting awake on my midnight mattress, hair askew, a dreaded look on my face, hands outstretched.
And you reached out and I fell, into a long, deep sleep.
I am not your childhood’s blooming love,
Clad in school uniform, hair tied up in a plait.
You won’t have to cycle your way into my heart. I won’t keep you waiting.
I am your towel-wrapped mermaid,
Hair open and flying, mesmerized by your eyes.
I am not your growing up.
Your odd birthday party with adolescents wearing multicolour hats and cake on your face.
A picture of a large group.
I am your late night rave party, I stay up late to vomit vodka and have sex.
I am not your dreamy fantasy but your wildest nightmare. I scare, excite and ignite you. I will not let your flame blow out.
I don’t figure in your perfect world, I am your oddity, your other-worldly affair.
I am not your midnight love making but your 4.30am blowjob.
I am not your open umbrella, your protection, your refuge.
I am your challenge, your courage and your reason to dance in the rain.
I don’t stop to reason why, I’ll probably just do and die. I am your pulse racing high, adrenaline-stricken, sweaty business.
I don’t wear a jacket.
I am not your slow dancing masquerade but your naked fast-paced salsa.
I am not and I will not be.
But you seem to delight in me