Je ne peux pas voir les étoiles.
I think there are some people that are just unwriteable. I cannot write the way you have moved my heart and shattered my lungs, and I’m beginning to see that’s okay. It’s colder since you’ve left. My bones have ached more than they ever did in the Winter, and old wounds on my milk thighs seem to bleed again. I watch you breathe the night air, deep, strong, whole. The stars reside within your chest. I know, because once after we made love in the middle of the darkened woods, I felt the thrum of galaxies beneath my shaking fingers. My lips pressed a promise to your jaw, and you smiled a vague smile. It was a smile of contentment. It was a smile that said ‘I love you, my darling, my moonchild, but I cannot love you forever.’ I was living in a land where time wasn’t a reality, and you were living in a world where time was an ever-beating drum. I am sorry. I owe you an apology. I am too easily overcome by dreams I spun with words beneath the covers, with stories I imagined when the night was dark and I was lonely. I imagined your arms holding me close to your infinite body, your dark eyes looking into mine forever & forever until you reached the very end of my soul. I took these stories I created and gave them to you, typed and bound into a beautiful leather cover. ‘Here,’ I said. ‘Make this your reality, for it is mine.’ And you, the beautiful and loving soul that you are, tried. You tried to weave impossibilities into the fabric of the life that we had been forced to live. When you couldn’t do it anymore, I was hurt, I was broken, I was made of nothing. I was a soul of broken bones and mismatched piano chords. I was a heart where the melody didn’t meet the harmony. I was like the night without the promise of dawn. You, my sweet cloudlover, you are a child of the day. I have not yet learnt how to walk beneath the Sun, but I will watch you and learn. You are unwriteable. I can attempt with words to show the hole you leave within my ventricle chambers. I can attempt to spin a story about the emptiness of my bed and the quietness of my mind. I can begin to whisper softly to the moon about our doomed and cracking romance. I can write these things. But you, O heart of my heart, you are unwriteable, because you know how to walk and I am still but learning to crawl.
I am not okay now but maybe I’ll be okay tomorrow.
Things I Have Learnt in the Last 24 Hours
- Caramel lattes make everything a little better.
- It’s difficult to fall asleep when you’re depressed, but it’s even more difficult to fall asleep when you’re happy.
- I like the sloppiness of being drunk; I like the freedom and uninhibited truth.
- The cool wind against your cheeks, still wet with tears, is a little calming.
- Running is not calming; running makes your heart beat too fast and your thoughts scream at you incessantly.
- The nighttime is the most beautiful time.
- You need to see the stars to feel alive; cloud cover makes your heart sink a little.
- The harbour is a beautiful place when it’s dark, but not when it’s light. When it’s light, everything seems too picturesque. Things are more beautiful when you can’t see them properly.
- Continuous cups of warm tea set a fire in aching joints.
- Walking topless in the rain is a simple, dangerous pleasure.
- Cool, wet grass on the back of your bare neck sends a shiver down your spine, but it’s a shiver greater than an orgasm.
- The great mind is androgynous, and Virginia Woolf’s irony is grating and overbearing. Sometimes things can be simple. Sometimes things can just rest.
- Poetry is a reason to live.
- Poetry is a reason to live.
- There are words in my heart.
I came back because I had something to write.
I found myself trapped in my flesh, so I put on some clothes and ran outside. Before I had been curled up in bed, naked, but everything was too close, too sore, too near. Everything was confined to one room and one body. I needed to feel like I was insignificant. I needed to feel like one meaningless part to an incomprehensible universe. It was dark and cold, and I hadn’t run for years. I hadn’t breathed for years. I ran. Bare feet slapped against the pavement and I cried while I ran. I cried, because I cannot tell my mother I was raped. I cried, because I see his hands on me all the time. I cried, because I am tired. Twice around the block I ran, but my house kept flashing past my eyes and inside sat my two content, oblivious parents, so on the third time I kept running. I ran and ran and I cut my foot on the edge of the pavement, a piece of glass in the gutter, and I ran and ran and ran. I ran to the park that’s three blocks down, far enough to be an unfamiliar world. You can see the harbour from there. The world twinkles across the water and when I’m there, I feel like my life means nothing because I can see the lights reflecting other people’s lives and their troubles and their sadness and I don’t mean a thing. The night touches my heart. I collapsed backwards onto the wet grass, and sobbed when my head hit the ground hard. It hurt. Pain is good. Pain reminds you that flesh is impermanent. I looked up, and the clouds covered the skies. I couldn’t see a single star. I turned my gaze to the right, and saw rows of apartments with their sliding glass doors thrown open and not one person was on the balcony looking at the world. Not one person cared that they weren’t all there was. Domesticity stifles and I wanted to grab their shoulders and scream at them and tell them that they don’t matter, that none of this matters, that when we die we die and nothing happens. Nothing happens and that’s so freeing and no one can see that. I just want to decompose in the earth and have my carbon dioxide travel through roots and exhale through leaves and just become a part of everything. I want to stop being me. I want to be everything else. Everyone’s boxed themselves in and that hurts me more than anything else. Everyone is so consumed by their own world. I lay there crying for some time. On the way home, I took off my shirt and my bra and walked home topless underneath the street lights. Not one person looked outside their window and noticed my breasts. Not one person saw. No one sees. I breathe.
“Until then, come supernova with me. I need someone to burn with, to move until we are sore and the fire fills the hollow chambers underneath our skin. Until we can feel the sun exploding inside of us. Again and again, stardust to stardust.”
I pray that something picks me up.
I leave the blinds closed all day, now. The only time I’ll crack them open, even the smallest bit, is if it’s raining. The sound, sight, smell of the rain infiltrates my heart, fulfills me, makes me whole. When the storm is over, I go back to longing again. But these days, when the sun is shining and the world is turning, I have my blinds closed. I live my life in self-imposed darkness, merely the smallest cracks of pale sunlight leaking through, touching my translucent skin like a hesitant lover. I don’t want to face the world outside. There is no sense of time inside my room, as one day bleeds into another, a transference of blood and minutes to the point where neither is indistinguishable from another. I sit inside this grey-lit room and think, and write, and breathe. I speak with strangers in an unintelligible tongue, a message from Babel, and I begin to wonder if they are real. If I am real. I look for hidden cameras, and microphones beneath my bedside lamp, wondering if there is a cruel humanity watching my isolation like a reality TV show. My mother, worried, cracks the door open every so often to bring me food that I barely touch, and tea which I drink. I think if I were a smoker, there’d be a cigarette dangling endlessly from my slack fingers, a yellow stain on my fingertips and around my lackluster lips. I dream up men and women, dream up worlds and different cultures, and watch as they interact inside my mind. I leave the blinds closed, these days. The sight of sunlight jars my fragile heart too much.
Today I saw a girl who carried sadness within the creases of her palms. It was a beautiful sadness, a melancholy elegance. She was rolling green pastures under grey mist, a lone willow drooping beside a quiet stream. She leant against the curved yellow pole, trusting in its and her existence to keep her frail body standing upright. She seemed to ooze pain, an aching which could be heard as quiet sighs from tired joints. Within her smooth, woman’s hands she clutched a book, dog-eared and yellowing. Gently, her fingers stroked a prayer along the spine, and her lips pressed a promise to the title. Before she cracked the book open, she seemed to inhale language with a single breath. There was a ritualistic tenderness about this process, as though the book knew her and she knew it, old friends travelling a lonely road together. I watched as slowly, she eased the pages open, and her eyes began to flicker and flash across delightful lines, which held other lands and strange people (as strange as I was to her). Her long, blonde hair swayed with the movement of the rickety train, her mind travelling further and further down the rabbit hole. Houses and lives glittered past me peripherally, but my gaze stayed locked on the girl whose soul bled stories. She held the manuscript within one hand, her eyes never leaving the page as she eased out of her cardigan skilfully—the blue fabric peeling off one arm, a flash of the book to the other hand, and then the sleeve leaving her flesh completely. Her milk skin, freckled by sparse sunlight in the carriage, seemed to melt into my vision, and she swayed. I left the train before she did, and I can see within a dream that she is still standing there, still leaning on that metal pole, still engrossed in a world more richly spun than our own. Today I saw a girl who carried sadness within the creases of her palms, and lived within a dream softer than my questionable reality.
It’s been raining for days and I’m exhausted. My joints seem to creak with every step I take. I can’t think. I can’t breathe. I’m drowning inside my warm room, wrapped up in blankets and sipping hot tea. I sit and watch the world go by through my misted windows. It’s grey and quiet out there. It’s grey and made of water. We’re all made of water. I’ve only had the blinds cracked open a fraction today, just a sliver of the world passing through my retinas. I snapped. The garden is small and overflowing, a square patch of grass too bogged down to breathe, an inch of water lapping at the vegetable garden. We have a wooden bench in our backyard, a small one, and the neighbours cannot see in because the trees are too high. We’re entirely hidden and it’s possible to feel like you’re the only one alive. I have this ethereal angelsong playing over and over in my mind, and I step outside without a thought, without any shoes, without any socks. I’m wearing navy blue trackpants and a white shirt and nothing beneath either of them. Rain drips down my neck, down my spine, beneath my clothes and over my glasses. My hair begins to become drenched as I sit there on our garden bench. I’m alone and clothed and breathing. I concentrate on breathing. Soon that’s not enough. I feel too warm, too comfortable. Hurriedly, I stand up, taking off my navy blue trackpants and white shirt and throw them into the muddy water. They’re immediately stained. Naked, now, I sit back down. The damp seat touches me flesh and I begin to be touched everywhere by the rain, the most private and secret places, except my two palms which are pressed together like pilgrim lovers. Soon I cannot see through my glasses, and soon my hair is soaked, and soon I am entirely drenched. I am covered by the rain. Naked, naked, I am cleansed. My flesh has prickled up in cold and my joints scream out in protest, but I merely watch the rain drip off the leaves, quietly, a natural hymn that was meant to be sung beyond the realm of human understanding. I don’t understand anything anymore. All I understand is that I am lacking any clothing and the rain is a kind of god. All I understand is that my heart is a little cold and my limbs a little moist. All I understand is that this is pointless. Naked, the rain keeps falling.
Sometimes I like words on their own.
Sometimes I don’t like seeing them in a poem or a piece.
Sometimes I want to cradle phonetics to my chest & sleep.
I wonder if I’ve thought or spoken a sentence that nobody else has ever said.