- riding alone on the shuttle or the T, watching the lights of the city and the stations flashing past, being rocked to sleep on my way back home, my fingers numb from the cold
- shifting in my bed and pushing up against the pillow behind my back, cocooned in my soft blankets in the morning and in the middle of the night
- every time i nearly pick up two spoons with a plate of dessert that’s big enough that you know it’s meant for two people
- sitting in the common room with my over-sized jacket or sweater covering my body like a blanket as i study
- each time i take a picture of my face, but also that i hardly ever do anymore (no one asks)
- clear nights, dark, quiet nights, when the suburbs grant me a few hours with the moon and with the stars and with the special kind of silence that comes with watching them
- falling sick and feeling too weak to look for meds and to bring water up to my room and to take care of myself
- every confusing math problem i’m able to solve step by step, every sigma symbol, the way neither of those things scare me anymore
- western classical music and what it does to my heart
- the idea of actually being alone in my room in the middle of the night
- my $15 Dunkin gift card and the fact that there is one single Krispy Kreme outlet in the entire state of Massachusetts
- the view from the spot near Hillel, the view from Tisch roof, the view from my room, the view of the sunset while running to Aidekman at 4:30 knowing i’m late
- taking walks, crunchy leaves, crunchy snow
- the fourteenth of february, its loudness, and the way i don’t feel the need to shut it out
as the slush and snow come down, i tremble lightly, craving the warmth of your fingers. it has been days since the hands of my clock changed their story, eternity since the taste of your body reminded me of love. just to hear you breathe would do more to give me life than air ever could, and yet all i sense is the coldness of the rain on my window. the sun crawls lower and the darkness whispers hostile words into my chest. and it begins.
suffering comes in stinging waves, washing upon my lungs, leaving traces of dust on my skin. in the quiet static outside of my reality, the world offers no hand. the raindrops tap tap on my window sill, they try but cannot keep up with the rhythm of my heartbeat. water races itself down the cold glass as i fight the deafening silence. i wonder why in such a situation my mind is so cruel to scream your name as some sort of haven, but perhaps that is the curse of love. you cannot separate the happiness from the pain. you must share one and conquer the other. together.
a tiny warmth flickers in my chest and burns on at your name. i wish only my smiles felt the need to keep you apprised of their presence, but so do my tears. for that i am truly sorry. to think of cool winds murmuring soft kind secrets to the trees, to imagine sunlight glowing past the leaves through the space in my fingers, to feel your eyes gazing upon me with the tenderness of a child’s touch: these are the gifts i grant myself during times of desolation. the human heart beats for a long time before it stops and vanishes all together. mine has never come so close to protection like you. perhaps that is terrifying in the way the very real possibility of one’s only home catching fire is terrifying.
i notice i’m clutching my hands so tight there are marks, as if i can hold us together though time has thrown us apart. the days have grown short inside me, and the night brings back to my mind your arms reaching for my waist underneath soft warm blankets like rays of sunshine seeping through the gaps in my blinds. i miss the way your eyes used to hold mine. i stare at my fingertips and the tiny slices in my skin feel like only they really belong to me. there is only so much i can expect. and so much i can hope for.
there are some people who possess such a vibration that they can illuminate a room without physically being present.
the mere thought of you is enough to send rushing my affection; to set beating my heart; to command the taut, prickling attention of my entire being.
let me look at you.
let me hold your presence.
people build entire lives out of turning away. they turn away from sunrise kisses and clouds wailing and force their bodies into creaseless costumes and lock themselves up inside cement buildings with blank faces to match their own.
people build entire lives out of turning away, running, running, running, but not you.
you with your golden heart and the sparkle you breathe inside, dream inside, speak of and teach us without even trying. you trace the stars with your eyes and see more than black and white. you play verses on my skin and both fear and savor the confusing pleasure of it. you who have been made of something mysterious which exists only in the frequencies of everything beautiful the universe has to offer. you whose brilliance has shaken worlds where shooting stars make wishes come true.
you, the steady in this breeze.
washing away all my troubles until there’s nothing left but your storm and the lingering, peaceful scent of petrichor you leave behind.
we are sheltered tonight by an upside down carpet of stars.
underneath, you nudge music into my soul; I write the perfect melody to the rhythm of your heart. you sing; I smile (your every word is like a little love note spoken to me, but perhaps I’m just being sentimental). you stop time; I soak up the moment, inhale the colors, the vanilla, the erratic pattern of your breath, and then I turn to you – I cannot collect the stars in the sky, but I can have something so close when I look into your eyes.
your lips rarely part, but when they do, your croon beckons confetti storms from the darkest niches of my heart; they bloom with a mysterious magical quality and yet a comfortable familiarity (like how names taste, whispered right after first kisses).
and when you cry, love, the universe holds its breath.
I learned that sounds travel faster through solids than through air, so press your mouth to my skin; tell me stories of the places you were scared to have been. I will try my best to understand, and with all that I am, I will listen. eyes closed, heart open.
half of you and half of me. half of love and half of sparkle. half and half is whole.
yet I do not need you to be complete, for you have taught me to be it on my own.
tell me, honey. can I trust the hands of the clock to protect us?
*TRIGGER WARNING*(?) A 17-year-old girl makes a mental list of foods she wishes to consume even though her Graduation Day Ceremony is in four days, she has to wear a saree, and she demolished a whole entire Oreo Silk after doing the same to a Twix bar less than 24 hours ago
- Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream/ Lemon Cheesecake
- Taco Bell’s Cheese Quesadilla
- Red Velvet Brownie (a CCN rant is overdue)
- Chianti’s White Sauce Spinach and Mushroom Ravioli
- Thai Green Curry with Rice
- Eliza’s Halloumi Pasties (should maybe stop watching MasterChef)
- Honey and Lays Belgian Waffles (yes, Lays chips, the blue packet, with waffles)
Your eyes had glazed over icy cool, more blue than warm. I always told myself you’re there, you’re in there, I know it and if only my arms were a little longer. I wanted to reach in, hold you, teach you how to love the way you taught me. You had forgotten your own lessons. When did you begin to run on this toxic combination of pain and oxygen. What happened to your fire? I wanted to rekindle your heat but your insides were too damp with uncried tears diluting your own wisdom.
I did not know of your new drills, that you choked on chords and your shower-songs had been washed away by pink-red water. That your damp pillow had taken over putting you to sleep every night, an affair I’d only trusted the stars with. That your pen met paper as seldom as your magic smile curved your lips. It’s so clear now, crystal clear, that you were never afraid of footpaths and heights and science lab root sections and apple seeds, but of yourself. Scars on your skin, scars in your heart.
Snapped wire, broken glass. You always used to say ‘shattered’ has a beautiful sound, only you stopped once its feel spiralled into your existence. I wish I had shown you how when you were 4, you played with a glass-painting kit and the broken pieces fascinated you because they were so pretty. I wish I had force-painted your wings with war paint before your knife decided they had to go. Why didn’t you let them grow.
I wish I could see you wave goodbye to airplanes once more, not caring for a second whether people were watching. And again. And again. So many shades of colour took flight when you left without a goodbye. What are the colours like, where you are now? Does your golden glitter heart see more than black and white again.
I remember you from when you left little surprise hearts in our notebooks and always sang the loudest as we blew out birthday candles and how you were more proud of us than we were of ourselves and how your soft chin quivered as you tried hard not to cry when we did. This is how I choose to remember you.
You taught me the science of time. Today could be my last tomorrow. Or anyone’s. And with this knowledge, I promise to learn to love living every day. For you.
has no one ever told you that
your eyes aren’t brown?
your gaze has borrowed from a hundred places
a colour I’d use to paint a million pictures
clay, I think,
soft clay from the hills and valleys
with the spring-kissed earth
on those postcards you send
only to the ones you love.
your eyes have every shade of colour I ever gathered
as a child from the old pebble beach,
and golden specks; I’m certain
the sun once danced in you.
the falling leaves of autumn
have swirled into the way you look at me,
teaching me new languages,
of storms, of sentiment, and of silence.
if the smell of rain was made of a colour,
your eyes would be its name.
did the fireflies learn from your piercing gaze?
I know I want to.
I know the stars slipped out last night,
with only your eyes as their excuse.
I’ve mastered the art of tiptoeing past
the crackle at their surface,
and into the beckoning flame.
a kind of candlelight;
searing at the edges, yet
gentle at the core