In her world, the moon and the shadows were her companions.
Shadows were familiar to her skin. Every absent touch between her fingers felt like ribbons. And each breath they exhaled on the back side of her neck made her remember the beauty of fern frosts on her window every Winter morning. Whenever she closed her eyes, all she saw was the sweet drop of blood on water, colliding into nothing but transparency. She could hear the tiny voices of the shadows wrapping around her neck. Their voices were screams of longing and coldness. She could feel the angst building up around them. She could almost taste the sadness within them.
She watched the moon rise every night with those sad eyes. She loved watching the sky turn into different colors. May it be sky blue, orange and a little bit of turquoise; or pink and dandelion. Either way, she loved the colors the sky painted for her and how they dissolved into the dark indigo sky at night. She loved watching the switch of the sun and moon, like flipping a coin across the air. How the sun sank unto the ocean and how the moon rose like a bright golden coin on the indigo sky. Nobody could ever know why she was sad or why she loved the moon, the stars and the darkness altogether.
Dark and light — two conflicting sides. Two wars thrumming inside her. She was the shadows. She was the moon. She was darkness. She was sad and beautiful. She was night and the light. And she stood at the middle of the two.
She was me.
We sink into love before we even realize that it’s love, you see.
And I know I am still trying to familiarize myself with the wounds fastened across your back, with the small bruises surrounding your tight knuckles, and with the sighs dangling from your functioning yet barely breathing lungs. It would take an eternity to reach the core of your hypothalamus, to engrave the words ‘it won’t be the same without you’ along the linings of your palms, to tie your shaking soul to the soil with hope that it may grow and never wither, and to see the entirety of the ethereal galaxy that lives in your blood cells; but perhaps I won’t mind staying that long, if that is what it takes for the mismatched pieces to align themselves and form coherent puzzles. I am still studying philanthropy through the spaces of your fingers, the obnoxious yet sensible thoughts you have engraved on the walls of your heart.
Some days we get so drenched in the ephemeral gratitude of the night-sky to the point that we often forget the sun that gives us tangible warmth without asking for words in return. We often forget to remind ourselves that this is only the beginning, and I think that is why the words ‘please don’t leave now’ seem so opaque and blurry—perhaps like mere misconceptions of the heart that walked along the shoreline with slippers on. We are often clumsy, reckless, but that is what makes the entirety actually felt, that is why I do not seek for anything more than you.
(Because don’t we all long for something that makes us believe that this life isn’t just an illusion? That something may pull us from the apathy we are soaked in? That we are capable of feeling even after pain and after wanting to be numb from everything?)
I still wonder how two hearts can still hear each other despite how deafening thumps are, how they can beat at the same time. In the entire world, there are only four people born every second, so the chances are quite rare. How can two hearts born on different dates beat at the same time? I still wonder.
And perhaps it’ll take another eternity to answer that by writing. So maybe in the next, I’ll go on with that. For now, I’ll write you first with hope.
Lately have I realized that I am losing the concept of “friend” in me. I treat most people as mediocre beings. I do not want to treat someone with utmost importance over others. Maybe, I have just this feeling that people will always change no matter what happens. Such changes, whether they are beneficial or not, make me realize that friendship is something so unfathomable as its existence may not be clearly defined.
For now, what is evident to me is that I have this one friend who comes with me. His presence tells me that I am not alone, although it is ironic, for his name is usually coined by lonesomeness and gloom.
Do you also want to have solitude as your dear ‘friend’?
I had a dream once when my
shadow was caught in between
the shade of aspens— so much
in a way like it fell from the snow
and down into thin bones
of white wood.
Born from principles, there were
no explanations I could gather
on why my other self slipped
into the cold; gathering in empty
My love is asleep underneath
drifting leaves— absolute, secretive
and pale faced knitting sweaters
made from autumn colours
for those who linger in black and white.
There is no certainty that I
am one step ahead of death
or lagging behind a turn from
seeing another sunrise
though tonight I wrap myself with
candlelight and dead leaves.
Phone calls and swift breezes
taken notice of how
the precipice is frail, holding
quite a grip in my soul
I have long let go while I am
I grew up watching family-oriented shows wherein the whole family will sat on the dining area and will share stories of how their day went. They will even laugh at each other’s stories.
That’s idealism. That is what the media wants us to be as a family. But in reality, whenever I am at the family table with my mom and my sisters, no one is allowed to talk, or no one wants to talk. There’s an eerie sound of silence governing the hall. There are untold stories circling around the chairs, chaining my thoughts and restricting my words.
When I was already filling my glass for a second round of soda, that’s the part where my mom was supposed to be asking us about our lives, of how our day went. She was supposed to ask me if I am doing any good since I am away with them for the whole semester. But she never uttered a word.
That’s the part when my father was supposed to be asking me about my plans for the future. If I still want to go finish my college degree or be just one of their many disappointments in life. But he’s not there. He was never at the vacant chair my mom refused to keep because, she said, that keeping a chair from our five-seater dining table will ruin the arrangement of things. I never felt that there was something missing though. He’s away for so many years that I cannot feel even his absence.
And that’s the part that was supposed to reply with optimism. I was supposed to supply them with fake smiles and stories. I was supposed to be telling them how hilarious it was when my professor in Housekeeping kept on mispronouncing words because of a dialect defect. I was supposed to be boasting about my scores on my Food Safety subject because I topped the class for the final term.
That’s what it was supposed to be, ladies and gentlemen. But my life was never a show, our house was never a set for a show, and my words were never been as good as the scripted conversion of fake happiness, of fake love, of fake optimism being shown on a show.
Your skin is the streets
I’ve taken with every kiss
as every stride
Every curve, every intersection
Is something to explore
over and over again
and I’ll always love the way
I get lost and wander
And have something to wonder
For you are the city
I’ve been to
A thousand times
But will always come back
And succumb my soul to;
For with your embrace,
I feel the warmth of home
And there I feel where I belong
I often look at the mirror with my eyes swollen
for crying too much because of being unable
to fathom why i should be waking up on the exact
same side of my messy fluffy bed
I often stay late up at night wondering
why i should see the same ceiling with
stars printed on it every night
I often sit on the bench placed on the
side of the door of our house thinking
why i have to see those people
who have created the huge hole in my heart
everyday when i wake up
Perhaps it is for me to be reminded
that no matter how I try to get out of the cage
something will just pull me back in
and that something, I guess,
is the attachment and familiarity I built
with the ones who hurt me the most
but I have loved the most.
I am sorry my child, but I have to leave tonight,
but don’t worry, at the first light of the morning,
I’ll be back home, next to your side, asleep,
and I’ll hold you really tight as the sun rises.
But for tonight, I have to leave and go somewhere,
a place where enchantment gives us the food
and a short glimpse of flesh in the wee hours
would give us some coins for the morning.
Your father is jobless, right now, worthless,
going home every night with a crackpot jack
twirling around his head and puffing up
fluids from the desire of some other fruit.
But for tonight, I have to leave and go somewhere,
perhaps in the dark alley, or in the dazzling homes,
anywhere, everywhere just to sell some of time
because I have a family to feed and this is all I know.
I am sorry child, but I have to leave tonight,
please don’t worry because I am here back home,
last night has become really tough for me,
and I am sorry that you won’t be able to see me again.
Stop waking up at four in the morning if all you do is stare at old pictures and dig up old messages as if they were hidden treasures buried down in the ground. I advise you to smash all your clocks before you sleep or before they ring again. Don’t put earplugs, smash them until all you’ve got are tiny pieces of metals and screws that lies in your palms. Don’t let anything wake you up, especially in the middle of the night where all you do is cry yourself to sleep. And I prefer you to keep those broken pieces in a jar, or in any place where you’ll see it clearly every night to remind you of what your heart had become.
You’ve been waking up at the quiescent darkness that covers the dawn for too long now. It’s time for you to wake up when sunlight is already flowing at your windows. Let the gentle music descend in your ears and tickle your ghoulish bones. Open the windows and let the sun smooch those scars and wounds emblazoned in your torn skin. We may not be able to shed them like snakeskin or wallpapers stuck in our living room walls, but at least, we will learn how to live with them, and no matter how slow it is or how long it will take, what’s important is, it will heal. Open the curtains. You’ve been burning in the shadows for months, and the soot that blankets you at night is just making it worse.
Now, if you finally mustered all your broken pieces, take heart and don’t be afraid to grasp every good thing that comes along your way. They may not last long, but at least you can bring a camera and take quick photographs of them. Pin them at your study table, or in a blank wall. Smile while it lasts. And when it finally departs, let them escape your hands like tiny bubbles or butterflies scattering into the air. Don’t hold them for too long or you’ll get stuck in the moment. They’ll eventually become the chains that will hold you down. I say, you look at the bright side. There are so many things waiting for you there. Don’t let them wait for too long or you might lose them. Run faster, stretch your arms further, and I’ll bet you’ll be able to collect and fill up empty jars with a blend of good memories and moments that had happened to you.
Don’t be afraid to love and be broken. Don’t believe when people speak to you and say that we are so foolish to think that a temporal love can heal our infinite brokenness; and the scariest part is, we may not find it and we are bound to be broken for the rest of our lives. But we are just humans, we get shattered sometimes, but we are able of infinite love, and if we are to endure, we will realize that the world rotates differently from what we think it does. We throw away the possibility to love infinitely because we are afraid of being temporally broken.
Hi. You look very comely today.
I want to be read—
not by the words I write
and the stories I tell,
but by the holes of the stars
I keep in my heart
and the stories
that speak no sound.
I want to be heard—
not by the husky voice that i own
and the melodies i sing
but by the cries of my violin
carelessly played on midnights
and the screams of my past.
I want to be understood—
not by the way i look
and the way i speak of things;
not by the little curves
that are made at the ends of my hair
and by the tattoos on my palms
or by the hundreds of journals
that i have,
but by the books that i refuse
not to reread,
the songs i refuse to hear,
the melodies i refuse to play,
the people i refuse to stay,
and the memories i refuse to remember.
I want to be understood
in a way that nobody has ever looked at,
that nobody has given a possibility of.
I want to be understood
by the way i look at the stars at night
and the way my eyes pour out tears
when the moon isn’t out and far from being so,
and by the way i listen to somebody else’s music
and by the way i appeal to the stories i read.
i want to be understood
in a way, in a manner, that nobody has looked at,
i want to be understood by the way that i act
when nobody’s watching.
maybe you’d understand.
maybe you’ll learn my life
if you stand a meter from me,
and did not put your fingers on my lifes
nor put a period on your overrunning sentences
that have been ceaselessly clouding up your mind.
maybe you’ll understand me
if you stand close to me
and pretend to never know me.