For L.

I know relationships are nebulous — they can uplift and defy gravy, or they can lead love-drunk sirens into the bog. I have drowned in the quagmire many a time. I have been saved by well-meaning, but tempestuous boys many times, too. But while they got me out, my body and mind didn’t leave.

The body never forgets. Pain creates a hypervigilance that manifests like frozen embers. You can never put a finger on what sensations are there, not really — they are low, hot trills that permeate the crevices of your skull, the valves of your heart. They tingle and then numb. They leave the body through the path carved along your spine and diffuse into the atmosphere — taking every bit of hope with it.

You are then left empty, as if there is no more of yourself to lose. You become a shell yet again. The hollow hums, then vibrates until it becomes unbearable. There is a burning need to fill the void with more bodies, more trinkets, more half-meant promises. I know all this. I feel all this.

It is not your fault. The world can be a ghastly place. And while people can heal you, they can also wound you. The closer you let them, the deeper the cut. You are in survival mode like your ancestors before you; like the ill-fated lovers of a bygone epoch. You have not much choice left except to fight, flee, or freeze — and right now, you are frozen still while the earth violently shifts below your feet. You can stay there and never again feel, or you can drag one foot in front of the other and heal.

You are allowed to feel weak, but you are not obliged to make yourself more palatable for the consumption of others. Allow yourself one more choice. A new way of living requires a painful awakening, releasing, unlearning. Allow yourself to soften and exist in the delicious place of the present. Allow yourself to feel small for a time until you suffocate under the weight of the narrow space, until you tire of the affliction of wasted time, that you force yourself free.

Let go of burdens heavier than your broken heart. Revisit decrepit tombstones to remember what you allowed to die in order to live. Revisit dusty shelves sagging with lessons drawn from all the places you have been.

When you give your weaknesses space to breathe, you allow the right people to see the fabric of your soul and where the threads are damaged or worn thin — to which they, at minimum, will do no further harm. Instead, they will ever so carefully start to weave their own threads in places where you are laid bare and bleeding. Some will depart, some will stay, but each will leave a masterpiece in their wake — a tapestry meant to drape on the shoulders of the willing and the worthy.

There is a magical life ahead of you. I pray that you live it.

Shot glasses.

The tides swell with excitement

as the moon rises to its throne,

as the stars take a dip in the ebony sky.

Behind the brashness of the wind,

behind the poise of the waves,

is a dribble of melancholy life

that savored the same,

that whimpered the same.

“Where does the sun go when it sets?

We all know sunsets can only last for so long.”

These questions beat on,

like martyrs in search of the wounded.

Never stopping until they taste

the bittersweetness of the truth.

It is here,

at the bottom of this glass.

It is here

that you’ll find the raw,

the wounded,

the sublime.

Here is the place

where broken hearts go.

Here is where the sun

goes to die.

Sunset boy.

My sunset boy in a sea of sorrows,

do you know I worship the gods that reside in the hollow of your neck?

We were both born on hallowed ground,

my bed is our witness.

Hold me as I moan songs of pagans.

Kiss me as I sway to the ballad of your lies.

Your skin radiates carnal bliss

and I inhale every bit greedily.

Let’s hum the unsung melodies of this permanent fate.

We are too big for our skin,

too morose for the dripping sunshine.

We wear our anguish like brand new shirts,

words come too close for my liking,

careless promises taste of honey and leaving.

Bedroom eyes and measured steps,

my knees made liquid.

Let repetitions be staged,

I implore you.

I adore you so horribly.

A fear & a wish.

The sirens came after my thundering heartbeats

screams of rescue pounding on the door

You with the syrup hair and bedroom eyes

Words, wine-sweet medley

I drink them all up

until the glass is half empty

I prayed to the fog

addressing a loan god

Summer insomnias amidst body heat

Scent like the heady aroma

that rises from the earth

after rain

Let’s make homes out of the echoing silence of this paved uncertainty

Ego, larger than life

yet cowering deep within

You are both a fear and a wish

the nightmare and the daydream

Loving intent hidden in confined spaces

of a black hole heart

I scurry away

Love is the specter that hides in the closet

the insidious shadow under the bed

How many times have I made a home

in the belly of this beast?

So I scurry away

You are both a fear and a wish

the nightingale’s song to the poison in these veins

So I sway

to the ballad of your singsong voice

I dance

to the twinkle in your eyes

There is no way out

there is only surrender

So why do I

refuse to answer the door

and hide?

Still you.

The moon shines bright as longing begins to afflict me again.

I turn on the light to take down the dream of you and me.

Can I resurrect the parts of me that died when you left?

My darling, how can I turn back time?

I loved you at my prime.

It seems that my heart has peaked.

My soul is still yours.

It’s still your warmth I seek.

My freckled lover, how do we start over?

Life has been unkind to the love still brewing inside.

How do I unlove you?

How does miles of skin unlearn your touch?

Today, there is no more you and I.

Tomorrow, I will keep living a lie.

Pen to paper.

Write to remember. Remember not to build homes out of the fleeting. Remember that settling for measly crumbs will only lead you to the witch and her gingerbread house in the woods. Remember that when people tell you they’re incapable of change, it’s probably best to believe them. Remember that the smell of smoke means a burning castle, or a broken, freckled prince holding a metaphorical cigarette, saying, “If I cut these wrists, would they bleed the blackest ink? Would they leave a perpetual stain on the threads of the tapestry woven by these unsteady hands?”
Write to forget. Forget the nightmares that anchor you to the ground. Forget how every inch of skin ached at the sight of a former lover. Forget the lies that you have mistaken for the truth. Forget how vile this world can be for allowing the loneliness to take up space on the empty side of your bed.
Set those thoughts to paper, write it all out. Let your pen bleed what your mouth refuses to speak. Set in longhand the pain that cripples the heart, clouds the mind, weakens the soul. Write down the past and leave it there. Write down affirmations that let the light in. Darkness is a mere specter. It’s an abstract abyss. It will only wield power if you let it. Photosynthesis that shit. Write down the words: I am enough.
I am enough.

Blue.

Palms stretched out like a beggar asking for alms,

insatiable and demanding.

Never has adoration looked so malignant.

The last day’s breath envelops like a sinister shadow waiting to pounce,

morbid in its bluntness.

There is neither I nor you in the morrow.

My horizon, bleak.

This heart bleeds blue, for you.

For K.

Woman,

wear your scars well.

Let these proud mounds of flesh reflect your healing.

Let them serve as a reminder that the wicked may have wounded you,

but you never faltered.

Let them remind you that you are resilient,

that your body is a temple meant to be worshiped by the pious.

You are your savior.

You are your own brand of divine.

Let your walls crumble.

Nobody is out to get you,

not anymore.

Let love shine through.

Let your kindness seep into the cracks that brought lost boys to their knees.

You are the beauty that tamed the beast.

You deserve forevers and galaxies and so much more.

Tea and biscuits.

My veins bleed blue,

my brain filled with memories of you.

Storms brew in that beautiful mind,

and to me you’ve stopped being kind.

Wretched is this love, peace escapes me.

You run everywhere but here, I am left with nowhere to be.

Time’s been expensive, a luxury you couldn’t afford.

Shadows loom, telling me to cut the parachute chord.

We’ve been found wanting, every damned salvation tried.

No short of nefarious, no protests cried.

Holding on to things we never had,

love ripe for parody, no justice to be had.

Cinnamon tempests in teapots hot with tea,

biscuits dripping honey, yet no love for me.

Regrets.

I watched helplessly as the gush of emotions that once drowned us slowly ebb and then stop; the sunset of our moments slowly casting shadows on the ground we’ve set foot on.

I was real. I certainly felt like I was.

But you reduced me to nothing but a dream — one you’d happily come to bed with each night, only to wake up from without much thought in the first light of morning.

I will never take human form in your eyes. I am a balled up mess of dreams and tears and regrets.