288 Days

I lost the necklace you gave me.

It must still be somewhere around the house, because I can feel its haunting presence reassuring me that it lies waiting for the accident of its rediscovery. If that moment comes, would I celebrate? Would I cry? Would I not care? … Would everything come crashing back?

How long until I stop missing you?

The question was my good night and I always knew the answer by morning. When it rained, I wondered when it would stop making me remember the scratch of your sweater. When the sun cast its rays on the earth, I asked myself when it would finish reminding me of your dappled skin under the acacia tree. When would my heart no longer cry each time melodies gave me goosebumps? When could I look up from my feet without hoping you’d pass me by? When was I going to feel the world again, when you were the vigor of my senses?

It was never a question of how. There was no how. I could run a borderless plane and still be nowhere. No matter what I could have done, it would have been either a temporary fix or a futile escape, and all roads would circle back to you. Forgetting you would have been like trying to lose the tune to a mother’s lullaby. There was no how.

There was only when. Like the end of our time, the withering of our memories will be inevitable. There was nothing to do but suffer through until time had run its course. There were no questions of inefficiencies, no viral life-hacks. No one to convince, no standard to meet. No deadline. There were no honest shortcuts. It was humbling, the powerlessness I was subjected to. I was forced to just… be.

How long until I stop missing you?

The question was solemn and quiet and at the back of my mind through day and night, in the undertones of every hangout, weekly plan, checked-off to-do list. It was like a spool of thread falling off a cliff, irreversibly undoing itself until it was spent. It was like watching cut blossoms dry with no vase to put them in. It was like an autumn of the soul.

The memories have gathered dust. They sit like snow globes on the hearth of my heart. Curious mice and sentimental fingers stir them up sometimes – but they’re just little towns and little lives from an idyllic past I’m not living anymore; a rose shard that broke off from life as I know it.

Everything is faded and filtered with your grey colors. I work and learn and play, and all the world continues to turn. But I don’t see gold in the sunshine anymore.

Maybe the prick of the heat will come soon enough. Maybe the pathways will be well-treaded in time. Maybe the ice will thaw into the ground. But when will the lights stop looking fluorescent? When would water no longer taste distilled? When will the air cease to be stale?

If the chips fall and chance leads your necklace back to me, would I feel the spring?


 

The necklace has yet to be found, but the spring sun shines through my open window.

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The Impossible

Another thesis on Levinas’ Infinite Other.


 

What magnetism – the impossible. The flipside of reality.

I am fascinated by what exists apart from me, like the cold, milky galaxies – and how awe-striking, that I see those bright stars in the eyes of another, another with hands like me, lips like me, hopes and dreams and pains like me.

How could it be that you and I exist – move, breathe, are – in the same space? How did the rules of Things permit this? How have the seas not halved and the skies not raptured? How is it possible for such magnitude to fit a frail human heart? You and I are a question to the universe.

I see the tenderness of mellow twilight in you. I see the coy lapping of the shores in you. I see the invisible embrace of the wind in you. I see the crimson vein that goes on flowing with happiness and sorrow in you. You are the horizon of what I know and understand and am. You are the World’s Edge.

You are the beautiful impossible.

Snippet Series #17: Nightmares

I’ve been looking for this for a while, and it’s purely chance that I stumbled across a copy of it.

This is the very first poem that I wrote that made sense. Everything prior to this was required by class and/or was pretty infantile, in my opinion. Literally, lines were like “The rat scurried under the hat/So that he could run away from the cat”.

I wrote this in second year high school. Some of the verses just suddenly jumped into my mind while I was sleepily listening in class, and for several days, I couldn’t shake the words out of my head. So I wrote it all down. I probably finished writing the whole thing during break time. Ever since I wrote this, my writing has been noticeably better. It’s weird.

I didn’t know what the poem was about while I was writing it – I just know that the images were powerful and honestly kind of disturbing. It was only after I had a friend read it that it was pointed out to me that it was about poverty. It’s pretty obvious when you see it now, but when I wrote it, I just saw the voiceless suffering and the cold, detached outcasting. I still remember how unreal it felt to see those images in my head, but then… this is what’s happening in the world today.

I’ve edited it a little so that it flows just a little bit better.


 

The nightmares I had as I lay

Haunt me even into the day

Rain has stopped, clouds left the sky

But tears still flow from my eye

 

The world overflows with the sun’s beam;

I am blinded by the harsh gleam

The world sounds of sweet melodies

But all I hear are cries of misery

 

They eat from a feast and drink wine

She eats the scraps they left behind

He is naked; He has no clothes

Blessed treasure are the rags they loathe

 

 

They live in mansions of grandeur

She dwells on the streets with lepers

Their children play in flowered fields

I see the bloody knife he wields

 

The biting chill is his blanket

He’d be warmer in a casket

The world sleeps on beds of roses

She sleeps with flies, dogs and corpses

 

Starved flies come to feast on his skin

Hungry worms eat him from within

She is lost in a world of black

Lying dead and cold on her back

Snippet Series #16: Ink

Getting inspiration from a pen and paper is like extracting water from the air. Not impossible, but not easy either.


It’s been weeks. That’s too long for me.

I’ve almost forgotten what it feels like to just let my thoughts flow from the hidden spring of my mind, through the stream of my fingertips around the hard plastic of my ballpoint, and unto the white sea of paper slowly being filled with the colorful words of black ink.

No, I was a fool to say that.

What human, upon tasting the sweetness and feeling the rush of inspiration pump into their veins, can fail to remember the awesome beauty of simple words strung together in an attempt to hold a moment for just a little longer? No one can forget the freedom one gets and the power one feels upon indulging in their imagination. Those who claim to have forgotten have never really felt it. How can one forget? To experience it is to want it continuously, to be lost in addiction to it.

Snippet Series #15: Imaginary Companion

I’m just sitting here wishing I could draw you. Wishing that I could hold the memory of your beautiful grin just long enough for that. But no – like a needle pulling thread you surface and dive into the colorful fibers of my unstable imagination. It seems that the harder I grip, the quicker the grains of your image run out of my mind’s hands. Your memory is a fragile butterfly that I may only ever watch and never hold, lest I kill it. The ribbons of my thought run and flutter, sketching your face on the canvas of the sky, but it is all blown away by the wind. I delve into the sweet pool of watercolored dreams and blend into the paints of a fantasy I pretend to be reality. All of it is a delightful illusion that shifts like the shades of the deep ocean.

Snippet Series #14: Dragon’s Wrath

I think something was making me bitter when I wrote this back in high school.


 

Dragon eyes of fierce despise:

You cough up flames of painful memories

And ravage the towns and peaceful valleys.

Your wrath kills kings and massacres nations,

You guardian of hell and master of demons.

You feed on the tragedies of mankind

And wreck creation, leaving nothing behind.

Soul of hate, you feast on Earth,

Flourish on the misery of one’s birth.

Dragon – you idol of of angry hate

Seal each soul’s irrevocable fate.

How dare you burn and bite my heart?

You are the Da Vinci of this dark art.