[brolin] all of a sudden i want to live
you were a dream and a half. you were a book i left unread, missing the new-book smell of its crisp pages. when i found you again in the back of my mind, grown dusty with life, i felt like i didn’t know you. or that i had known you in some past life.
i remember reading you the bhagavad gita on a lonely afternoon, when you were convinced we were all going to be born again as butterflies. you thought it was beautiful until i pointed out that butterflies didn’t live long. you went quiet on my lap, and then said you loved me for the first time. i kissed you as if i knew you.
even if we barely speak to each other, know that i will forever love you. i love you more in silence than in words, because my words i don’t know how to handle. sometimes they’re too much and it takes me four tries to sound out a sentence.
today i thought of how i would kill myself. i came up with semi-elaborate plots.
1) befriend a pro-gun activist, shoot myself when they’re not looking.
2) travel to the great barrier reef. expose myself to irukandji.
3) travel to mumbai, get mixed with all sorts of bad people, piss off a drug kingpin, die in garage with jumper cables attached to my nipples.
4) basejump off the burj-al-khalifa, miscalculate trajectory, smash a sheikh’s new bentley into oblivion.
all of a sudden i want to live
“Alright, sir, if that’s all I’ll head down and talk all this over with Staci and Juliette and prep the cargo for unloading at Mixipan. If I see Morey I’ll tell him we need to sell any non-essential materials in the hold. No point in carting it around on a treasure hunt.” I glanced down at the captain’s list of all the supplies she wanted for the expedition. “…We’ll probably need the extra money to afford all these guns. Did you want to add anything to this? Extra fuel? Medical supplies? Food?”
“If it’ll help you sleep better, Fulton.”
I looked up and realized Palmcrantz was staring directly at my left hand. I nervously shifted my grip on the list and my carpal linkages clicked audibly in the awkward silence.
Here’s the thing. I’m used to stares. I don’t mind. I’m not ashamed of being a cyborg. I’m proud of my heritage. I wasn’t made in some nightmare secret lab. I was raised in a loving home! My dad taught me to play catch, my maternal outputter told me bedtime stories… I had a pretty normal childhood. But while cyborgs get some of the pros of both human and robot life, they also get the cons. And one of those cons is how some people, both biological and mechanical, look at them.
I’m a person. I’m not just some stereotype. But I know sometimes when the captain sees my arm she doesn’t think of me as anything but an object. A machine. A tool.
“There’s one more thing, Fulton.”
I looked away, resigning myself to it.
She reached over and engaged the locks on her door. Then she engaged the soundproofing.
“Come here.” She undid her coverall and let it pool around her ankles. I looked at her for a long moment. I couldn’t help but think of how much my bunkmate love this woman. Finally I folded the list and put it in my pocket.
“Okay but just once this time. I do have to get the cargo ready.”
…There are worse tools a man can be.
Write on Me
Spare me from the curse of eternal emptiness, a lifeless thing lying along the dusty shelves. Pick me up and wipe the dust off me. Then you will see my name embossed on my jacket: Write on Me.
Bring me home and lay me down on your desk, on your bed, or on your lap. Let me feel your fingers trace my spine and touch my every page. Let me feel your quill dance on my delicate body. Let it leave its trail of ink on my lips, my cheeks, my hips, and my bosom. Leave a stain on every part of me.
Flip and fill the pages some more and when you reach my heart, fill it with words of love and promises. Saturate every page of mine with all your emotions, with longing and grief, with love and joy, with hope and brokenness. Let my every page be filled with the words that reverberate the songs of your heart, and echo the stories of your soul.
And when you’re finished telling your stories, seal me with a copyright ©. It will be our wedding ring, a sign that I am married to your ideals, I bear your name, and I am eternally yours.
It will be a sign that every emotion and every word I keep inside of me belong to you. And no one can take me away from you and make me as their own. It would mean that…
I was once the broken soul whose lifeless pages you painted with your words.
That I am your story, and your words are my identity.
Shuffled: From Day 1 to Day X
I don’t know what will be the exact time it will end. I mean, by the time I am writing this, I don’t know if everything will end in a specific day. But for the sake of present time, I just want to collect those days that gave me bunch of pleasures and plethora of aches. Let me gather all of these. It runs as follows: my tragedies, your tragedies, my diaries, and our heartbreaks.
For sure this is not common. Night handles my soul. Coffee functions as what my brain does. The sound, the silence, the trembles, the band songs, the loud cheers—these things make me feel at least alive, but from some other points, it serves as a root for nostalgia. I fall and I never know that it is dangerous. The indescribable feeling floats in every vein of my heart. I want you but this confession turns in opposite direction. What happens to me is a tragedy. I bump elsewhere; you go afar.
Maybe I really don’t have to speak for you nor write any prose about you. It is totally overrated. But it is not as easy as what you think. Maybe you are the reason why writers came into field. You, a second-person pronoun, encapsulates someone who has walked away, has his voice remained unidentified, has his face cracked into someone’s visions. The typical stories of two different persons are not supposed to be published without any acts of suspense and dramas. And what makes it best-seller is because of you who did a great but wrong moves.
They say words are ambiguous and so are my writings. Time comes, I don’t have to tell exactly what my words are trying to portray. What is important is I express what I feel and what my nerves are trying to speak out. I can say that things can be over, well for me. I can say that death always shadows upon my sleepless nights.and sadness departs the remaining beating sounds in my ear. Anything. This is what my mind tells me. I have to deal with it, if not, things will be ruined.
Exactly yes, you utter deep conversations, extract every promise, juice out the best words you want to run out through your sweetest tongue. No wonder, I am into it, still. The smoke of the cig you lit crumbled your face. “Fuck you.” I said while watching you igniting with anger. It seems hard to forget you and erase you entirely. From the spaces I lived when we were miles apart, I counted those stars in the sky—try to identify which one is you, “The brightest or the dullest?” I ended up answering none. For you are the star who breathes above them all, and that is necessary.
Icarus of Suburbia
Moss had attacked the roof of the house. It gathers in large tufts. A fine layer of black mold also coats the external walls of the three story house (which are white). She is intent on removing the discoloration by scrubbing the mold off herself and being done with it. She drags the ladder out from the garage. She places the ladder against the side of the house.
The interior of the house is in impeccable condition. A lifetime of memorabilia polished and dusted. Her son lives in Australia. She hopes to replicate her efforts propped on the aluminum ladder, equipped with a scrub brush and a bucket.
What work this is! And Helen just two years shy of one hundred.
She is fast and thorough, at least she believes so.
Towards midday, the inevitable happens. The ambulance arrives. The neighbors gather round.
Corpus Callosum XXXV
Of course, he wasn’t surprised the other Boxes had problems. Of course he wasn’t surprised. He’d seen the data. He had the reports memorized. In time, they all had problems. They all withdrew, even the ones who said they were happy. Even the ones who’d chosen this life for themselves.
Steve clicked his pen against his chin and surveyed Jeanette’s presentation. She was trying to snare everyone’s attention, hold it close, massage them with her words. He gazed around the room and consulted the families’ tired faces. Nodding, staring down. Chewing for sustenance only, maybe to eke some saliva into their dry mouths. They looked like cows, or oxen.
He looked at the boxes. He gave them two seconds each, a short nod, a minute dilation of his pupils. Just the same regard he gave to all the humans. He didn’t know if they appreciated it, but it was part of LifeMedia’s edict that he treat them as normally as possible.
Actually, he knew they didn’t like it. They didn’t like how he acted. They wanted to feel different from the breathers. Their difference buffeted them and built them up. They thought it made them special. He pitied it a little.
Jeanette was opening her arms in welcome, and trying to get someone to speak. All at once Steve sparked to life. He pulled his tablet from his bag and read all their names, reviewed the schedule, asked for recommendations and emergency-grade problems. They shifted in their seats uncomfortably. He mirrored their postures: slumped, exhausted, as if they were ducking away from an ongoing blast.
He pitched back to Jeanette. Her voice was clean and unworried. Perfect, untainted by dialect or automation or even tears. He looked at the cables and the hard drive on the table. Its power button and network signal pulsed with light, like it was breathing. Or dreaming.
When it got quiet, it was hard for him the keep the screams away. With all the boxes so close, their other voices seemed to wail in his ear even louder than normal, rattling his bones. Or what could be said to be bones. He tapped on his knee and reached for a cookie. It tasted like nothing, but he smiled as he forced it down, tried to feign placidity. Bliss.
It was no wonder they all hated him. He couldn’t read their thoughts, but caught bits and pieces. From what he could tell, they didn’t know what he was. They thought he was just a douchey human. That being so detested was a marker of his success brought him great pain.
They went around the room talking. Lily’s mother was nearly catatonic. Her words came out like water squeezed from rock. Or salt mined. Her gaze was cloudy and occluded, but Jeanette leaned forward, nodded at her, spoke magic incantations of support and empathy. Touched the woman gently on the knee, just so. The mother collapsed like she’d been blown over, into a deluge of blubbering and tears.
Steve turned his eyebrows up in sadness. A human never ran out of tears. Or even sadness. The well was unending, deeper than he thought. LifeMedia wanted the reports to say there was an average grieving period, and that it was short, maybe a few months— and therefore bearable. But instead they were run down for years. Like Andrea. Years now, and still a mess. And she was the model client, really.
Andrea was speaking now. She was always a risk, she knew too much. But she knew how to meander, circle her point so that only Steve could grasp it. When she looked at him, she looked through him. On the phone she addressed him the same way she did LifeMedia’s automated operator. She was saying, very carefully, that Carlton was confused because he had a pre-existing condition, but that thanks to Joey and Jeanette it would all be fixed today, and she was so grateful. Grateful but scared.
One of the newcomers started talking. A tall man spoke, then his son in the Box spoke. The son flashed orange and said he could move his hands. That he woke up with a start every morning, certain he had fallen out of bed or down the stairs. The boy in the Box was a football player. He still ran plays in his mind, felt the turf hit his shoes. The sweat was palpable, as was the burn of lactic acid in his throat. There was a thirst, a powerful thirst he could not assuage.
Lily piped up and said these feelings weren’t real, and not to worry. She said it aloud because the boy had trouble messaging Box-to-Box. The boy still could feel his teeth, tongue, and jaw; of course he wanted to use them. Lily told him to let his body go. Give it to the world of the living and embrace his new way of living and feeling.
Steve sat up and told the boy he would be happy to run a private consultation after the meeting. The boy’s father was a mess of thankfulness. Jeanette gracefully reclaimed the conversation and pushed it forward.
“A lot of us have been struggling to deal with this transition,” she said. “My sister has been having physical sensations too. But I don’t think she has…well, the illusion of moving, not like you do. Do I have that right, Joey?”
The octagonal box shone. Blue. “That’s right. Yeah, I feel like I have a body, but I can’t move it. It hurts.”
She sounded almost legitimately sad.
“I’m so sorry to hear that, Joey,” Steve said. “Hopefully the procedure today will help. Our research suggests it’s similar physiologically to having a phantom limb.”
He told them the brain was plastic. Neurons could take on new uses, he said, and it just took time. The transition was messy, but the pain would end. All the Boxes knew he was full of shit and there was no evidence for his claims, but his words made the breathers sigh and relax. It was soothing to soothe.
Jeanette addressed Edwidge’s mother. The girl had gone eerily silent of late. Steve regarded her features, saw her face lift and move through various emotions effortlessly while she watched the others, modulated her words to their expressions, and gave honestly of herself. Joey had been the same way, she said.
She was almost too perfectly symmetrical, Steve thought. Then he caught sight of a freckle beneath her right eye. He zoomed in and saw the threads of blue and green in her honey-brown irises. They were irregular. Her pupils expanded when she saw him seeing her. This made him sad, too. It was guilt. Of course it was guilt.
Her genetic profile was damn close. He suspected that if he put Jeanette in an fMRI, her brain’s organization would be a dead spit of Josephine’s. Her body was strong, youthful for thirty, lithe and pretty. She was a perfect vessel. People would be too distracted by her looks to notice if was something about her was slightly strange.
Hours passed. The time came. Steve rose and hooked the cords to the hard drive and turned it on. He entered his account number using a keypad on its surface. Andrea handed her husband’s BrightBox to him, like it was a baby. When he reached for Joey, Jeanette jolted and did it herself, slinking the cords around the plates and cups on the table. She hesitated before hooking it up.
“Are you ready, Joey?” she asked. Her eyes were huge.
There was a hesitation. Steve could feel Joey’s cameras on him.
<She’ll be okay,> Steve messaged to her. Joey’s mind reeled at first, but soon she was no longer surprised.
<Of course,> she replied. Of course he was one of them.
“Yes. I’m ready.”
Steve stood and clicked Carlton in. He opened the hard drive’s directory. Opened up a connection to their minds.
Searching them, Steve could hear the din. It was building. Ringing in his microphones, dizzying his cameras. He heard the back-ups screaming. Joey, Carlton, Thompson, Lily, Edwidge. Thousands of others. They recognized what he was and it turned their terror to rage.
The Summer that wasn't.
He wore a punk band t-shirt in a second-hand music store. There’s too much irony emblazoned at his aura. That he noticed me, because I quietly laughed to myself. He gaze at me from head to toe. I returned the staring feud with an arched brow and a sarcastic glare on my face, he smile a dimpled-grin. And was hauled in. And then I noticed the way the brown-swirls inside his green eyes seem to flounce against the afternoon sunlight. Or how he stammers when I look at him for too long.
He said he works for his uncle’s store that summer. He said he was in a band. I feigned a surprised look. He finds me unnerving, he said. I said I get awkward on small crowds, I’ve never been the one to feel comfortable with small talks. He noticed the ink-stains on my fingers. And the smell of paint on my blouse. He never pegged me as an artist. And I was shocked to have learn he knew who I was, before having met me. He said, he always pass by our house, near the old oak tree, the one with the red tire swing hanging in a big branch. He notices me reading every afternoon. And finds me at school, blending against the walls of the room. He said that I remind him of a flower that blooms in murky ponds. And that once you get up close, that’s when you’d only appreciate it.
I stared at his eyes. And find myself reliving a chapter of my favorite novel. The one where the heroine looks straight into danger’s eyes, and feel no fear. The one where she accepts the welcoming lure in front of her. And does not back down.
He was the summer that wasn’t just a memory. He became the story that never ended. It wasn’t all about love, but it was the pains and joys of life in between.
The Pomegranate's Marriage
It was cold again but the kingdom of Hades was warm with hospitality. The land was desolate but the world beneath it budded with anticipation. The gates to Hell were propped open, the dogs sleeping, the river stopped up and cute little mosaic rocks plopped in the mud of the Styx so Persephone would have a place to lay her bare, sun-kissed soles without tainting them. From the Eylsian fields there was louder-than-usual lyre and the ambrosia flowed freely, sticky on the lips and fingers of all the honored heroes and the people of legend. Lamps full of fireflies hung from scythes and staffs and led the way to the palace.
Hades the person was less thawed than Hades the place, at this point. He kept looking at his hourglass and biting grey flesh off his chapped lips. They bled purpled and didn’t ever get better. He couldn’t stop picking anyway. She seemed to come later and later each year.
When she came, she was grotesquely tan, with ringlets turned blonde from the sun and beads in her hair. She’d even paid someone at a mall kiosk to weave a feather into her locks, a garish pink feather that didn’t look naturally or come across as even remotely culturally sensitive. She was wearing a bathing suit top for a bra and there were blisters on her once pristine and formerly alabaster feet.
“You’re late,” Hades said.
“Sorry hon,” said Persephone, and she dropped her bags beside the door and padded across the new carpet in her sooty, bare, brown-skinned feet, her sunglasses falling off the back of her head and her breasts bouncing in unbidden figure-8’s. She went to kiss him, but Hades gave her a cheek instead, and she smelled like sunflowers and mango juice and tequila.
“Have you been smoking again?” He asked.
Her head shook. “Honey no, just a bit of weed, that’s all,” and she rubbed the back of his skull. She’d been toiling the earth with her mother, Demeter, and her skin was rougher than it had been when she left. “You got a haircut!” She observed.
Hades’ hand went up to his crown involuntarily and he said, “Oh, yeah, that was a while ago. It’s growing out.”
“I like it,” she cooed.
He rose and pulled his robes close to his chest. “Sephie, you’re even later this time than last year. It’s getting out of hand.”
“But it’s a Leap Year-“
The king of the underworld threw his arms back and the earth below them started to quake. Souls caught deep in the bowels of Hades let out a unified, guttural cry that broke stalagmites off the walls. The cerberus puppies cowered in their doggie beds and whimpered.
“Come on,” he said. “This is enough. I’m sorry Seph, but this will have to cut into next Summer. You’ll just have to stay here later this year. That’s just simple fairness, you know?”
Persephone snorted and scratched one of the cerberus’ jowly, dark cheeks. “I know, I know.”
Hades stood for a time polishing the side of the giant hourglass that flanked his throne. Then a tsunami commenced in the earth above and the underworld shifted with the weight of a thousand fresh corpses flooding into it. The desk phone rang until Hades shot a hand at it and commanded silence.
“Look, I have to go,” he said.
He stepped out of the cavern with two fingers pinching into his left temple. His nails, gnarled and green as cacti, dug into his papery flesh and blood seeped out like oil, smearing across his cheek and the side of his forehead, but he wouldn’t notice the mess until he went to brush his teeth before bed that night. He almost tripped over Persephone’s shopping bags on his way out.
“Hey,” Persephone called. “Are you, like, pissed? Hey— it’s not like I was late on purpose, you know?”
“I know. Whatever, I’ll see you at dinner.” Hades had arranged for her favorite meal, squash and rosemary turkey with wild rice and fig tarts. Hemlock mojitoes. “Will you please put your shit away, please?”
“Okay.” She had begun lotioning her dark arms and calves.
“Just this once, please, don’t leave your shit out for the next month. It drives me crazy.”
And he left.
He’d been a smooth operator. When he appeared in the field, so many centuries ago, Persephone had been rendered speechless. Never in her whole life on Earth had she seen something so grey, so darkly blue like the sky but without any stars. No beast or man had a voice so deep and embittered. It had been captivating.
And Persephone had been no spring chicken. Or at least, she hadn’t seen herself as one. She was sixteen, her lips dyed with berries, her hair gathered up into locks and set in place with an array of twigs and burrs. Her mother hopped from flower to flower, treetop to treetop, singing and calling forth blossoms and directing beams of sunlight into the leaves, watering the grasses till they turned lush, petting the rabbits and sighing musically.
Persephone slept during the day in the shade, bit the heads off field mice and flirted with the humans who were learning to make iron from ore. She thought her mother’s naked, hippy-dippy earth-goddess deal was lame. It was an embarrassment and she wanted no part of it. Plants and wild animals were dull. She saw the humans gathered around their fires at night and envied their conversation. Their thoughtless, productive destruction of the woods and the creatures. Their weapons and proclivity towards war and death.
So when Hades materialized before her, dark, sad, lonely, dripping with disdain for the world, it was refreshing in its dankness. He didn’t have to kidnap her. He saw her pale flesh and her chronic sneer and knew exactly the pitch to make:
“Hey kid. Want to blow out of this shitstand?”
He took her in a vortex to the bottom of the world and laid her on a bed of dried leaves and fed her meat, Malort, and cyanide. She delighted in the sting it all gave her as it flowed down her immortal throat. She pulled him onto the bed and stripped as nude as her mother and took him with teeth and nails out, screaming, laughing, calling him an asshole.
The fun lasted a long time. But after two or three years of stabbing hot coals into the eyes of the wicked and riding down the river Styx blasted out of her mind, Persephone looked across the table and over the Scrabble board, stared into her beloved’s face and thought, “This is it?”
Soon after her mother located her and the Heavens executed their grand, obnoxious battle to win her back. At the gates of hell she had to admit she’d been fully, totally down for the ride. She and Hades shared the throne. She had a helmet for his motorcycle and was close to getting her license. Her skin had turned absolutely lavender in the dark.
They were caught momentarily in a tug-of-war, the Gods of the earth holding fast to one arm, and the king of the underworld clutching and rubbing at the other. And Persephone stared into his ink-dark eyes, which seemed to be perpetually dilated at the sight of her, and she couldn’t throw it all away. He was hot. He was fun; he was so much like her. Her mother was lame and the world above was understimulating, calm, gorgeous.
But she missed the sun. She missed fresh fruit from the vine. More than anything, she missed lurking in the bushes by the watering holes and watching the humans bathing. All the people in Hades were grey and the skin sloughed off their bones. It was cloying up there but she did have a slight sweet tooth. Everything in moderation.
And she and Hades fought! The sex got dull after the 734th day straight of doing the same thing. There was no longing. All everyone ever did was sit and smoke and bitch about the world above. Persephone’s ass felt flat and numb from all the sitting. Hades didn’t have an ass to trouble him. She wanted to swim, but Hades (having no body fat— and no body) sank like a rock. She wanted to tan, but his flesh was mummified.
She struck the perfect bargain. Half the year above, glorifying the ground and sky with her mother, naked as a jaybird, bronze as a sculpture, empty-headed as a wild fawn bounding over the hills. Half a year cloaked in the cool, sophisticated darkness, snarking with the deceased and sipping bitter brews and conspiring to torture, her brain quick with judgment of the freshly-accumulated souls.
It served everyone well. By the time Demeter got sick of her daughter’s sourpuss attitude and her pretentious literary tastes, the girl was gone. By the time Hades began to find her insipid, her bags were packed for the surface. She got to enjoy the misery of missing and complaining about both.
Hades slipped under the sheets quietly, his nonexistent breath held.
“Mmph, Honey?” Persephone mumbled. She slid over to his side where the bed was cool.
“Oh hey babydoll,” he whispered. His palm found her hair, yellow and dried like hay from the summer sun and the salt water. He fingered the beads dumbly. “Sorry I woke you up,”
“Mmm huh-uh,” she mumbled.
Her body had begun its cooling. It was now comfortable for him to touch. She smelled more like dust and fresh snow, the sweetness on her disappearing. Soon she’d lighten and her face would turn flat, and then down. He loved her in her early-fall mirth, still tan but fading, slightly cheery and energetic but increasingly dour. It was like falling in love with her all over again, each time.
“I’m sorry I was being a dick,” he said flatly.
“Oh, no. I gotcha. I’ll stay later this year if you want me to,” she offered. Her breath (her breath! Oxygen, carbon dioxide, pushed by a pulse!) was hot on his neck. His skin prickled and tingled. “Let it be cold in May, what do I care? Let’s send those fuckers a snowstorm..,”
Hades laid back and watched her shadowy form creep up and lurk over him. Persephone’s golden head sank down his chest, then his belly, tickling him with warm kisses and catlike licks. He laughed a little. Decades back, the humans had replaced Persephone’s myth with the story of a rodent who could foretell the seasons. All Hades would have to do is send the beast a nightmare on the right day, scare it deep into its hole and he and Persephone would have license to hide away for six extra weeks.
Demeter would be livid, but there was just no pleasing your mother-in-law. She needed a boyfriend, or a hobby. She was getting more fanatical about the environment every year. She sent worse and worse storms down on the humans; she sent more and more humans to their deaths as punishment for the shifting seasons, the changing ways of life.
Hades burst the thought like a bubble. He gazed back into the darkness of their den. Persephone was warm and wet against him, soft, intoxicatingly alive. She had so much from the above world to flee from, into his arms, anew, desperate. When once she was familiar, now she was fresh. When once she was too much like him, now she was altered and reset. Where once they had boredom, routine, and companionate love, there was now excitement, conflict, agape.
A long time ago, he had wanted her all to himself, forever, constant. Now he got to have her forever new. He looked at the six pomegranate seeds scattered on their bedside table, gasped as she took him in her mouth, and smiled as wide as the king of the underworld could smile.
Persephone swallowed the bitterness eagerly. Everything in moderation.
To the girl who won’t get the chance to see the next sunrise
I saw you then, you left to move in to your new apartment. They told me you were okay, and you kept on telling everyone you had a chance at life, that you were free, you looked through us with your lifeless eyes. But everybody knew you still harmed yourself, you played blindly with your best companion, somehow trying to take away the pain that’s slowly killing you inside. But not even the sharpest knife that could cut deep through your skin could ever satisfy your constant hunger for something that could heal you permanently, except death itself.
Your father was a dirty man, I know, and everyone knows. How he used to rest his rough hands between your legs or on your breasts, leaving you in the morning with a cup of tea or your favorite song playing endlessly on the gramophone. That was love for a morbid man like your father, but I suppose that was the only love you found and needed. And so you settled for it.
How I wish you loved yourself, Daisy. I wish love grew in your heart like the flower you were named after, I wish love seeped through your veins and denied your eyes from crying at night. I wish you could have stayed longer, I wish I could have told you that you were more than your scars or your father’s touch. I wish you could have saved yourself from your own misery. I always thought death could be the loveliest thing once you’ve tried and tried, until I found you that night, and saw death right before my eyes.
under the stars
The astronomer fell in love with a lonely poetess. They lay on the roof of the astronomer’s old car and tried to trace their names in the sky. “I love you more than the Moon,” said the poetess.
The astronomer thought for a moment. Then she said, “The moon is beautiful but it is harsh, and it has a dark side. I would not like to love the moon.”
“I love you more than the brightest ring of Saturn.”
The astronomer shook her head. “Saturn’s rings are thin and cold, made of dirty snowballs. Close up, they are ugly. There is very little to love there.”
The poetess rested her fingers between the astronomer’s. “Well I love you more than all of the stars.”
“There are billions of stars,” the astronomer sighed, “and not one of them has a word for love.”
Defeated, the poetess lay silent. The astronomer curled herself into the poetess’ side, turning away from the stars. “I love you without compare,” she whispered into the poetess’ ear, “your arching spine adds art to the beauty of the backbone of night, your eyes pull my gaze away from the sky. When I fell in love with you, I fell from orbit.”
The poetess laughed. “You never stopped having your head above the clouds. I have always seen you as a celestial body, and you lifted me up.”
“You are the one thing that makes me happy to be on the ground.” And the astronomer kissed her.
Message in a Bottle
Floating upon this sea of tears, fears, and yesteryears, I tore the sails from the mast. I don’t want to find my way back to shore because there, I will find you.
Thoughts race through my head as the gusts raise the seagulls to new heights, and I simply float on in this vastness. The atmosphere becomes thick with the heat, and I feel like the air is running out.
The nights are wonderful though, and I hope you find this message. I imagine you reading this as you sit upon the warm beach and the sea licking your toes. I’m sure, if this letter does find you, that it will find you well. I’m sure of it, because you are without me.
I love you, but none of the words taste right.
It’s when I feel your touch against my skin, and find myself waking up. It’s when I can smell you across the room and feel your breath across my nape. It’s when I count every long lashes you have, while you read in earnest concentration. It’s when I describe the texture of your lips, as petal blooms without even touching it. It’s when you call my name, and reverberate each syllable of it, and find myself swimming in your voice. How I’d get myself so lost, and yet when you’re there, I find gravity. I find myself shackled wondering what attraction is to desire, and what is love and lust in between.
I’d close my eyes. Try to regain my will of control. To shut you out. But even if I go blind for a minute, I still sense you around me, inside me, above me, beneath me.
I open my eyes, and catch you staring at me.
You read my soul seeping through my eyes as I read yours. We know too little, and yet it would be enough to gain whatever we can from each other.
Why you shouldn't fall in love with writers.
Writers are shrewd beings with perpetually half-empty cups. They would always ponder and write about pondering. It is their biological abnormality, to feel so damn much out of the simplest of things. They would eradicate your very notions in life. Tie a string of words at the base of your tongue. Words so disconcerting and baffling. You would choke on each pull, and find yourself suffocating. They would use their two fingers to turn you like pages, skim you over until they have edited who you once were. They would crumple the edges of your name like paper, until you feel yourself so used and disposed, you would literally find yourself in the characters of their books. They would make you feel like a speck in a scope, eyeing every miniscule detail of your actions. From the nervous habit of biting pen covers, to the almost obnoxious laugh you can’t control. From your favorite authors, to why you can’t seem to sleep at night. They would find loopholes to make you relatable, but then they would outcast you by being their muse. You would literally feel their palms on your lungs, as you breathe. Like a book, warmth by their moist hands. You are read over and over again. Finding the beauty amidst your madness. Looking at the implicit details that makes you vulnerable. They would mend you, without you ever thinking you are broken. They would get sick of themselves, cry off your shoulder and beg of you to not leave them. But when that need for inspiration has expired and your use is satiated. They would hover on pretty damsels and lonely nomads on street corners and eerie cafes.
But, the most dreadful thing of falling in love with writers, isn’t their actions towards life. But of, their imprint in your soul. Because, once you let a writer into your life, make them love you, give them the reins of your identity. You are forever tainted by their pervious mind and heart. You will see life as both a wondrous probability and inescapable bane.
I know this because, I have loved one. And now, I can’t stop writing about him.
When Do You Know?
It’s when you reread over old text messages you’ve sent each other because you know they’ll make you smile. It’s when you learn to love those little flaws of theirs right away and see them as a part of their persona; those superficial imperfections that now don’t matter in the least bit because you managed to fall in love. They may remain but you learn to accept them and brush them aside, they stop bothering you. And you realize that they identify your flaws too, but being in love makes them brush it aside too. All you care about is the other person’s happiness over your own and you always think of them before yourself. You think of their smile. You think of their eyes staring back at yours and you can’t sleep in the middle of the night when you picture it. You can’t go to sleep because you miss their warmth, their arms around you in the dark. You are surprised that feelings could have such a crippling power over you. It’s when that person turns your world upside down and your priorities completely change. You can’t recognize yourself anymore, and yet you feel it’s the purest YOU you’ve ever been. But when you really know is when you feel like someone took the wind out of your heart, and sometimes you forget to breathe. Sometimes, you feel like pinching yourself because you can’t believe you have someone so special in your life who cares about you so deeply. It’s when you are away and absence makes that feeling explode and expand inside of you; when it just fills you up and suddenly you have time to think and you begin writing again. It’s like inspiration was gone and they suddenly brought it back to you. And sometimes it just hits you like a train, and you know. You want to reject the feeling and you want to remain in denial about its power, but there comes a moment when you just give in and decide to accept the fact that you are deeply and passionately in love with that other person. You don’t want to feel it because it hits you like a wave, and it’s a scary feeling because the wave feels permanent and never-ending which means you will do anything to keep it that way. You’ve never felt such certainty before. There comes a time in your life when someone pinches your heart with a poignant needle, and you know. You know that they have left a mark in your heart forever.
My philosophy professor said that Science is a chain of questions and answers. That’s why Science is never complete, It is a living knowledge that only grows and expands because people never stop asking. If you lay down the series of questions and answers and trace it until the very recent, you’ll probably find yourself asking another question and that’s why researches never stop. I have always been fascinated by how Science can spoil all the creative misconceptions of people about the phenomena of life. But I still think – no matter how mesmerizing it is, that it still leaves certain loopholes. Or maybe I just didn’t pay enough attention to my Science instructor, then I’m probably wrong.
Where are we? The solar system. Where is this solar system? In a galaxy called the Milky Way, floating in space. Does this space have its boundaries? Where is it located, exactly? —— ?
What’re we made of? Body systems, organs, tissues, cells. What’re all the things made of? Atoms are building blocks of matter – protons, neutrons and electrons. Um, what’re those made of? ——?
In the beginning, they said the universe was put into a hot and dense state and it started expanding ever since. How did it come to that state? Will it ever stop? What space is it taking up for expansion? Where’d the heat energy came from if energy is neither created nor destroyed?
That’s when religion enters. Because if people don’t find an answer, they start making things up and it is beautifully, insanely human. It is when people start to believe.
Instead we filled the bathtub
With every leaf we could find in our back yard
Peeled our clothes off,
pretending to be naked adults much too young for making love
Had we felt more alone,
We’d have a dozen sonnets of fallen some bodies
Telling us that
we’d throw our selves off
three weeks before
they’d think of stopping us tops
That maybe it was the model of this gun
That made it look like pulling the trigger
wouldn’t lead to a bullet through a barely open barrel
Maybe it was me
It is swallowing a coconut flake incorrectly: your throat seizes around something invisible while your epiglottis shifts over, the sweet white thing just floating in limbo. It tickles and irritates until you wish you had teeth inside your lungs; hell, teeth studding your arms and legs and breasts and palms, if only to shred unpleasant things that float your way. For example, girls who make you sweet mochi cakes that tickle your lungs, rendering gaseous exchange improbable because you are too busy choking sharply. The whole thing makes you wish for teeth on the palm of your hands, breaking up everyone’s thin skin —- conical teeth on your palms separating weak epidermis cells from the body. You go around armed like that, until you find a girl who shreds coconuts with the teeth on the palms of her hands, clutching your own hands until the teeth on both of your palms are ground down — flat, molar like and you have tamed each other. Then you move into a little apartment and grow only vegetables, because your palms are dull herbivores. You no longer eat sweet mochi cakes because she can no longer make them.
“I don’t think you should eat anything sweet anymore,” she says sharply.
“Is it because you don’t love me anymore?” You are a blunt question that she doesn’t answer.
Everything gets dull eventually: the teeth, your wit, her ability and desire to make you sweet mochi cakes with coconut flakes that tickle your lungs. It all falls apart, but that’s love. It’s sharp and then time erodes all, and weathers your teeth into bluntness; words tumble out of your mouth without a second thought. Mochi cakes become to hard to tear through after some time. They fossilize, and become stone cakes. You have to be sharp for love.