Forget-me-not


When I was younger I read somewhere that if you ever feel as if you are about to throw up when you are with the person you love, or your legs cannot carry your weight anymore, he is not the one. The right one gives you peace and warms your heart, he never makes you anxious and turns your insides out. At that time, I couldn’t understand what it meant. I didn’t think twice about it, and years later, when I found myself falling for the first time, my love was so destructive and oh, I was weak, so weak that I could be bent by the soft breeze of May. He turned me into a lifeless machine, always wondering where he is, with whom, when I was going to hear from him. I was empty but I lied to myself, I kept telling myself I am so in love that it drained me of everything else. I would look at myself in the mirror, late and night, and not recognize my eyes anymore, but I kept going. I kept falling in that abyss, emptied of sounds, or light, with an increasing speed. I was moving in circles and my head was spinning, my hands were trembling. I loved him, truly; but he was so wrong for me, he desecrated the frail temple inside my ribs which I had been building for years, just like the wind shatters leaves in late October and shreds them to pieces. He blew over it and the house of cards fell to the ground. He never looked back to see the outcome of his devilish work, although my screams could be heard from the other side of the Sun in that cold day of January, when my soul, which suddenly turned a shade of gray with circles of rust all over it, was shattered on the concrete as I was desperately trying to make my numb feet walk again.

I fell again, twice, but for a short period of time. My love was quickly consumed and I was left with a vague perfume of something I had once hoped for, but never happened. I was sad at first, and my heart grew heavy on me, but each time I came to realise that it was whispering another name, and I had yet to find him, so I mistook him for them because I stumbled upon them.

Now, I have finally decrypted the code and his name falls naturally on my lips, as if it were made for them to say it, like a single-word prayer. Now, I have finally found meaning and  each time my heart whispers his name, I am able to say it in sync with her. Everything I have ever felt fades away, it’s like I have just woken up and I found the meaning I was searching for so long. He gives me peace, his voice calms me down and silences my demons, my heartbeat synchs with his, without me doing anything. I have been falling asleep to his voice, for such a long time now, reaching out my left hand to where his is supposed to be and marking the spot with my fingers, tracing lines and shapes with my index and reshaping the world from my bed of one. When I close my eyes and think of him, I feel the wind blowing and caressing my arms, my chin and stroking my hair, and I know it was sent by him. It’s like he is everywhere but nowhere to be seen. I feel him in the trail of light that travels millions of years and in the first rays of sunshine that touch my wrists in the morning, warming my veins and creating a new map every time I move my arm. I feel him when I run on the bridges in the city and I feel the heat rising up and taking over me, I bathe in the sunlight until I count to 3, as if he were touching my neck for a brief second, and then retreating his hand. I feel him when it rains and I’m sitting at my window, looking out and counting the rain drops while people hurry with their umbrellas, too busy to notice how the earth smells, and how the shadows of the past rise and walk with them, under their umbrellas, gently touching but not being touched. I feel him at night when I am lying in my bed and I draw the map of his body although I cannot see him, I draw him and then settle in between the curves of his body of smoke, glued to him in all the right places.

It’s like his voice, his laugh echoes from the other side of the world and it’s carried over by the waves together with the wind and it travels with a speed of a 1000 kilometres per hour. It’s like there’s this chord that begins somewhere deep in my ribs and it covers the whole Universe, revolving around it for 77 times and a half, and the end always points at him, wherever it may be, wherever he may be. It resembles a compass, always moving, always pointing to the North of my heart, and it will never slow down, it will never lose the race with time. Someday, when this chord, when this string will point to a city found at 129° E and I will start following the path, I will raise my eyes and he will be there, at the end of the bridge, looking at me, and I will suddenly be at home.

It has never been simpler than this: I love him, my heart is tied to his and I never felt so close to the particles, to the atoms that make up everything, myself included. I look at the world and I see all its colours, its shades and shadows, I see people and their sorrows, I listen to their heartbeats and touch their cheeks when they doze off. I look over the river whenever I feel that I haven’t visited it for a long time, I caress the sea with my small hands and I love him, he’s the centre of my world and everything moves along with that. Spring has come and the string is pointing to the left, I take my bag and start putting one leg in front of the other. I look up and I see that the sky is pink as the cherry trees, this means the wind will be by my side soon. There’s this road ahead of me, I think it’s the right one, I have the morning star on my right side and as I am advancing, she runs towards me and when she’s tired I reach and hold her in my pocket and watch over her sleep. I walk and walk, I will get there until the spring ends, or maybe in the beginning of fall.

I look around me and I know I can paint the sky from today’s morning, and from yesterday as well, I know I love and I am loved, I know that our souls will meet each other one day, because they both have the same hiding place, it’s just that I’ve woken up earlier and the Sun hasn’t risen yet where he is, here the dew covers the grass and the air is thick, impregnated with the smell of all the forget-me-nots. I stop and marvel at the sea of blue until my eyes turn a shade lighter and my skin smells of them, I take one with me and put it behind me ear. I know my feet will get tired, and so will my back, but I will find my way, I’ll walk on the top of the sky and then get back on earth, I’ll fly on the tail of a comet for a few days and then swim on the back of the Moon. I know I have found my voice and although it’s cracked I will shout across the sea until it reaches the edge of the world and echoes back, until it reaches him and he meets me on the road, a forget-me-not in his hand, our blue souls in between us, dragging our feet closer and closer, until there’s no me and him, there’s us, there’s one.

‘’Forget-me-not’’, I said a million lifetimes ago, and you never have.

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Sea


my thoughts were racing the waves, i still don’t know who won in the end.

 


 

It was September. The sea was getting angrier by the minute. I was sad without a reason.

 


 

The waves come one after another.

I’m wondering: should I wait a little longer?

 


 

You called my name today

I took my bag and followed you to the sea.

Where’d you run?…

 


 

I loved you a thousand times more

than I ever loved the stars.

I was a kid who’d been told to stay away-

I stretched my arms and ran along the grey alley

I saw the world; the sea; the sun- in the blink on an eye they all melted away.

{Parenthesis}


 

 

There comes a time in your life when you should ask yourself, or others do it for you, ‘’What do I wish for? What have I done until now? Good things, bad things? What do I regret? What I wish would have happened and what I wish would have not happened?’’ I am 20 years-old now, is it too early to ask myself this? Is it too late? Am I too late? I have been asking myself this for quite some time, and I think I finally have an answer to it. Sort of. I wish for peace. I wish to be kinder to myself. I wish to be gentler. I wish I would stop torturing myself and I wish my brain would stop overanalyzing every aspect of each movement, action, shade, smile, half-laugh, half-cry. I wish my chest would not hurt the way it does now, so often, so much. I wish sadness would be a 3rd relative that only visits around Christmas. I wish I would be so different, yet I am happy where I am now. I am happy of who I have become. I know myself, I know my strong points, my weaknesses, I know what I can and cannot do. I know I have failed, I know I will fail. I know how much I have suffered and I know I will suffer again. I recount the times I felt that was it, that was the time my heart would fail me. It took me long enough, too much actually, to depuzzle the veins and bits of it, and even now some pieces are misplaced, but here’s the thing… it’s my heart. It still is. I picked it up because I could not afford to have only my brain to guide me. I need my heart so I can make bad decisions, so I can suffer, so I can grow. So I can feel. And I feel…. everything. I feel the colour of the wind and the smell of frustration, I give names to feelings I never knew existed. I name them and I keep them with me. I pack them up in my bag and carry them around while I am travelling. I always grow fond of things, of people. And I let them hurt me. And I regret being like this, for a second, but then I don’t. Because have I not been like this, I could not have experienced everything I have. I could not understand the way I do. I could not see more than a hundred meters ahead. Pain, suffering, sadness, these are not things to be romanticized. There is no glory in them. There is no reason to boast over them. There is no reason to discuss which one of them is worse and measure the evil it produced.But those who are in pain, those who carry their sadness around, those who suffer, they can choose to deal with it and keep silent, or can choose to try to tackle it. To talk about it, in the way they know, in the way they can. In the way they allow themselves to do it. There is no right way to do this, no right way to experience pain or sorrow. Sorrow is sorrow. I chose to talk about it. I chose to talk about myself and my sorrows, and it is not an easy thing to do, because at first you get scared, then you get angry for getting scared, then you get insecure, what if you cannot convey what you are feeling? What if they don’t understand? What if your pain means nothing? But it does, darling, whoever you are, wherever you are, I am telling you this: your pain is not up for weighing and measuring. It does not need to fit a box in order for people to believe it is real. I promise you. I chose to talk about the things that hurt me, about the things that keep me up at night. I am still learning how to do it, the road ahead of me is daunting but I do not want to stop. I don’t think I can, actually. I feel like this is what I need to be doing. What I can do. Someone once told me, ‘’You are quite smart for a girl from where you come.’’ I confess I got angry. I confess now I am at peace because I know that my worth is not decided by them. I confess I still think of it sometimes, in those dark hours of the soul, where it is dancing in-between squares of night marble alongside the shadows that accompany me, but it doesn’t hurt as it used to. It is not weighing me down. Not anymore. It is like a corpse… a dear friend of mine told me once that she has always felt this huge weight on her shoulders. Ever since she was a little girl, she felt someone was following her, someone who needed to be cleaned up and dressed, someone who needed to be fed. A corpse who kept whispering filthy words into her ears… She listened to them, she contemplated whether to go with the corpse, because it felt so familiar, so warm in a way she could not explain to anyone, herself included. She had no sense of belonging, perhaps except that corpse. The corpse was hers and she felt the need to belong. She was only a child… She asked herself what to do, why does she have to carry it around? She had to write a letter to it, but what could she say? How to say it? She felt as if the corpse was crawling on her skin. I told her, ask the corpse why does it keep following you, what does it want? Is it lonely? Is it attached to you in some way? Why does it require clothing and washing up? What for, what for? Is there something to be done so it can be at peace, so it can live on its own? She told me she would write, she took her pen, it was shaking, she was shaking. The letter turned into a confession, it revealed all the despair gathered in the heart of a young girl who never knew what it meant to have someone with you all the time, except for that wretched corpse. She ended up apologizing and asking for forgiveness. I don’t know if it ever left her, she never brought it up again… I hope it did. In a twisted way, it was a part of her, of how she was, of her thoughts. I hope she sleeps better now. I hope she knows the river is nowhere near towards the end. She told me she is still kissing the rain every single night, maybe she misses it, and its cold touch. Maybe she misses her mum’s hands. Maybe she misses someone she knew long ago. Maybe she is just lonely, and the rain keeps her company when her horses are sleeping. Maybe she recites poems to the smallest of the raindrops and they understand her better than anyone else. And maybe that’s why I know all this, not because she ever told me, but because the rain did.

The things they don’t teach us


They teach us a thousand things. They teach us so many things and yet I feel like the essencial is always left out somewhere, outside the circle, outside our visual perimeter. They teach us how to analyse poems and plays, they teach us that a right pyramid has its apex directly above the centroid of its base, they teach us chemistry and sociology and how to distinguish between political parties and yet they fail to teach us how to touch another human being. They never teach us how to aproach someone, how to start trusting ourselves, how to stop blaming each other. They never teach us how to view others, how to understand. How to see. They never teach us that nothing comes back as it once was. They never teach us that things which are broken cannot be mend, even if we try our hardest. They never teach us to stop using words as weapons because we are afraid, so we attack without giving it a second thought. They never teach us to take risks, even though we may be wrong, even though we might be pushed back. They only teach us how to follow the path that they have been following, the path they know. They teach us the safest way. They teach us the simplest things. They stay away from the sorrow of the soul, they stay away from the shades and shadows of the blue hidden in between two corridors at night. They teach us how to be like them. They teach us that in this world, you need someone to feel safe, you need someone you can go home to. They teach us that we can and should weigh things a thousand times before deciding, before abandoning a cause, before running into the woods. They teach us that it’s cold outside. They teach us to be safe, to go together to the bathroom as girls. They teach us to be careful when we are wearing dresses or skirts. They teach us that there’s a timetable which should be followed. They teach us that people are mean, that we should always be careful with our drinks. They teach us how to work in PowerPoint and Excel. They teach us that in a few years we can have everything we want, on condition that we work. And what do we want? A house. A car. Someone to share the car with, on our way to work. A coffee machine to make two cups of coffee, one with milk, one completely dark. A dog, because it’s too early for kids. There’s time for everything. This is what we want, right? This should be what we want. It’s safe. It’s comfortable. A blanket that covers us when we get home from our internships. A TV to watch the football games we want, with popcorn, while resting our heads on each other. Wine bottles, used preferably during intercourse, which sadly end up being used, most of the times, to drown our tears and screams when the other one is not home yet but we don’t want to sound desperate or needy, so we quietly take the medicine and drink it, from the biggest cup, bottoms up, bottoms up, bottoms up… They teach us so many things, and yet they never teach us what needs to be taught. They are scared. They don’t know any other way. They want the best for us, but maybe what they know is not enough. Maybe there are so many other things that haven’t been said, and we could never know, I mean, how could we?… But we do know. I know. I know. I know. I know that it’s easier to go after another one, because the footsteps are clearly there, the dust hasn’t even had time to settle. But at one point, I happened to look away for a second, to look 30 degrees outside the border, and I want to go there. I’ve been wanting to go there. I think I know what I have to do. I believe in soulmates, and I also believe that if you are destined to meet yours, you will. I believe that for now I only have myself, and that’s ok. I think that being warm is something we are all searching for, but maybe that’s not for me, not now, not yet. I think that I cannot rest my head on anyone’s shoulder because I’m too short and I cannot reach theirs, I need to grow, I still need to grow. I’m a late bloomer, I guess, but I trust spring. I think I need to know what I want to do, where I want to be. I want to give hope to others. I want to remind them to look up at the sky, to try to count the shades it holds at 7 o’clock when they wake up and yawn. I want to let them know that they have warm hearts, and that it’s not compulsory to have someone else to warm their bed. They can have their own arms to hold at night, their own breath to watch over, their own skin to caress. I want to shout at them not to forget the childhood memories they were holding on to so dearly, not to forget the yellow chair from their grandmother’s house, the name of their first dog, the ripped blouse grandpa used to wear when he was going to feed the animals. I want to make them remember sounds, people, colours, moments, to pick up the phone and say hi to an old friend to whom they haven’t talked in months, not because they had a fight, but simply because each of them was busy living their own life. I want to remind them that they are good people, and all the good people make mistakes, all the good people feel low and scared and lost and unworthy. But they are the best people. The kind ones. The loving ones. The givers. The dreames. The fools. I want to tell them that love comes in countless forms and shapes and it is not defined nor limited, it’s not understood as having one certain person with whom we share our bed and our days with. I want to remind them to stand up for themselves and also to apologize when they know they are at fault. I think I need to shout and I think my voice is cracked but hopefully my words will be carried over the Big Sea. I think I know what I have to do. I have to use words and shape up the version of myself that I wish I were. Stronger, bolder. More courageous. I think I know how to do it. I’m chopping off parts of my ears and putting them at the core, so I can listen to everyone at once, parts of my lips and putting them in the middle, so I can reply faster, parts of my eyes and putting them at the edges, so I can see all the pain and take it on my shoulders, carry it so that they can rest.

Skin on skin, I breathe upon myself and I am living under my eyes.

I think I’m flying with the seagulls tonight, to spread words like droplets of rain.

I think I am not afraid of heights anymore.

I think I am disintegrated into the horizon, my face turned blue and my feet grew long feathers. I think I am exactly where I should be: somewhere along the way.

Blue


a hand painting,

blue paint,

a blue hand painting.

was the hand mine? I think it was.

a blue hand painting everything,

and everything was blue that day,

blue as the sun.

the sun was the bluest.

a hand painting with every other shade of blue, all except for one,

the blue with a tint of sun.

the blue from west of the river.

everything was blue that day,

we were too, don’t you remember?

we didn’t even feel the cold air entering our bodies.

 

The sea waited at our feet.

I took your hand but as soon as I started walking,

My brain cells froze and became 3rd cousins in the family of the arctic shade.

My aunt used to mention that name

Before it go so cold.

Before she got so old.

The arctic turned to indigo, right as I was dancing in vertigo.

I still think of that day sometimes

When I’m in class and I close my eyes

When I’m on the bus listening to stories I was never part of

When I meet people and their names remind me of the sound your feet made

While touching the ground, the sand, the salt of the sea;

I have so many words on me and I think I am losing them.

(This is why my eyes are brown.

I could not handle burning them with each moment.

I chose the easy way out,

I murdered the blue, like a simple case of gunshot,

I cut it, poured some salt and put them back in.

My eyes miss the parts of the blue sun

That never showed its face to them, but sometimes they’ll borrow the sky for as long as they want.

”We make use of what we can”, they say.

”I’m never turning blue again, am I?” suddenly asked my left hand today.

I looked behind me, closed my eyes, but never confessed why.)

The one with the dream


She reminded me of the moment you first open your eyes in the morning

Pure bliss with no memory of pain, sorrow, or trembling;

She reminded me of a little Scheherazade, eyes in the shape of the full moon

Arms that hold you, mend you, words that fool you.

 

She takes the train alone on rainy days, and oh, up she goes, up she goes

She only stops when the ground sleeps beneath the clear water

And then continues to walk along the drunk railroad,

With her slippers in one hand, full-speed ahead,

The other one hand stretched out, caressing the horizon,

On her shoulder a little bird, in between her ribcage humming a lonely blue whale.

 

She was the last one of her tribe.

She carried all her ancestors on her burnt palms,

Hiding them among the circles of her index fingers,

Letting them breathe with her, through her, behind her.

 

She picks up her luggage then she drops it to the ground:

She remembered the long-forgotten white boat waiting by the river

She runs towards it, she is the captain and orders herself

‘’We shall reach the land of waking up on the count of three.’’

 

 

 


{ Happy birthday, C. Thank you for walking with me for the past months. Hopefully, you will continue doing that for a long time from now on. Something great will come your way, I know it. Wait and see for yourself. }


I have been thinking, maybe, just maybe, some people are not really meant to be happy? But what does it even mean, after all? How do we know we reached happiness? Is there a crossroad that reads ‘’Turn right for half of happiness’’? It is such an abstract term, some perceive it in colours, others want to feel its touch on their skin, all of us are somehow searching, reaching out our hands, spreading our fingers with the intention of grasping its fathomless tail. Some people talk about happiness saying they found it, others turn their heads in disbelief. Some of them look down, analyse the curves of their ankles, while some try to explain how it feels like. Happiness is abstract, but most of the times people tend to refer to in connection with love. We always choose love, in a way, don’t we? Whether we admit it or not, whether we are aware of our reasons or choose not to overthink, somehow, our actions, our intentions, they all have this way of somehow caressing the shores of love, be it for a split second or for a whole season.

Some people are lucky enough to say that they have found the love they have been searching for, in the form of a human whom they call their own and possess in many ways. I have always wondered, can you call someone your own? Can you claim their atoms and replace them with your own? Can you boil their blood and pour it where your capillary ends? Even if you are in love with someone and feel the need to attach yourself to them, is it right? You are selfish, oh, how much you would love to penetrate their veins with a pair of scissors, to combine your spines and intertwine your lungs, how much you would love to be able to navigate the sea of brains without a compass to show you the way… But can you, really? Should you? Someone told me, no matter how close we are to someone, we could never be the same person. We could never be one. But that’s… wrong. That’s half a truth. Love is not about claiming your rights over someone, but about claiming that person is, indeed, yours, in a twisted way; they are an extension to your little finger, they are the continuation of your unspoken thoughts, they are the next step your heart takes during the marathon. My grandma used to tell me this: ‘’My dear, don’t make homes out of people, because people are like waves; at some point, they may drown you, or even worse, they may leave you on deserted land. Don’t make homes out of people, because you’ll end up homeless.’’ But how can I not, how can I not?… How can I not want to come home to you, to rest my bones under your touch, to close my eyes under your breath? Teach me, teach me how, teach me how to build a home above the sea level, so that both of us will be safe.

Some people, however, are not so lucky, and they do not find love. Maybe they have unrealistic expectations, maybe they cannot get attached to someone, maybe they did once and it did not work out, maybe they do not believe in second attachments. For so long, I tried to push this thought at the back of my head. I did not want to deal with the possibility. The possibility of… what? Of not finding love? Of not being loved back? Now, I don’t push away the thought, I welcome it. It only gets a little daunting when it’s 3am and I find myself sobbing with a cup of red wine, trying to remember the last time I kissed someone and felt something. Somehow, I am beginning to embrace the possibility. I do not want to refrain myself by my desire to with someone. ‘’I want to be loved’’ seems like a convincing excuse, but one is loved in so many ways, we just want a specific type of love. You want to sip from the big cup, like others do. And that’s ok, as well, no one can judge you for wanting that. But when you walk down the street and your eye catches a flicker of love, when you stop, turn your head and take in the view, take in the feelings, the promises, and you ask yourself: Why not me?… as if there were something wrong with you, as if being ‘’alone’’ were something to be ashamed of, that is not ok. Know that there is no weakness in being alone. You have always had a home, and that is yourself. You can race after love, if that is your decision. It may or it may not happen, but you choose to act on it. You pack your bag and squeeze the map between two sweaters. You can focus on other things, too, and that is your decision. And it’s valid. Everything you feel is valid. You are valid. You can take up painting, you can enter a poetry class about Neruda, you can take ballet classes. You can go ice-skating with your neighbour. You can visit an old relative. You can rent a moto and run towards the sea to swim in mid-September. You can finish your education. You can stay in your hometown, which is imprinted into your skin like black-less ink. You can pack 2 suitcases and move across the continent for 4 months, to try a job, to take photographs of the mountains, to volunteer. You can learn Japanese. You can be your own and still intertwine your fingers at your back. You can be with someone and hold their arm at night, when you cannot sleep and your tired mind makes up names of constellations. But don’t force love. Don’t chase it even if you are breathless and your knees are numb. Don’t think it is the only thing that makes you valuable. Do not settle for half a love, for a quarter, for a slice. Do not be afraid to leave when it’s time, or to enter when it feels right. Do not get used to the feeling of a warm bed. Do not stay even when the clock is going backwards, ticking away the drops of sorrow, one by one, counting them, throwing them into the abyss. Do not hold a hand you no longer caress with your thumb. Do not lose sleep wondering whether to give them another chance. Love is what makes us human. Love overflows and holds us, twists us, but it cannot be fooled or sliced in half. It cannot be messed around with. It cannot be bargained for nor borrowed or lent.

People are like waves. They are always on the move, they are so full of life and yet they are ready to die out. They erupt and drown the land. They retreat in fear, leaving everything behind. Their existence is cyclical. Some of them are braver and lead the others. Sometimes, they whisper, and sometimes they make you go deaf. Waves, one after another, they fascinate, they march and conquer everything. Waves, waves, the circus of madness is here with a complete representation. You take out the ticket from your pocket and hand it in. You enter the room. There are no seats, everyone else is already there, standing. You push people and get to the front. You put down your backpack and exhale deeply. The first wave kissed your left brow and arched your spine. You cannot move, you cannot speak. It leaned again, this time touching your iris. Now your eyes are emerald blue and you are suddenly not afraid of the sea. You let it cover your body, you surrender to its strength, to its delicacy. You are now a wave yourself, the daughter of the first-born midnight wave from one century ago. You look down and see your feet of salt moving, swimming, dancing like acrobats. You close your eyes and you suddenly know. You’ve know all along, but your eyes could not picture it. Your hands could not feel it, so you must’ve assumed it’s all lies. But now you know. Happiness exists. And it comes in waves. One, then another one, the low tide comes uninvited and  leaves later than it should. You sit on the shore and mumble the words you’ve known since you were barely walking. The waves shout them back, and you are happy. You have never been happier than you are now, and you will never be as happy as you are now.

              So I waited for you, we met at two and thirty,

              Listened to Kreutzer’s Sonata in andante only

              You pointed at something behind me, shouting ‘’Yellow”

              I turned around and saw a stroke of brush, it was following us

              Vincent was painting over our faded colours.

              ‘’I don’t like yellow’’, I whispered hiding at your chest.

              You didn’t say anything, instead you held me tight

              He painted us both as two circles drifting towards one another

              Into that sea of dark blue, my eyes were hurt

              I suddenly loved your bright yellow; you smiled back, and I was saved.