there are days i feel like a ghost
standing at the edge of the water
letting the waves slowly dissolve me
turn me to fog that sits over the sea
and i let them because i am tired
of fighting and my tarot
readings say to let go and i’m
inclined to agree with them because
what is a fish to the sea?
i feel half-finished like buildings standing bare, their insides exposed, steel bones making a shape yet to be filled with life. it is not a corpse, because nothing has died. it is more of a birth, a creation. the bones grew out of nothing, not the ground nor the sky. they sit there, waiting for their skin, construction workers climbing in and out slowly stitching them together, giving them what they need so they can be alive. filled with life. how curious to watch the birth of a few new high-rises, as if we are attempting to create something so that others may look and go, “ah yes, they were there.” but for now they are just bones off the highway, gray stormclouds filling up the gaps in their bodies. i, too, can relate. there are gaps in my own ribcage, filled up only by clouds and the promise of rain.
the sky is finally winter- grey like the rolling waves outside my window as they pound against the beach, their anger fueled by the winds of a prevailing storm. i can hear the sirens calling from here, their song turning the rest of the sea a deep green. emerald, my grandfather had once said, is the most beautiful color except when it is at sea. i often think of him when i hear the death-song far out to sea. if there is a ship out there, it will not survive. i hope there is not. shipwrecks remind me of things i’d rather forget, like drowning limbs and bloated faces. my body shudders at the thought and i grip the edge of the desk to remind myself i am here, on dry land, wood creaking beneath my feet as i stand, swaying.
it has been a long time since those memories have visited me, the way an unwelcome relative might show up at your door unannounced. restless, i get up and slam all the windows and doors shut, announcing my intention to keep those bloated bodies out of my home. the only sound now is my heavy breathing and the muted sound of the surf. i cannot hear the sirens anymore.
*this is an excerpt from a story idea I had about a girl who lives in a lonely shack along the beach, often listening to the siren songs at sea and haunted by a terrible memory.
the thing about being infinite is that no one tells you about:
- the lonely nights
- the aching hearts
- the whispered wishes to stars above
- begging them to take you back
you’re human, they whisper, you stay
and you try to fit into this life that wasn’t made for you
and some days are better than others but the stars
they always call you home
inspired by inkstay’s 500 prompts | prompt: immortality
there’s a candle on the mantelpiece i don’t remember putting there. it burns, a tiny flame reflected on my corneas, candles all around me to ward off the encroaching dark. the mantel, decorated with a garland of pine and ornaments, reflects all the tinier flames around me, though it is actually solid and dark. the quiet howl of the wind echoes outside. luckily, the cabin is sealed.
the lights went out an hour ago and i grow weary with waiting. we are trapped in this small space for the duration of their absence. i thought a cabin in the snow-covered mountains sounded romantic. it was until a few hours ago. you are asleep somewhere behind me, blankets tucked around you like a holiday burrito wrap from which you snore. but my focus is with the lonely little soldier on the mantelpiece, keeping vigil. who put up this little candle? was my back turned? perhaps you did, while i was setting up the protective circle of light in the living room.
i feel safe near it, but i do not dare turn around to face the dark. even when the wind grows louder. even when the cabin creaks. better to think of happier things as i look at it. visions of you hugging me tomorrow, of the ring back on my finger, not lost somewhere between cabin floorboards on this snowy evening. you waking up to wrap your arms around me and chase the cold away. nothing happens but that little candle fills me up with something other than the melancholy of winter. its sides melt gracefully as i watch. there’s something beautiful in losing apart of itself just to keep the light burning longer.
in the eleventh hour, the candle goes out. i think i understand how that feels.
there’s a neon light that filters through the slats in the blinds, making little spotlights in the dark. it’s like they’re looking for you. your fingers grip the edge of the bed. the dark circles under your eyes look like they’re melting, a pair of surrealist clocks made of nightmares. you take another shuddering breath, pretend there aren’t knives in your lungs or gravel in your throat. tomorrow you’ll get dressed, go to the nearest place with a ‘help wanted’ sign, and you will start again. and when that first paycheck comes, you will burn these paper spectres from your memory with the matchsticks in your ribcage.
she touches her lips and wonders at them, another hand resting over her belly. there are flowers blooming there she did not know existed until one day she took a knife and cut herself open just to see what she was made of. surprised she watched as dusky soft petals unfurled themselves to greet the sun they’d been so long denied.
they are still growing and on some days they choke her throat with something like sadness, her eyes watering as it washes over her. this pain is her redemption as she finally lets grow what should have been in the first place and she greets each new bloom with a soft kiss.
perhaps in time she will be a garden and in it she will find healing.
autumn silk 1
autumn silk 2
autumn silk 3
a study in cobwebs.
I didn’t have any writing to share this week, so instead I hope you enjoy these photos I took on a morning walk at the University of California, Riverside.
like autumns on
the tip of your tongue
all honey dripping
and marshmallow tang
there is a thick scent of
nostalgia as the dog days of summer
come to an end.
at the world through
honey-tinted glasses and aches
for something more,
to return to the simpleness
she could find
the source of that deep,
deep ache that
only comes around when
autumn winds blow.