Bare

Night falls and the stars rise.

The warm dusk fades into dark, a single seamless brushstroke. The air is chilly and crisp now, just a hint of soft caramel wafting through.

In my mind, you are standing in the centre of the chaos, though perhaps that is only a reconstruction.

The night seems to fade out from you, as though you’ve leeched the colours of this world and captured it within your soul.

The night mist billows around, making you seem as though you stand among the clouds.

The light you cast flutters like a moth, extending its warm silken glow to the chosen few upon which it falls. 

 If this world were a kaleidoscope, you would be the momentary confluence of the reflections, the point at which everything ends and begins. 

When my eyes catch on you, this muddled life settles into place, like a lens coming into focus, pieces of a puzzle that finally click. 

You are the apex of my sphere, the cornerstone of my being. Underneath your gaze, I am grounded, yet flying; shackled, yet free.

You are the echo of a tune that I have never heard, and it both bewilders and enchants me. You are the fleeting recollection of my dreams: fading, fading, as I scramble to imprint it into memory.  

You are the only thing I crave, the sole want of my life.

So take my hand, and I promise you art. You will be the canvas of my prose. I’ll dip my pen into the ink of your eyes, and engrave myself onto your heart. 

Let me take your breath away with the heat of my passion. I want to taste that infinite second between life and death before I breathe air back into you.

Let me plant a smatter of kisses within the most intimate chambers of your soul. I’ll watch them bruise and bloom with the flush of desire. 

Let me stop your heartbeat with a flick of my hand and hold- waiting a moment too long- before blood whooshes back into your aching veins.

Let me squeeze my fingers around your throat, and gaze into your eyes as their lustre fades. The light that you once clasped would leak out from you, and gush into me. 

I’ll press a single finger to the kaleidoscope of your world and watch the delicate glass crack, a spiderweb of a fissure making its way across your life.

I’ll watch your world slowly crumble, tremors advancing inwards, until there is nothing left. But you. 

You are clasped in the palm of my hand; I am the only air you can breathe, the only stimulus for your heartbeat. 

I am the only light in your eyes, the only voice that will soothe your cries. 

My blood mingling with yours, we are one flesh, one world. Mi casa es tu casa. And what is yours is mine also. 

You are stripped away, of everything that once shielded you.

No light.

No colour.

Only You.

Bare. 

Photo by Jilbert Ebrahimi on Unsplash

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Fall to Power

Whatever we did, we did for power.

Money. Love. Beauty. Respect. Family.

Power to control, to seduce, to create, to morph.

Science to control our surroundings, psychology to control ourselves. Society to control our world.

Everything you could have possibly yearned for, anything you could want, in the end, was merely a tireless quest for dominance.

It sounds vain, even as I think it. To reduce the entire of our lives, all our hopes, our dreams, our drive, as they would say, to one pathetic power-play.

But to be vain itself is a power, to have the power to be vain, to be selfish, to think only of oneself. A luxury. How we wasted it.

Don’t be like that, they would tell us. Serve. Adapt. Fulfil. 

Be selfless, sans the self, shrink yourself, smaller, smaller, until you no longer exist.

How can you want when you are not in being?

You are content, they told you. Happy. This is what happiness feels like.

How were we to know?


It’s why we fell in the end, I think to myself.

Because there was that ‘more’ lingering in the air, more power over the other person, loved more, respected more.

Big words like ‘unconditionally‘ and ‘forever‘ thrown about, disrupting the balance.

When we fought over the TV remote, the restaurants, who paid the bill, who fed the cat, who took out the trash. Hands flying, head shaking, dishevelled, letting loose, words spewing out of red lipstick, I remember, there was so much red towards the end.

How trivial, we thought, how mundane.

In the end, it was those little things that did it.

We laughed about it afterwards, of course, hands clutched together, eyes smiling, mingled sighs and half-hearted apologies.

But the more was still in the air, whispering, scheming.

They say that when you go deaf, it starts off as just a small humming in your ears. And then day after day, night after night, it slowly drowns out the world around you, until it’s all you can hear.

That was what it was like, this ‘more‘. It was like going deaf, deaf to what you have, right before you. More, more, more. 

When we pretended we didn’t care, hurting, hurting so much, battered, broken, tired, oh-so-tired. That was about power too.

Apathy. Ignorance. The less you care, the better. The less you know, the less you care. Close your eyes, go in blind, go in deaf, more, more, more.

We craved the imbalance and we paid for it. The scales finally tilted. We fell.

In the end, we fell, falling, falling, was that power?

Was I happy, then?

I can’t remember.

The fall was a grey blur, a single whoosh, a rush of blood to the head, passion, lust, rage, hunger, us gasping for breath, breathless.

It was breathtaking, as they would say.

That’s not always a good thing.


Photo by Yessica Villalobos on Unsplash

Resonance

You walk past the street, wind in your hair, smile on your lips. One hand is tucked in your coat. The other clutches a small bag slung over your shoulder.

The crowd is bustling, and you manoeuvre yourself through with a practised ease.

It’s just another day.

Mundane. Normal.

And then, you see me, walking just past you.

If you asked, I would tell you I’ve never met you before.

You’d agree.

I don’t know your name and you don’t know mine.

But nevertheless, you see me, really see me.

So maybe I smile.

Maybe you do.

Maybe you raise up a hand in greeting, a small wave.

Maybe I nod in response.

Maybe our shoulders brush as we cross paths, shuffling through.

Our shadows align under the morning sun. Whole.

Your eyes catch mine, and lock, just for a second. Linger. I look away.

And then, we’re both gone, just as quickly as we appeared.


It was just another day.

Mundane. Normal.

I didn’t know you and you didn’t know me.

We were two ships passing in the night, on different paths in the same waters.

But in that fraction of a second, we were as close as two people could ever be.

Our hearts pulsed to the same beat, and our blood sang the same tune.

Resonant.

We were in resonance.

The moment is gone as quickly as it came.

But in all the years that’ll come to pass, you can’t help but believe.

You will never truly be alone.

 

Photo by Bruno Nascimento on Unsplash

 

 

 

Castle in the air

There is a castle I live in, with glass walls that kiss the sky.

It holds clasped around it an air of mystique, of whispered secrets and hushed murmurs, cloaked around those four glass walls no one has seen within. There are no doors and windows. No way of entering at all. The glass is tinted, so that everything inside is merely a grey blur.

Inside: the grass is dead, the air stale.

Each day, I step outside, and I am remoulded, recast into different flesh, en vogue.

I step outside and my shadow is lighter, as though I have left a shade of it behind.

I step outside, and my world is anything I want it to be.

I can be one amidst a million again, a thread blending seamlessly into the cloth. Or I can be a single streak of silver against black.


I am a storyteller: telling fairytales of life inside the grey, never lying, nothing true.

Look at the tapestries, I entreat, flourishing the cobwebs that hang from the ceilings.

I am an enchantress: weaving threads of magic in place to fabricate my own reality.

Look at the grandeur, I urge. How the walls stroke the skies, crystal glistening in the moonlight, outshining the stars.

I am an architect: setting stone upon stone, carving a world into being.

Look at the glass walls, I whisper. For you shall see nothing beyond it.

I am anything I want to be.

Your eyes widen, in awe, in admiration. In wonder.

It a heady feeling, that sense of being put on a pedestal, as if the laws of gravity no longer apply to me.

As though I could fly as long as I don’t look down.

I can no longer stop, I have gone too high to fall.

I cannot bring myself to care.

I can fly.

Which is the dream now? Which is the lie?

Then one day, you arrive. You knock at the glass, hand rapping sharply on the walls with no doors. I do not respond. You should not be here.

You knock again.

Silence.

I hold my breath and then sigh, leaning against the walls.

Footsteps echo into silence. You are gone.

I am relieved. Relieved of the truth, of how close you came to seeing it.

But there is a twinge of something I cannot identify right there. Regret? Longing? It is not pleasant, whatever it is, and I dismiss it.

I have only a second’s warning when glass explodes into the air, cracks spiderwebbing along the walls.

You walk straight through: through the tinted glass, the façade of castles and fairy tales, tapestries and skyscrapers.

Lies.

You do not flinch.

Not when the glass shards pierce through your skin, blood dripping onto the dusty wooden floors.

Not when you take in the cobwebs, the damp, musty smell of neglect.

Lies.

I want to scream. To rant and rage. To throw a fit.

You are not supposed to be here.

I say nothing.

The balance has shifted. The power is in your hands.

I want to strike out like a cornered animal, glaring into your eyes, challenging you to make a single misstep, longing for you to just give me a reason to be angry. It simmers just underneath the surface, underneath this overwhelming shame, the guilt.

My pedestal has gone, and I am falling, falling. I look down.

I am Cinderella, without the –ella, only ashes.

Exposed. Vulnerable. It’s too much. Too soon.

Silence.

And then you make an obscene comment.

Laugh.

Offend.

The transition is smooth. Seamless. There is no hitch, no falter in your steps. No pity in your eyes.

The air is stale, the grass dead, but you are the same.

I am grateful.


There is a castle I live in, with glass walls that kiss the skies. There are no doors and windows, no way of entering at all. The glass is tinted, so that everything inside is merely a grey blur.

I pause for effect with all the grace of a serial-gossip about to reveal the biggest secret of her infamous career.

But there are ways, I whisper into your ears. Cracks in the glass.

I nod emphatically for emphasis.

Who knows? One day, she might let you in.