I walk faster than anyone I know. I’m not in a hurry. Just tired of life’s stillness and misery. I rush past kids by the street asking for some change or the cup of coffee in my hand, past troubled co-workers bellowing about meager salaries, past miserable employees handing out unwanted fliers on the newly erected condominium by the bay. I walk so fast, I can feel the wind slicing through my skin.
Once, I met a boy the same way
girls usually do. I built
my whole world with his promises,
his love as base. He was my rock
while I was just a season.
I once tried to run. Joined a silly marathon. I learned that walking fast is different from running. And that running for a long time is hard. Which is why I decided to stop. I tried, but I couldn’t. I wasn’t ready. Every kilometer felt like a marker of so many things I’ve tried to run from in the past. And every sweat that dripped from my body reminded me of you and me, together under an oak tree, reading to each other under the merciless sun.
He told me, “You are beautiful.”
I believed him. Then he told me,
"Goodbye." I insisted he stay.
Because I am stubborn and weak,
I wasted away my youth and
what was left of my spirit
My love, this is what I’ve become: I exist without presence. No one listens, no one notices. I shout in pain silently, tearless cries of pain. My teeth are crooked, my eyes are half-blind. There is beauty around me, but I cannot see it. I try to read our favorite book, but its pages have turned blank. My skin sags and wrinkles a little more each day. I cannot even feel my own touch. And yet. My heart remains the same. It aches and aches, but it refuses to die. It is my predicament.
I held you close to me
and whispered, “You smell like
my favorite flower.” I kissed
the skin under your ears. It was
smooth and promising. I laughed
and you asked me why. I said,
”I don’t have a favorite flower.”
The lamplight is flickering. As I reach for my crook, I accidentally push a framed picture off the wooden table. Shards of glass scatter on the floor. There is a picture and I take it without turning it over. My hands quiver violently, nerves threatening to burst, as I rip it into tiny pieces of nothing.