「winter lovers’ serenade」

alive again ~these winter waking dreams~

searching for you, I walked
       these empty moonlit winter streets
              as snow enveloped me in silent sheets
       masking the scent of waking dreams
that chased the weakness in my heart.

if you could feel my love,
would you answer me?

“we will meet again,” you said…

if I could hold you one more time,
would I live again?

reaching for you, I walked
       past the edge of this eternal night
              blinded by the shining white
       protesting this internal fight
that I could give no reason for.

if I knew I was destined to lose,
would I still keep running?

“we are going to make it,” you said…

if you really believed that,
would you have let me go?

yearning for you, I walked
       the traces of our broken past
              supported by a glowing cast
       the memories of those who last
still alive within my winter dreams.

all the things you said to me

don’t tell me you aren’t beautiful
don’t tell me you aren’t smart
don’t tell me you weren’t meant to be;
if only the world could see
       if only you could see
what I saw every time I glanced over at you
and looked into your eyes

every time you made me laugh
every time we laid in bed
       and traced our foreign days together
what was that if not beauty?
every time you spoke for hours
       about the aesthetics of life and love
what was that if not intelligence?
all the things you’ve said to me
so blindly self-deprecating
and it hurts when you believe it;
you took that to the end

you were born a shooting star but never shot
never streamed across the northern skies in your private colors
and will the world know why?
you chased a dream you never saw
       the dream of being yourself, of being happy
and for once,
       if you could have been happy for once
would you still have left me?

if I could hear your voice again,
would I follow you home?

the dream you left behind

trampling through fields of dead roses,
       with a mournful serenade gracing your ears
you hold your head up high, gazing at me
       locks of your brown hair falling to the ground one by one
       tracing our shattered destiny on the maps of time
I didn’t know what I was leaving behind.

the shadows of your fingers entwined in mine,
I still remember
       the words you said to me that day
       the strength of your loving embrace
but you knew, I knew, I had nothing left to give
       and so you walked away without looking back
knowing that I was just waiting to die.

breaking the endless lines with your bare hands,
       to the soundtrack of a selfless hero
you climbed the walls we had built together
       and tore through the eternal night that was nothing but an illusion
              nothing more, nothing less than a single night’s dream
       the dream I could never see
the dream you left behind for me.

before that night was over

the night I tried to show you the way
the crescent moon pierced the sky like a farmer’s blade
and as the wind tore down the willow trees behind us
you gazed into my face and cried
still believing that there could have been another way
another way for you to stay
to ground yourself against my flat chest
and never have to break that first-year promise
but I watched the air before you burst into flames
reflected back to me in your stormy eyes
and before the night was over
before the moon and wind and stars had won
you released my hand and let me go.

brainwash

waiting for the end, we walk
parallel to the edge
as if we were just walking along the shore
basking in the glow of who we used to be
we try to love and end up in tears
we try to live and they kill us
before we can kill each other, they
grasp our hands and we cover our ears
we jump off and they catch us
they promise the light at the end of the tunnel
but when we get there we realize it’s death
throttled by the dreams of people who believed
we used to believe, we used to dream, but
it was never enough to say we loved each other
because they didn’t want us to mean it
they wanted us to become the liars they were
waiting to catch us in the act they forbid, they
claimed we were going to live and still, they
stabbed you in the back while we embraced
and I couldn’t even cry a single tear for you
they already had me in their death grip
so I lied and said I never loved you
I lied and said I wanted to live
and now I walk alone
parallel to the edge
just waiting for the end.

demon/s in the mirror

“someday” was a promise I’ll never see
because she, you, I lied to me
this demon in the mirror spiraling out of control
neon pink fringes bursting from our heart
I won’t let you win, I’ll die
to see this tragic farce all the way to the end
when the rain flows upward and he shatters his guitar,
drunk against my bloody face
determined to do everything it takes to make it
I will win, you’ll live
even if it was never meant to be, I don’t believe
drowning you in endless seas of love-blind fantasies
because this mind of mine was never mine
except to blow up on a heart-held trigger
except to walk the line between life and death,
pretending to be sane enough to hold your hand.
don’t lie to me again. 

reciprocity

don’t give up on me, you said
but you gave up on me

and it was never enough

the old days were so simple
coloring books and pinky-promises on the playground
afternoon naps and carefree hugs
and kisses I don’t remember
we walked hand-in-hand through the days, silently
our faces written with love we never understood

why can’t we go back?

to a time when giving up meant nothing
even if there was nothing to give up on?

you sang me the song of your future
but I never had a future
not even with myself, I thought
the days were too easy but I couldn’t get out of bed
the work was too simple but I couldn’t stop crying
and eventually you walked out
you gave up on me

I thought promises worked both ways
but I was never worth the other side of it anyway.

blown-glass trains and fleeting dreams

gazing into a sea of blackness
I fall asleep to the sound of falling rain
the city quiet except for the midnight train
still suspended in my blown-glass dream

again I hear your soothing voice
but my restful sleep is fleeting
we can’t spare a chance at meeting
only now can I turn back time

yet in the rain we are both blind
reaching out vainly for your hand
it disintegrates to fine storm sand
I will wait on the tracks until that day

caught together in this moment
as the spirits’ tears come flood the streets
as the seasons change in rhythmic beats
I hear your words again

this goodbye is not forever…
we will meet again.

Enough For Me And You

breathing quietly beside you,
       I gazed up at my own dark sky –
so different from yours
       even though our dreams were the same
       even though the promises we exchanged
              had been knowingly impossible… 
if I could have understood then
       what it feels like to love someone
       who can’t love you back…
that day the seas rose and fell
that day the sky split open
       and shattered our silent dreams into a million pieces,
              glass shards we grasped in our hands despite the pain
you asked me for a reason –
       and I blurted out so many
       but it’s only now that I realize what the right answer was.
“I don’t need a reason,” I should have said.
“Isn’t ‘I love you’ enough?”

Nocturne of a Dreamer

sitting at the edge of dawn,
waiting for who knows how long
the first bird shares her siren song
       and we –
in this intangible moment we
       go off into infinity
stepping into the unknown that is our life.

as though we could have stopped them,
       and made this place our own
as though we could have met them,
       and bent our fates anew
we chase each dawn from night to day,
each following our own loving way –
       then searching for the words to say,
words that might still change the world someday.

reaching into open arms, we gaze
       at these reflections of our own blind eyes
       at our opposite horizon lines
and we say, “we will not go.”
we say “this is not the end.”

because here, the sun is rising –
       hear, the sun is rising –
and today
with nothing else to do
       and no other path to take
we follow it into eternity.

Love Letters to the World We Made (VII)

Previous: VI


If only I could remember you.

If only I had not been so self-absorbed in my depression. If only I had noticed the hundred clues you left behind. If only I had known then… if only. The tiny hairs on the back of my neck stand up as you whisper into my ear. All I have left are the drawings, the paintings, the stories you made for me – and the memories I cannot recover. Jagged fragments of a time long gone.

I can’t help but wonder how things might have turned out differently, if only those nameless days had come to be.

You speak into the phone slowly, hesitantly, embarrassed. You tell your story as I reconstruct mine. You admit with a life-changing, world-altering, unfamiliar phrase, “I was in love with you,” and I can’t help but think: this wasn’t what I was asking for.

It’s not fair to ask for it now.

I just want to remember what it felt like when we held hands. I want to remember what it felt like when you kissed me. I want to remember what it felt like to be loved, even if I didn’t realize it. But none of that will come back to me anymore. I know I can’t spend my life chasing my shadow – but sometimes moving forward means coming to terms with what you’ve left behind.

I just want to remember you.

I want to know why it is that today, when I write, when I watch these movies, when I flip through old things I have saved, I can’t help but think of you. I want to know why the absence of so many memories, so many emotions, leaves me in tears. I want to know why, out of all the people, you found me – me, who was depressed and damaged and broken, me, who was never worth your time – why you found me worthy enough to save.

Most of all, I want to know why I didn’t give that love back to you. Now, the waves wash in against my feet and I refuse to write your name, I refuse to let you go. But I don’t know what there is left to hold onto. I don’t know if I’m reaching for something that isn’t there, trying to hold onto the shadowy traces of a hand that, having been offered without reciprocation for too long, already pulled away. You say you still think of me. You say I was your first. And I still think of you, too – but I don’t remember you, and this contradiction leaves me in anguish. It keeps me up at night, tossing and turning as the moon cycles through the darkness. I close my eyes and it makes me want to cry.

Growing up in this world, we aren’t taught to deal with contradictions. But when I think about it, my entire life has been one continuous series of both-and relationships, and I can’t, or won’t, come to terms with it. I can’t, or won’t, learn to survive it. I can’t, or won’t, but I will always come back to you.

“If only I could remember,” I say, and you reply gently, “I have to go.”

I have to go – but I will always come back to you.


Next:

Love Letters to the World We Made (V)

Previous: IV


You will never understand.

How much you mean to me. How much I treasure our sparse memories. How much my heart aches reaching across the great divide in search of you, desperate for something, someone, who makes me feel normal and valid and loved. You will never understand because my feelings, my complexities as a human being, can never be accurately reduced to the written or spoken word – and we knew this when we sat down to write our story together for the first time. We knew this, and still, we wrote. And still, we loved.

Sometimes, I step hesitantly into the water and in my mind burns an immediate image of you – submerged, your eyes closed, your hair drifting, the current hiking up your shirt to reveal that beautiful tattoo. This image is pulled out from the deepest recesses of my memory by a flickering goddess who breathes sparks upon it and gives it life. For a time, it takes up residence in my heart, and I cherish it like I would an abandoned child. I will never be the same.

Your name lingers on my tongue like a dream of a falling star. I am mortally terrified of the day I will forget it.

Every time you took my hand, every time you wrapped me up in your embrace, every time I cried on your flat chest, that goddess of memory captured my emotions in her perfectly cupped hands, poured them into a glass box, and stored them safely away. I am determined to keep these special boxes safe and free – determined in a way I have never been, determined in a way that is not possible. I know that it’s not possible. And still, I try. Still, I love.

If only, you whisper. Unworthy. Damaged. Broken. Unlovable.

You won’t believe my will to prove you wrong.

Because all of the man-made tragedies we’ve suffered have transformed our bodies and our minds, but we will not let them transform our hearts. That is one thing they cannot take from us – one thing they cannot take from me. Although this world is as it is, I will not relinquish my heart to a falling star in a nameless effort to survive it. I pray that you won’t relinquish yours. I know that my prayers go to imperfect goddesses who cannot always grant them – but still, I hope. And still, I love.

I will not give up my heart for them. I won’t let you give up yours. We cannot let them win because if they win, our children will lose. If they win, our futures will crumble into pieces, and any possibility of human healing will go down the drain, and you and I –

“You and I” will no longer exist.

We have to exist. We have to make it to the end of our story. And I will love you until we get there.


Next: VI

the memories we made ~flight from eternity~

“this doesn’t happen in real life…”
the words you whispered that night were heartbreaking
all I wanted was to make your dreams come true
but I couldn’t change the world for you

you smiled at me bitterly, eyes shimmering with tears
I was desperate to take your pain away
what kind of life must we live?
are we not allowed to be happy?

not knowing which one of us will go first,
I gaze intently into your eyes…
the memories we make,
the dreams we chase,
I can’t let myself forget them
no matter how far from eternity I fly

every second we now spend together
I grasp it tightly in my hands
“soon, this will all be over…”
with these thoughts running through my mind

the world is changing, and we change with it
but I can’t let these moments fade
the times you smile and laugh with me, the jokes we make and retell endlessly
I hold them to my chest, crying happily

not knowing which one of us will go first,
I gaze intently into your eyes…
the memories we make,
the dreams we chase,
I can’t let myself forget them
no matter how far from eternity I fly

can we believe in an impossible world?
I can’t live without it…
I take your hand, full of hope
And create new laughter with you again

playing games like the children we were
we move forward day by day
a rope, a pool, a closet hanger, a rainbow
still haunted, we gather ourselves and smile

not knowing which one of us will go first,
I gaze intently into your eyes…
the memories we make,
the dreams we chase,
I can’t let myself forget them
no matter how far from eternity I fly

Remember Me

Waiting for the autumn wind to blow the stars away,
I dream of you and only you,
Reaching out for the days we shared
And the tomorrows we left behind.

The goddess of time cannot care about us;
She sweeps me away to my death —
I can’t keep track, I’m losing it all
The words you said to me that day…

How could I be so cruel?
The promises I made to you,
I’ve left them far behind;
I can’t remember how I felt that time.

The current is too strong tonight,
Our love and care too distant to see —
Washed up on that glistening black and white beach
Where I once traced your name into the sand.

I took it for granted that you’d be here,
And even when I didn’t,
Our future of isolation was veiled to me;
I couldn’t appreciate what was in my own two hands.

I thought I wouldn’t live this long;
I thought I’d have you to my end;
But you made sure you went before me —
And now I don’t know anything.

The distance between us increases with time,
And she cares not about our past;
Please, I don’t want to forget you tonight —
But I’m only human in this life.

手紙

Photo by John-Mark Smith on Pexels.com

Dear ◯◯、

If you are reading this, can you tell me?

If you’re alive, will you send me a sign?

Today is your birthday

Again, this year

I have passed many of your birthdays

Without you.

I will play music for you, today

Will you please listen?

From wherever you are

Whoever you are

I hope the sounds of the piano will reach you

And maybe the sound of my voice

Or yours

Are you still sick?

Are you happy?

You made me happy

When I was feeling depressed

And couldn’t name it

I wish you had someone

Who could make you happy too

All I can do now

Is play music

And remember you

How long has it been?

Every year I feel regret

Around this time

You have taught me

Not to make such regrets

Have I grown since then?

If you have returned to the stars

Or not

Do you still remember me?

It doesn’t matter so much

I’m still alive, after all

I just want you to be happy

At least today

On your birthday

Can you feel it?

Time is slowing down for you

So that you can smile again

Today

Someday.

From 〇〇

August 2019