Tag Archives: year

86. i think she knew

through my paperround last year i met a wonderful man. he used to walk his dog as i’d deliver papers and we started talking around the time i started writing this blog. i think he’s 82: he must have mentioned it a while back. and i’m afraid there’s nothing literary about him: his existence is one of uncouth coutesy.

i quit the paperround a while back now but i still see him every sunday. nine o’clock in the morning, like church. he’s my little christian connection: even S is nowhere near taking his place. he gave me a bible with a picture of him in his youth stuck at the back, so that i remember him. secretly, i think, he believes that it will help me find him in heaven: he believes i will go there after all. 

to my friends, this man is “the old man”. to me, he is much more than that. it may be true that i meet him every sunday partly because i feel like it’s my obligation, but also because somewhere beneath my skin there’s a tendon that connects me to him.

his wife died last night. or the night before that. and there’s no more words because i’m hurting for him. because how can one even begin to describe his pain?

i had made them a card only this march: they celebrated their 60th wedding annivesary.

sometimes he told me he wondered if she ever loved him but i know that was only because he loved her more than anything else. ever.
and it’s a little late for him to tell her, but i hope she knew. i think she knew.


85. cherry soda loves

there was a line in streetcar named desire that i remember. it said it’s touching to notice them making their first discovery of love! As if nobody had ever known it before.  it resonates, for now the time has come for the bud to be broken and flowers to bloom in the late-spring night air.

the risk is nothing. nothing, really. there are only the long sprawling afternoons this side of summer, when paper is scrunched up into tiny little balls and burnt with a magnifying glass or matches. whichever, the result is all that matters. words are nothing: this air requires action! 
and there are trees, so beautiful this time of year. they remind me of walking to school in the summer and inhaling the scent of apple tree blossom with T. those were the days, eh?

but now, no now, those buds will open and blossom will scatter into the hands of a handsome young man that we choose. for me, this sweltering summer, it’ll be you. and, god willing (an expression i borrowed from an altogether more believing friend of mine), next summer also. for T (if we were boys, she’d be a brother from another mother) it will be someone else. Her new beau (a rather lovely Tenessee expression!). her very first. amazing stength and will and beauty.

so here we are, and isn’t it queer to think we shall be here always? in the arms of another, in the throes of spring, the coming summer alighting hopes in every single one of us, as if petards were thrown at the pavement before us, at our feet, at our willing young hearts?

and we can’t help this feeling hopeful. and we can’t pretend we didn’t want this life.
so every year, like clockwork, we will be discoving those cherry soda loves and shedding blossom in each other’s arms.

80. this once, its more than enough

bonne anniversaire!

i like the way it rings, reverbrating from the eardrums straight into the heart. it’s been a year.
and i don’t know how to feel, i just feel the need to thank you for the knowledge that someone in the world matters more than the world itself. je t’adore. and i’m not joking. sometimes, not too often, i catch myself pause in the middle of the sentence when i look at you because thoughts that flush into my head like tapwater into a blocked sink.

i’d say remember, but you do. every word i say. you’re magic, you hear me? maybe. telekenisis? unlikely. but know, if you do, that though you’re not here but somewhere else, my feeling never wanes. artificial flowers never wilt; real emotion never dies. sometimes it just recedes to the back of the mind. like magic.

you gave me the rosary beads from your first communion as a gift this morning. placed it along with your card on my porch. and i swear, i didn’t know what to do. it seemed like so much. a universe of you in my palm. 
and i couldn’t wait to ask you about the meaning, though i knew. and you knew that i do. it’s a game we play because neither of us likes losing.

it’s a symbol that i’m ready to learn about it with you. and i can’t be sure that’s exactly what you said, but that’s what i heard.

and i’m stuck for words, but i sit here clutching at metal and plastic made to look like glass in silence and i know wherever i go, you’ll follow.
sometimes emotion is enough to fill the silence. this once, its more than enough.

it’s glass

it’s glass,
translucent white murano
[christmas morning, shock, lips meeting in the dark]
that detonates you in my mind 


smashed champagne bottles
[the glass opaque, the colour of wet sand at night]
are littered here,
confetti of my lives.
they live from new year to new year
[incredible, alluring, bold vibrant colours in the setting dusk]
until all age is lost. 

until that slice of sunshine
so often playing in your eyes,
[a child in sandbox, early summer, smell of peonies, freshly moved grass]
sets me alight once more 



it’s been a long way coming here. i lost so much of me, you lost of much of you. the long march, where the world got trampled in the mud. but now we’re here, lets do it. no hesitation. there must have been a reason for it all.

72. on a carousel of heights

one more year nearly over but this time i won’t attribute it to anyone. no, not to you or X or Y. it wasn’t mine either for it took me on a ride, spinning me around on a carousel of heights. and i can’t see the lows, looking back into all that time through my rose-tinted glasses. i can’t.
lets leave them lurking in the shadows, where past has teeth and broken dreams, like glitter, pave the floor.
i’ll visit them again. i have before.

i’m supersticious.
and i believe.
i believe that one must welcome a year in with the colours of its chinese animal; that one must drink a glass of champagne as the clock stikes midnight; that the way one spends new year’s eve will be the way one spends the year.
my supersticions supersede any norm of rationality, but darling, you said so yourself, i’m the luckiest person you know.

lets believe.
believe that there’s some truth to supersticion after all and drink champagne tonight.
and it’ll be the night when i will set the sky alight, our paper lantern flying up above. i’ve found love.

66. as we stand there

what moved me yesterday was not the explosion after explosion in the sky, nor the coldness enveloping us in a tightly huddled mass of warm bodies. it was the way you looked at me, as if seeing me for the first time. or the last time. and i don’t know how much truth there is in the world, but so long you keep looking at me like that, my heart will long for yours.

yesterday was an annivesary in ways. 7 months, but more than that. 
i was with X then, and with Y to an extent, but that night, a year ago, you held my hand in yours, warming it, holding me gently under the fireworks and the stars. a friend and no more, keeping me warm placidly yet wanting me wholly.
now i’m yours solely.
please burn for me still.

this was the poem i wrote for you a year ago. and now you know.

a drizzle of rain warms me up
like your hands on mine, polishing the silver
the ground not yet ready to settle, the sky – to erupt
and we are languishing in the middle
of the broken
I conceived with someone else

smiling in knowing
you’d carry my life on your shoulders if I let you
bequeathing me your last breath as a parting present
but how could I ever justify your love or lust
as we stand there under the unremitting gaze of stars
almost like an audience awaiting the typical finale
my heart so suddenly awake

wanting to take
all that you offer, grab it in handfuls
frigid hands clasping yours with the ferocity
that would make you bleed and leave crescent shapes
as a memory of my need
living signature of my greed
instead I leave you with a seed

of hope.

your life is blistered…

your life is blistered
by the setting sun
and dreams we dreamt
as if we were living
for one life only

the jokes we told
today: the ironies of life,
the laughs we laughed
callused by bitter strangeness 

to you
is but a foreign language
to me it’s broken glow stick lighting up the sky

 i’ll say goodbye
but not in english

i’ll say goodbye
and it will be forever new.


last weekend i was away with friends. trekking. miles walked under the coldness of october sun with you, with Y and others. according to Y it is over a year since he began life anew with his blonde. i know it isn’t. the day he professes their anniversary is the day i spent crying in his arms. it was the day when i almost begged him for a platonic kiss. it was the day he said “how can it be platonic if we are in love?”