Author: oneseptembernight

What are we but ghosts?

179.

How quickly do I forget that the beauty of space is its menace itself: the void and all the emptiness lurking within. If we were planets I’m no longer sure if we orbit the same line.

I miss you, this I wish to say in a heartbeat, in the reach of a hand hesitant, but I don’t know where to stand in this room where silence is the loudest noise. Overcome by sorrows not mine to hold for it keeps close like a shadow.

Now — will the same gravity that drew us together, draw us apart?

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178.

I am irrefutably shy, in spite of possible bold first impressions and sporadic confessions of honesty, unwavering words and pinpoint clarity.

In a room filled with people gravitating in spaces not mine alone, it takes all of me to hold still and breathe. I am unable to understand how can one just co-exist in situations unplanned, in places new. Anchors I look for, to steady the tumultuous waves of my anxious heartbeat.

You are safe now, are the words whispered, is the hand that holds mine, are the eyes glancing quietly, is the folded origami crane before me.

And though I fear the impending darkness, I know that these things will keep me secure for a little longer.

176.

This is how you and I will go. Making a mistake, and living the days regretting such choices. I am a useless princess, a girl only able to watch the kingdom suffer. Why must I always be weak for glittering things? Stupid fool (not even your charming smile will save you now).

Humpty Dumpty, the sinister shell of a man sitting on the high wall. I’ve brought your lost sword, so why won’t you let my people go? You’ve cracked their minds and hearts, a mental affliction to madden my soul.

Once upon a time, this land is a place free from all harm. Even now, however, we both know that all the kings’ men and horses couldn’t put you together again. You, son of the depraved, first to destroy your mind and now with brute strength, have you broken others. My hands cannot keep my people’s minds from shattering.

How dare you come, how dare you say that you are only trying to make me understand. If being a monster is what it takes, I will turn away from your eyes (though they shine a bewitching green…).

I don’t believe that you’re innocent just because you’ve got a screw loose in your head.

175.

Not all secrets have to be filled with the weight of a drowned corpse, guilt hanging on the leg one cannot shake loose. I am accustomed to keeping sad things secret, but more so for the happy things too.

There’s something about preciousness that cannot be shared with others, lest beauty and wonder is lost. Don’t gain partial ownership or the ability to change it up, let it stay an unbroken memory for the cold days ahead. I am no fool, to leave a gem on the beach for the enchanting ocean to steal.

Call me selfish, and I will perhaps find no heart to deny — for sometimes we hold on so tightly until the insides of our palms make crescent cries. Take a look at what is photographed in quiet, the boundless whispers stalking across the mind. The things to immortalise.

I don’t know about you (if you exist), but for me? With numbers need not be told, I have stood in a place watching, hoping to remember for always.

173.

You have taught what it means to comfort a soul, how raw and impossible it is to embrace, but to do it anyway because of love.

Call to me in the darkness just to hear something real, keep the line alive even if you can barely breathe. Though the clouds shade the night sky it’s not as though you no longer exist.

Your sadness to me is magnetic, the way the moon has a pull on the tides of earth.

Tell me — am I unbearably cruel to lean into your pain, just to know you’re still here?

Washing arms that bleed from cuts self-inflicted, to navigate spoonfuls of food so that you would have the stomach to at least try. Come, align your fidgety fingertips with mine so that with the other we can count the number of blue cars whizzing past the street, just because it’s your favourite colour, just because it’ll keep you next to me, just so you can anchor yourself in control.

The tears streaming down cheeks say that you can feel, this by far better than the days you won’t even turn at the sound of your name. I will hold you, desperately so when your life is going off the rails, give me a rope and I promise to never let you sink into a quiet nothing. My heartbeat is a lullaby that is yours to keep, if yours is all but breaking into a hollowness that cannot be filled.

So please keep your shadow beside me. If you haven’t realised it yet, remember to stay safe — because I like being alive at the same time as you.

172.

I know what it is like to cradle regret

To search for a ghost long gone

Shyly keeping the umbrella of two to oneself

Wavering in grey principles

Trapped in the labyrinth of the mind.

 

And yet I know also to grab on to chances

To say I miss you more than ever

Sending the letter written hastily

Hand reaching out despite not knowing

Leaving doubts and fears behind.

 

Sometimes chances and regrets are going to look the same but until I know what lies in my hands, I will choose to stay.

170.

This is where it begins: over the garden wall.

The red, faded brick wall, tall and mighty, an enclosure stretching far, astoundingly wide. Chipped, degenerate, bits and pieces floating upwards before cosying themselves at the corners. The layered wall measures four foot, but the solidifying particles increase the humble defense in stature, crawling in delayed time.

Grassy green runs around, spill roots onto uneven clumps and ends. The sweet scent of daisies, gentle petals swaying lightly even in still wind as they lie asleep on the ground. Glimpses of white float in the atmosphere, hung by invisible strings that only the angels can see, them bound to the tired trees. Soft like snow, beauty that melts upon a moment’s touch.

The circle of trees with its array of russet leaves, wizened and wise. A hollow in its heart deep, a possible access to the centre of the earth. Cold and unresponsive save for the lines its rough branches shed. Leaves, first shaky then still, colour of brown turning lighter and lighter into vermillion and sea green. Roots dipping loftily into the stream for a drink.

The tinkling, how lean, clear crystal even when the sky is feeling grey gloom. Where the stream widens, the water gushes with a threatening overflow upward to the narrower path. Fishes, red, blue, yellow and green in delight challenge the current. The occasional hop backwards, as though they are circus creatures putting up a show, their audience the disinterested earthworms and planktons. Goes on and on, a cycle of reverse.

A drenched silver pocket watch, dislodged with fury from the stream and into the nook between overgrown roots. The black seconds and hour hand point at the eight and four respectively. A sad face on the one who knows time best. Any attempt to interfere, turn its frown upside down (hands placed on ten and two) is futile. The whirring sound stirs its hands to where it should be, before a low, sombre hum fills the place. A subtle disharmony to the trickling of water and the occasional blow of the air. Leave it alone, slumbering in the dark, it has done no harm.

The tumble of an odd disposable plastic bag rolls from the stream to the wooden bench, one engraved with constellation marks. Aside from the plastic bag hooked on its arm, it stands alone, almost by the wall. Dedicated to the one who dreams to the stars and beyond, its Latin phrase per aspera ad astra perceivable on its centre. An imperfect frame, likely cut by a knife, slowly etches itself on the bench’s skin, bleeding to remember, bleeding to catch the fleeting.

A glass marble wobbly at the top of the wall, kaleidoscopic, reflecting both the wonder of visible light and its invisibility. Darkness and shadows encapsulated along in this gem. How can one thing hold on for so long before breaking up and apart.

Take it back. Take it in and keep it, only to find out that it’s lost through a pocket hole when it’s too late to turn around.

This is where it ends: over the garden wall.