Hope

Darkness of the mind, just an inkblot of poison fills the jar.

Undo the blinds, can you still see the faint sunshine that filters through.

Light and dark, unmatched playmates in shadowy playgrounds.

Run your hand along this length of rope or the metallic cool of a gun.

Will it be tonight, that the fingers will curl into the familiar hollow and pick up.

Will it be tonight, that the phone will be switched off and eyes shut tight.

Will it be tonight, that there will be a note left behind.

Please don’t let it be tonight, or any other night.

I’m here praying that you’ll live through these terrifying times.

Please hold on.

Don’t let your starlight eyes lose their glimmer in the dark.

Don’t forget how angry injustice makes you feel. It’s terrible how crimes need to be judged by severity, when wrongs against humanity are the scum of the earth.

A woman’s sense of pride is scorned, when one speaks of indecent glances. Women are pages in the catalogue, perused and felt up to the corners. Eyes are made to travel, don’t go feeling special or personally targeted.

We are bodies made of stardust, and some take more in the name of entitlement. A skirt too short, a figure too svelte, it must be her fault that hands desire to lean in for an impolite touch.

Girls are indecisive, they say, girls know not what they want. Others take their voices and speak in false mellifluous promises. It’s easy to know what they need, turn their loud no-s into secret yes-s. Catch one alone, in a crowd if there is a sense of daring.

In this world, the voice of a female falls on deaf ears. The wrongness committed has become a norm and there is no need to raise a fuss, unless the case strikes as strange or unexpected. Late nights and teenager years are too ordinary to be given a second thought.

Yet it remains unjust, that in an era of spaceships and underwater kingdoms half the population have to be afraid simply for being a woman. Things shift in time, be it gold dust or night constellations, and so I will continue to hope for better tomorrows for the sake of the future generation.

Years pass, and we grow up in ways unexpected.

Even so, by the way the warm sunlight bounces off your face and the crinkle of your inquisitive eyes, I know that I’ve held a love special for you.

I don’t know why I write of these things now, yet maybe I do. There’s been a gap in time, where we’ve spent our lives apart. While we’ve not faded from each other’s thoughts, change has taken one another for a ride.

We’re close, able to speak of many things despite differences. I remember supporting you in the hardest of times, to perceive your strengths when you no longer did, and you’ve had a way of making me try more, to do more. Never did you break me with your involuntary angry speakings, hurt as I may have been.

So have I, for I remain humanly faulty. In ways unintended, I’ve injured you, like the time I accidentally kicked sand into your face when all I wanted was to play. All I’ve ever desired is for you to grow well, and to stay honest, no matter how difficult the journey would become.

Held my weak hand with strong ones you did, through my terrible episodes when the nights seemed forever long. I recall those dark eyes watching me with such caring, a sight I could hardly believe lest I misunderstood. To trust in the tender attention of another is an experience incredible. Sing me to sleep and stories told, simply to battle the rage of my restless heart. Wordless conversations across the room, a little ruffle on the head.

While outsiders prodded at our relations, we remained steady. What more could I ask for?

I’m coming home, and I wonder deeply as to who I will be meeting.

Will it be, that your hair has grown in a new style, or that you’ve gotten new shoes I’ve never known of before? Are there unfamiliar hobbies picked up, or forgiveness to be extended? What have you done in my absence? Will I find in myself still a heart to embrace you?

I remain shy and impossible with fierce expression, yet may it be that in my soul there’s a bravery mustered to know you all over again, if there’s a need to do so. I don’t intend to be like a passenger facing backwards on a train, endlessly pining for what’s already gone.

I promise this in the quiet, where in a world permeated with outrageous displays of affection of loose kisses and meaningless tangled bodies, my pinky finger loops yours.

Bewildered by beauty, I gave broken pieces and You built me a palace of glass.

You remind me of my inheritance, that the shine of the heirloom on my head is a symbol of Your interminable love.

Lift your eyes, my child, are the words You gently whisper, for often I forget to stop staring at my damaged feet and instead to sight endless glory.

What else can I do, but to always try my best to grasp the depth of Your faultless love?

This one, this I write for the one who’ll never find this.

This one, it’s for you, for the senior who held the door wide open and smiled for me.

Almost three years ago, around this time, you expressed the said deed. I’m not sure why, but I think of you as of late. What makes it remarkable is the fact that I no longer remember anything of your physical self.

It must be, that your smile made me feel warm in my heart, touched at the genuine kindness of a stranger. Even as I slipped past the glass doors, a part of me had been left behind. I wondered what you were doing back then, to linger close when you had no business to attend in the same area. Were you waiting for someone? Perhaps.

And all I know is this: that I said only a pity exchange of thanks. How would I have known that months down the road, I would have yearned to say more? What words should I have offered?

I see you, two or three more times. Close enough to hear your laugh, a melody that transforms the air, carefree and explicit, according to that of my ghostly memory. A ghost that is deader than memory, silly as it is. Yet I never catch your name. Timid child that I am, I have not the ability to gravitate into your sphere of influence.

The last time, surely, is that by the examination hall. While we differed in our education level, the hall was sufficiently spacious to occupy differing papers. You walked in, jacket dark and shoes white, or so I’ve chosen to believe. My memory, it has waned and I’m forced to make up something to hold on to.

While you eventually turned out to be someone I didn’t expect you to be, in the midst of my ambivalence I knew that you were always someone I searched for in the bustling crowd.

Where are you now?

It’s an incredible shame, that you could walk into my life by chance one day and I would not recognise who you are. I will hold on to the you I knew, of whom I’ve spun a story more than one in my attempt to wrap loose ends.

(In this timeline of bytes and hex codes, I have made you immortal.)

He is found in the midst of chaos and split silver. Cracked mirrors and loose shrapnel.

I can’t take it anymore, he mumbles brokenly.

Do you know, do you truly know what it’s like to be unseen? Alone in a crowd, or to face a reflection that will not see you in the eyes?

I am in a mental museum, full of the dead and the past, and I’m here beyond opening hours, trapped in a space that won’t let me go. Even if there are others here, they exist past the velvet rope that I cannot cross.

And in spite of it all, I am the joke, for I find myself like air — I’m afraid that I may disappear if someone does touch me.

If no one thinks of you at all, he painfully asks, do you truly exist?

The shadows breathe across the ruined floor.

People don’t remember the moon until it hides behind the clouds, she whispers softly. But I’ll have you know, that I always have been looking for the moon. You do to me what the moon does to the tide;

You draw me in.

(And even on days when I don’t see you, I know you’re there.)