Would I was a child of word
Would that I could go unheard
In my masters golden world
Would I could be Tinuviel
Would I could be where elves dwell
Lothlorien or Rivendell
Would I could sit beneath this fire
Would I could know my treasured Sire
On his quest to guard the Shire
Would my heart was not so sore
Would that I was waiting for
Returning kings of Numenor
Would I was Undomiel
Would I was under that spell
A Elbereth! Gilthoniel!
So this is what you don’t see: a graveyard.
Rows and rows of headstones, I painted a grey night without stars. Maybe if you had graveyards here, this is what it would look like. Paint a moon on your sky and clouds. Gnarly-fingered trees are reaching.
It is not a well-kept place. Stones are broken and fallen. Dry leaves on the ground for the noise it makes to walk on them. The iconography of horror means nothing here. And yet I can touch the heavy taste of the air closing in. How can I read all the tombstones when it is so dark?
Because I know what they say. There is my name on all of them, each single one: me, me, me. There lies the girl that dreamt of growing up normal. Sometimes I can still hear her whisper dreams in my head.
The lies the woman that dreamt of fortune and fame and acclaim. Her words are buried beside her. In the darkest nights, the ground still moves. The headstone of the sweet one has fallen over just as easily as the dreams of marrying the first love and settling down with kids and a dog.
I am not a dog person. I am even less of a kids person. That one is forgotten, a wisp of smoke indistinguishable from the clouds. The list goes on and on. There have been so many of me.
This is what you don’t see: it is all of us.
When I see you, I know there is a graveyard like this behind your eyes. We buried many people to be where we are today. We do not talk about the dead. They haunt us. They shine through our eyes and we cannot help it.
They say the dead don’t return for an encore and it is a lie. We live them every day. It’s okay. I will not tell on the small bodies in your backyard. Knowing who you left behind makes a strong case. I will hear you out.
I will count all of our goodbyes
string them together on a cord
like little bruises to wear on my skin
around my wrists and neck
At night they shall warm me
alone in a bed for two
and the people will gaze upon them each day
like medals worn on the wrong part of me
I will count all our goodbyes
on their endless string
leave me without numbers
keeping myself company with my own voice
creating answers from thin air
I will count the goodbyes because
no matter what else is true
you will always leave me again
and nothing can make you stay
Except for the next goodbye
In a world of burning water
I arrive as my father’s daughter
The beats in my bones reminds me of home
but I will make this place my very own
I am looking for hope, make it only a ray.
As you wink and then leave, are there stars in your eyes?
Is it just a trick of the light?
We have travelled so far with the shards of our past
Take a sip of Mount Milgrom, make nostalgia last,
Just because we left behind everything we had,
it doesn’t mean it was all bad.
Does it mean that we are mad?
Put your smile to my lips, put your hand in my hand
We were no-one when we found this uncharted land
And look at us now. Are we who we wanted to be?
Will you be you? Can I still be me?
I can be me –
reflected in you, Reyes
because I blame the colour of the sky
the colour of the ocean, too
the sun on my face is no excuse
the alphabet run backwards
I didn’t know
so I burn
because I blame the simile of snow
the torn and twisted figure of speech
achievement is something else completely
one thousand five hundred words
I didn’t know
now I burn
because I blame the colour of my skin
burning from within and your eyes
burning the skies and sunset red
fire on snow
it didn’t show
but I burn