“At Constant Speed” by Gemma Hayes
A lonely burden rests gently
This is harder than I thought
Your face is distant and paler now
One day, these words will not matter. It will be of no bearing that I commit them to this space carefully in the darkness of this room. A different breath will escape from a stranger’s sleeping mouth as dawn creeps in through these dusty windows. Perhaps they will be clean then on that one day.
I could be elsewhere when that time comes, with faded memories fewer than my fingers.
Or none to count at all.
Who knows really?
I could be running towards some bright figure, real or imaginary, in a land where I can claim a new name. By then, time may have buried the image of your face so far down a hidden crack where light never finds it. The same light that fills my eyes when I think of you now. That knowing glimmer of regret.
Captive words quickly trampled by the daily rush of pushing past the past.
That day is not today.
“Walang Kapalit” by Peryodiko
I stood there in saGuijo as my sweat and tears met, thinking of you as they played this song. I know that I don’t always have the right words so this one’s for you.
I know we’ll both be fine someday. I have to trust in that.
I’m sorry for everything.
Thank you for every single moment.
Days like these, the paralysis sets in,
as the wet streets whisper, “stay away”.
My mind travels through a labyrinth of darkness,
illuminated only by soft, gleaming fragments of nights spent by your side.
Days like these, I breathe slowly,
as we did in each chilly hour huddled under the sheets—
secrets littered like confetti on pillows that still hold your scent,
lying on a bed that seems to recall your laughter.
Days like these, I fight my fingers,
as they force their way to finding your name,
struggling to keep my doors closed to you,
but these skeleton keys make it far from easy.
Days like these, I learn how to swim,
fighting through the cold flood of things left unsaid,
before floating on the current of warm memories,
shared by these blue walls surrounding me.
I need a break.
From everything. From people, from work, from responsibilities, from human contact. There are just times when I wish I could disappear for months where no one can reach me or find me.
I’m just so tired.
Tired of fumbling through my thoughts. Plans I never followed. Dreams I never pursued. Fears I haven’t conquered. Places I haven’t been.
Things should be exciting for me right now, at least workwise. I should be filled with drive, but I’m overwhelmed by dread. I don’t feel like this is where I want to be right now, or what I’m meant to do.
I feel tethered to things that I thought I chose, but now seem to suck the life out of me. One of my resolutions this year was to be more of a “Yes” person, but as it turns out, I was almost happier when I turned things down.
Yeah, I get overdramatic when I’m sick.
One day, our pictures will line a living room.
A dinner table will be waiting for you to take your place.
Right across from me—
Just so our eyes can meet,
as they squint from laughter,
over stories of the day we’ve spent apart.
We won’t ever notice the hours pass,
even when we lie awake locked in silent gazes.
One day, this distance will disappear.
The miles between us will melt away.
Your voice will ring, and not the phone.
We’ll be home.
-“Cheese for Dinner” (03/05/2010))