[a/n: updating this as it has been newly edited thanks to comments from lim yuhua who served as my editor for this piece in cca!!! she really ironed out a lot of the details & am super thankful for her suggestions <3]
— tad bit of desperation for reciprocation here, isn’t there, darling?
even a non-sentient being would be acceptable, wouldn’t it?
“i watched the lanterns tilt
i am in bed. i am without pants, without defense, without offense. this bed has room for two. this bed has room for one and more. this bed has one.
“i cursed the breath and sea
i am sitting here, thinking. she is sitting there, talking. you are lying there, listening. i lie down.
“spelled as poetry
i am sitting here, thinking. of the things i have told you and the things i have yet to. of the things it will take for the latter to become the former. this thinking is dangerous business. i stop. i lie down.
“the dreams i could explore
the air conditioning is turned on. it doesn’t need to be so. when it is so, the door closes and i can hide. i can hide from not being able to look away from your lips. i can hide from your masculinity. i can hide from your femininity. i can hide from the jealousy and the wish for intimacy, the wish to map the shape of your hands in mine with mine. this hiding is counterproductive, a reminder of all the things i want to need. apparently i can only hide from everyone but myself. this hiding is dangerous business, then. i stop.
“i left them at the door”
restless, i push the blankets off of me. do you see through me? can you tell what i am doing? can you see the emotions within me, like liquid dye in clear water, ribboning and ballooning and dispersing?
“i watch the lanterns tilt”
i sneeze and pull the blankets back on. the used tissue goes next to my pillow. it’s gross. the air conditioning is cold. i turn away from the cold. it doesn’t stop it from being cold, but at least i’m putting in effort. there’s a chance the cold has yet to figure out its influence. a small chance is still a chance. i could turn the air con off. but then i’ll boil, skin frayed off, dissolved, and everyone will see my used tissue. you will see my used tissue.
“through days of darken guilt
i curl, fetal, wrapping my hands around the roll of fats i call my stomach. the cold can cause stomach cramps. i thought of what your shirt looks like off. i’m wondering if her aircon is on, if the cold makes you feel emotions the way i do. i think of your emotions, of the complex, weaving nature emotions tend to be. i wonder what makes you feel the unwelcome emotions you obviously do. i think of why i want to know. i do not think you want me to know. i do not know.
“i prayed for newborn skies
i wish i were more solid. in the brain, on the stomach. are you exercising now? you said you will. am i exercising now? i have yet to say i will. i should, though.
“to lift me up so high
the weight chokes. my hands spasms, twitches, grasping on nothing. am i imposing on the two of you? maybe you both want alone time. am i choking? am i the subject or object of that sentence? i think it may be both. my grammar’s not that good. neither is hers. nor yours.
“i was blind now i can see
my phone chimes a notification. my phone is my best friend. it tells me hockey news that by tomorrow i will forget. it tells me hockey news i will think about till next year. it tells me presently you want to tell me something. i’m thinking about your hands now, for some reason, as i open the message up, and it is about her. and why shouldn’t it be? i have my hockey.
“how could i ask for more”
i think about the plans i have for the future. the education i will receive. the hockey i will watch, the hockey i will inspire, the hockey i will further. the people i will meet, will remember, will forget. the places these things will occur in. and which is permanent? will geography betray me the way a human can, has, and will? will hockey leave? the answers of these questions, they make some decisions easy. i will choose what’s best for me. enough.
“and let them sisters soar
i think about the soft belly and the hard ice. i think about your red laughing face and the white solemn ice. i think about the cold, unforgiving surface that breaks bones, hearts and brains. i think about the players that sweat on it. i think about your face and your glasses and the way you talk to her in shorthand and the way i desperately want my own shorthand to talk to someone with cause the ice can’t tell me it loves me and the ice can’t patent a smile just for me the ice can’t smile at all the ice can’t love me back
except it can. it might take years and years and years but. i think it can.
[end note: title & words italicized not mine. theyre from a gorgeous song called lanterns by the white birch. also its funny how what you write can cause deja vu like now i’m immersed in hockey once again cause yknow. safety.]