“WHY DON’T I SEE STARS?”
I turned my eyes to the heavens.
Then a voiceless answer comes to me “if
you see the stars, will it change how you feel?”
“then don’t look for the stars!
don’t look for the comets.. don’t look for anything
unless you’re ready to see them.”
This internal convo did occur. Haha.
a reflection looks back at me. I didn’t dare look at it in the eye. a cat settles itself beneath a parked jeepney. it’s dark and I don’t have to remember. no, not yet. 2:54 March 14
shadows move. casting themselves in the blueish wall. I am falling. face-down. the mattress sinks, refusing me any relief. I didn’t lie. at least, I still believed. 2:57 March 14
don’t smirk at me. stop giggling behind my back. why must you do it? Oh. it’s not (about) me? … yeah. right. 2:59 March 14
the room stinks of light. it’s all too much, overhead, reflected against an artificial white table. labor, labor. f*ck you, I can’t spell love anymore. this space is function; no love. this space is digits, quotas, quality, blah blah. I don’t create, I produce. if I don’t emit, I lose. against you. against me. how did I get here? how did I become one AND against the enemy?! … 3:06 March 14
I’m sorry, Jan.
3:08 March 14
This is how I fade. I don’t greet you when it’s your birthday, Christmas, New Year. I suppress the smile, the impulse to ‘Like’ any of your posts. I don’t. I don’t. I just don’t. Then I fade, naturally. That when you speak or hear my name, you’d struggle to find a picture of me in your mind. I become this short human, black hair, thin arms, no face. I’m long gone… before you even learn to let me go.
4:45 P.M. March 8.
2:05 AM. Friday dawn. I slumped on the concrete, facing the trees that look back at me. Taunting. I didn’t drink anything weird, okay? But I could hear the silent message from the trees. “Isn’t this what you want — for things to be as they are,” the trees said, un-moving. I look back at them, speechless.
~image by Phoebe Strafford
These days, I wear shackles. Invisible chains holding me tight next to Routine. There is not much space, not much air, just enough oxygen to suck it in. ALL IN.
I work at night which means I’m supposed to sleep during the day. But as a caregiver there can’t be an “I.” Instead, there are Hands — crushing the tablet so it can be mixed with his adult milk (because the tablet tastes horrible, it makes him vomit). The Hands do it at eleven so he can drink both milk and medicine by the time the clock strikes at eleven thirty. Sometimes, the Hands go about adjusting the direction to where the electric fan blows; other times, it will go pick a fresh clean diaper and remove the one soaked in urine and feces. When the Hands are still, the Feet do its bidding. Going to pharmacies to buy more medicine, diapers, and toiletries. It’s an alternate pattern of Hands and Feet — working busy at night, tending to our patient at day. Fatigued, but I’d rather be that the Hands and Feet work frenzy… than be still and hear nothing but the worrisome lub-dub of the Heart
as each day unfolds for it to hurt
and hurt and
~image by Larm Rmah
I keep on saying, “I’m not ready.” My story isn’t ready. That it’s still jumbled in my head… I myself don’t always recognize it. So the pages continue to be blank. White. Lines. White. Fading.
I’m not sure what I’m waiting for.
These days, I’m just growing unsure, more unsure.
So many stories are swimming in my head. I wonder which ones are mine.
Sometimes I could tell which is mine to tell, other times not.
I may have got it bad.
Sometimes I’m sick of being sane, of living within the confines of “normal.”
I died but I don’t remember dying. If I close my eyes, I get to see the floor, the spit, my dangling feet. I am hanging, gasping for air, writhing, struggling against the growing tightness of the rope against my neck.
I don’t remember dying.
But I knew what I had done… who I killed this time.
**image by Evan Kirby