Poetry & Prose

winter ruptures, spring remedies

My senses have been failing me; they are hijacked by the past. In my heart, I shiver as snow falls onto my delicately calloused palms, and trains make the air hum. There is a film playing beneath a purple sky, and I can smell freshly baked cookies, I can hear the hymns of your soft Indian language that rounds its As into Os. In my heart, you. Here I have long made a home for you, but you are suddenly absent. Nothing is mine anymore, only the ghosts of what you used to call yours. My bones threaten to press their silhouettes against my skin, I am fading away. I cannot bear to lay like I used to, as the you-shaped space sears into the contours of my body with an everlasting sting.

Can my body be molded into the words we used to share? The words you used to select so carefully? Perhaps you and I are no longer, but can “enamored” and “found” lay against each other for the night? What happened to the people who fell in love with each other’s words, with the hushed whispers of our voices over the phone?

“Where is home now?” I ask. The forced eviction leaves my body feeling stranded in its own land… “Where can I take shelter in a world of fleeting goodbyes?” In the space we shared within my heart, I knock on the door; you come to the window and look right through me. I never knew you’d exist so loudly here against my will, every chorus of laughter making me choke on my own breath. In the world we once called ours, the paint peels, dust collects, spiders begin to crawl. Glass fractures, falling shards making incisions on my heart. My hand rests stoically at my chest, as it ponders ripping this pulsating weight out of my body, tearing the seams of my skin, leaving a bloody trail as it spreads its tainted chambers across the sky as a warning sign for all those who lose themselves in love.

But perhaps one day I will cease to search for answers in relation to you, perhaps I will look inwards. Perhaps my tears will become my nourishment, perhaps they will make flowers grow through this winter snow. Perhaps my cries are the reservoir for the impending April rains, perhaps water will finally be my change. Perhaps in May the sky will blush pink, the color I love, the way you used to make me feel. But this time, perhaps you will not be the source of that warmth, but my own heart, spirit, soul, singing, and nurtured by how I have worked through all this pain. 

To those lost in love: know that when your person walks out of your life, no matter the reason, your body turns inside out. Your inner struggles feel more tangible as your physical presence begins to fade. It’s very easy to channel anger at people, at the people who are tied to your pain. But right now, who I resist most is myself. When my intrusive thoughts are a noose around my neck, when my eyes project caliginous tones on innocent skies, I know I must resist myself and the destructive reactions that can compromise both my mind and my body. Resistance can become resilience if we simply take time to step out of our outlines, to truly admire the scars, to understand the poetry of a sadness that grows familiar. It is only as of late that I have felt more in control, and it is only as of late that I have begun to recognize strength through my loneliness and the power of my reactions, both destructive and formative. 

Our bodies are so malleable, there is beauty in the marks past lovers leave, even after they have left. Scars of a love unraveled remind us of the love we had to give, and how it’s never really lost… just recycled in a different place within us, making flowers grow through snow. Our bodies are ever-growing repositories of the souls we have touched, and all those we have yet to meet. My world as I knew it fractured viciously in February, and I thought I had lost myself forever. Yet here I am, excited by the smallest joys and loving more sincerely than ever before. The most revolutionary thing of all is the way the body can heal on its own, and learn how to be alone again, even when it was fused with another for so long.

Still, to speed up the process, I can’t help but ask: we fell in love during a pandemic, so can we get an inoculation for broken hearts?