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L'appel de la Mer I am 17 the first time I see him. I am spending the summer with my dad in San Diego, a tradition I can't remember actually starting. My days are mostly work and seeing summer friends, but every night, I run down to the beach after hours to listen to the ocean. I love it because it's always empty, the tourists all comfortably in their hotel rooms and the local teenagers gone home to smoke weed and pop pills they stole from their too-busy-to-notice parents.
I hate running, but I make it a point to run every night. I'm not trying to run away from the past or anything so metaphorical, I just do it because I'm restless. I always have been. Dad says I get it from him, and that his restlessness is why he had to leave my mom and move to California. Maybe that's why I'm not bitter about the divorce; I understand his need to leave because I've been trying to get away too.
I'm so immersed in psychoanalyzing myself that I get to my favorite stretch of beac
sa'hibi in five parts.i. there are a thousand truths i never told:
i am incapable of happiness,
in the tenth grade i had an eating disorder,
and six years ago i fell in love all wrong.
i got over it,
i've done better since.)
i imagine branding
a thousand tiny secrets on
a thousand paper sailboats
and setting myself free.
i am ready.
ii. you came in faster
than i could keep control of.
you midnight whispered
in three languages
and there was that one time you
laid on a dirty, empty dc street
just to kiss me.
i remember you
for when i turned away in my sleep
and you kissed the back of my neck.
i remember you
the way your scruff tickled
the parts of me i hid away,
and all of the times
but loved me anyway.
i could have watched you play piano forever.
iii. you left just as fast,
before i ever had a chance to pull you back.
i suppose it had to be this way.
i realized today that
the only thing i have of yours
is your virginity.
iv. the truth is
written, stamped, but i never sent the letters.i don't remember
why we stopped talking,
what that last fight was about,
(it was probably my fault)
and i'm sorry about your mom
and the cancer
and i'm so sorry
that i can't fix you.
in my mind
you are still 17,
in your kmart red polo,
laughing way too hard
at some stupid joke
you made yourself.
you are unhardened
by the colorado mountains
and let go of.
what i mean to say is
i miss you,
but the words
never come out right
and i am too afraid
to do anything about it
so i won't.
won't you save me, san francisco?i have always said
there are only two things
that can fix me:
a good book and
some people have God,
i believe in route 66.
i believe in
and circle, alaska.
and why stop there?
i believe in
and everywhere in between.
i am restless because
i have never found anything
worth staying for.
saudade.there is no such thing as a good day anymore.
there are bad days
and there is numbness.
some days there is
toska saudade empty.
some days the bills go unpaid.
some days they make me eat but
it's okay, i just throw it all up later
like some sort of
some days the sky is blue,
sometimes i can't tell.
sometimes i just can't tell, okay?
i don't have all the fucking answers.
i dream about
and it doesn't hurt so bad anymore.
sometimes it's just
november starry.her nana calls her "raater-mey,"
(maiden of the night.)
he can barely stay awake long enough to
talk to the doctors that come by weekly,
but he weaves her hair into braids with his weathered hands
every day, and he tucks her into bed with secrets and
"tomaar moton keo nai, amar kolija."
she repays him in popsicle stick birdhouses,
hand drawn flowers, and shy smiles meant for no one else.
she doesn't understand why everyone stops
talking when she walks into the room, or why her
ammu cries in the middle of the night.
all she knows is that her old nana
has always been there, will always be there
to braid her hair and tell her stories of
what it was like before bangladesh was called
she writes him a poem
about starry november nights on the
sloping tin roof and all the places she
will take him when she is grown up,
all the t
esperanza-i. you catch her eye on your first day working at the local movie theater
and you fall for her immediately, without even realizing-
for the subtle catch of her shirt on her hips,
for the way she tucks her hair away while talking,
for her eyes like the ocean and her laugh like windchimes.
ii. you teach yourself to belong to her.
you wear her favorite color on her birthday
and you play with your hair the way she likes,
even on those days you don't see her.
you draw rocketships on your spanish notes
and learn to love edgar allen poe and
you call her
i was a child and she was a child,
in this kingdom by the sea;
but we loved with a love that was more than love-
i and my annabel lee.
you miss her when she's around
and tell her you will never stop loving her.
you believe in her future.
you forgive her for showing up to dinner half an hour late
and for breaking the strings on your favorite guitar.
iii. and then one day, she stops
kissing back and wanti
and i let him."do you still know all the constellations by heart?" he asks.
"of course." i point to a spot over his head, "see that really bright one over there by the line of three? that's apollo, the sun god. and that little one next to him is cassandra; she's my favorite."
i look at him. "i told you the story of cassandra, didn't i?"
"yeah," he allows, "but i like hearing you tell it."
i turn back to the sky, fixing my gaze on the little star and dropping my voice. "cassandra was a mortal. a princess, actually- daughter of king priam, and she was gorgeous. she was so beautiful that apollo fell in love with her. being a god, he gave her the gift of prophecy. eventually though, cassandra fell in love with a mortal man. he was handsome and loyal and he loved her, too. they were happy together, but apollo was jealous, so he put a curse of her. she would still be able to see the future, but no one would ever believe her. cassandra saw the destruction of troy, but they called her a liar. it ruin
listen:you ever think about that night
you tried to kill yourself?
does it ever scare
you how much has changed?
do you care?
listen: it's like this.
it's like the way he never just says he loves you.
it's like his left shoulder blade is your favorite place in the world.
it's like celebrating christmas a day late just because you're both jewish.
it's like stretching in bed and "good morning, scruffy."
it's like the way he has to tilt his head down to kiss you
and using late nights as currency and he makes you believe in god,
even if he doesn't.
it's like he needed you
and you can be sorry all your goddamn life but
all you've got now is a sinking feeling,
a letter, and three years worth of memories.
postscript: i have never been more sorry.
.some people are dead
long before they die -
there's just no burial
for the spirit
.just try not to
that memory, that one
wolf that calls
for the rest
of the pack;
you'll spend all
with them inside
gossamer loveyou will love a woman
who uses the word
too often. she will
diagnose dead artists' descents
into madness and laugh
too loudly at jokes
no one understands.
she will braid crowns of
flowers, she will write poems
in constellations, she will
try to walk like a dancer so
no one can hear her
leave. she will be
an ice sculpture, and when
she cries, you'll convince yourself
she's melting, she loves you, you've
changed her, you've
changed; she will wear you
like a comma, like
an incomplete thought,
in her story, and
she will leave you wondering
a little more
(or maybe we'd just go broke).
crooked kissesAn old man sits at a bus stop,
his ragged clothes soaked
through to his creaky bones.
He grips his beggars cup
tightly, but instead of coins it
overflows with rain water.
Passersby pass by without
giving a second glance, brief
cases clenched in swinging
hands, Bluetooth plugged into
their ears. A little girl dressed
in pink polka dots prances
to his side. Her mouth moves
quickly and his takes time to
form words. She giggles,
drops coins into his cup, and
gives him a kiss on the cheek.
He laughs a crooked grin.
To the one I forget to loveSunshine girl,
your feet are itchy for the miles
between your sighs
and hunger scratches
at your throat
but you have a smile
that swallows oceans
and your heart
into the Marinia Trench.
this heaviness in you
is a dandelion
coming home to rest
The same messageI keep expecting one of these waves
to gush pearls, one of these hours
to drop out of the sky
and speak to me.
I walk back and forth
over the unleavened bread of wet sand
as a stray dog leaving the shallows
shakes off water
in the same way a galaxy might
For the moment there is no pain,
just the tip of my tongue
pressing against my teeth
while the water,
in one of the oldest gestures on earth
skirts across the sand, etching
and erasing the same message:
A mad light,
Dances in dull eyes,
Wrapped in glee,
Dead is he.
Let the insanity consume,
Let the madness free,
Hide no longer,
Let all see,
The madness inside.
A shadow cast long,
Darkness mutters gleefully,
Finally set free.
A mind already broken,
Bursts and spews,
Who dares face the blight?
Shudder and shake,
From madness’s true face,
Handsome is he,
One who lets death roam free.
kitestrings and catastrophes.i've figured myself out-
i am a catastrophe at best and at worst
i am yours.
you once told me i was a disaster
just waiting to happen. i would like to be
a hurricane or maybe a thunderstorm.
i would like to be so many things,
(mostly happy and yours.)
you never really liked thunderstorms
and hurricanes wreck lives.
maybe i wasn't so wrong about that one.
"do you believe in magic?"
i believe in miracles and meteorites.
i believe in you and me
and insignificance and disasters.
i believe in paper cranes and kitestrings
and maybe we're not right
but what's so wrong with trying?
fairytales are for princesses;
catastrophes don't get happy endings.
HomesickI am the river's son,
my arteries flowing turquoise
and turning to rapids
rushing around my frame,
filling me with this sense
of buoyancy, minnows
tickling my sternum.
I am the river's son.
My palms caress each
silty shoreline, every
battered bank and bend,
and these places I know
so well become me
as my fingerprint,
even the bridge above me
inflamed by the afternoon
sun-glow, burning rusty and
the steel blue sky.
I am the river's son;
I bring my home along
like hermit crab,
where I step
I pull water from the earth.
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Lilyas has dedicated herself to making our community a brighter place with her vibrant artwork and infectious enthusiasm for interacting with others in our community. It has certainly paid off, as many deviants flock to her page on a daily basis to let her know how much of an inspiration she is. We absolutely agree, and couldn't let all that hard work go without recognition, so it's with great pride that we bestow the Deviousness Award for March 2014, to ... Read More