I’m in the midst of a depressive episode at the moment that feels as though it might stretch on forever (as they always feel, as they never do). I’m so tired right now. Every lovesong I hear rings in my head like a howl. These are the days each of my limbs floats unexamined, unwritten, & still taking up so much space I will never retrieve.
Lately it takes everything to remind myself that I am never alone even at my most alone, & by this of course I mean it takes poetry. Here’s a little piece for you stretching out through the hollow ache, originally recognised by Singapore’s National Poetry Competition. I’m thinking about loving despite, & loving because, & loving through, & loving, & loving, & loving. I am very sad right now but the words help calm my sudden shaking hands even if only in the slightest. Perhaps they might do the same for you.
I promise I have better things to say than this.
But we can start with the poetry. I love you like
a midsummer night. Okay.
I’m tired of making conversation. Logic is
so boring. Let’s pour another glass of wine.
Let the mind ghost into vapour. Every secret is the
same secret. How about: I love you in the way good
people kill spiders who do them no harm. Better.
Once, a friend showed me a tarot card with a fish
jumping out of a young man’s cup. Back into the sea.
In most decks, she said, the fish is still in the cup.
How about: I love you in the way this was once a
story about fullness, & now it is a story about loss.
No. Another glass of wine. Above: the sky
past midnight, its astonishment, ventricles.
I think about the young man, someone’s son,
fishless & hungry, the fact of him void of any
shadow. Even still
I think this story is not about a young man
& the things he’s lost. I think it is about a fish,
someone’s daughter, & the choices she’s made.
The sea, someone’s mother, & the way she takes
the unrecognisable & gives it a name.
How about: I love you in the way some things will
never forget what is theirs.
It’s poetry. Who cares if it makes sense. Before we
both woke up you said to me: I swear I am the young
man. Not the fish. Not the sea. Not the empty cup.
I swear to you I am human. Believe me. Please.
& I did. & I do.