Winter.

Cold kisses,
warm liquids,
muffled giggles,
cozy blankets,
old poems,
scented candles,
soft melodies,
fresh flowers,
dim lights,
interlaced fingers,
whispered secrets,
clumsy waltzes,
dizzying twirls,
racing heartbeats,
stolen glances,
cheek caresses;

If only winter did not have to end,
You must know I really could love you.

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Home.

You’re home to me,
but I am a wanderer
and I find utmost pleasure
in fluttering around like a butterfly,
never pausing
for more than the few moments required
to soak in my surroundings
before soaring away, again.
I am a wanderer
and I find utmost pleasure
in walking through unfamiliar territory,
unearthing their treasures
while failing to understand the native tongues,
inhaling the air
so foreign to my lungs.

You’re home to me,
but sometimes, you can’t be the home I need.
Sometimes, I need a wooden lodge
with embroidered rugs
and oil paintings,
a brick fireplace,
and dim lights that flood it
with the warmth I require
after a long day of being kissed
by the cold lips of the icy wind
as I rush down slopes
of soft, silver snow.
Sometimes, when I’m sleeping
under the stars,
and the moon serves as my night-lamp,
the chirping crickets my music,
and the trees my only company,
I only need a hammock
to rock myself to sleep
in tune with the waves
that gently caress the shore.
Sometimes, when my body aches
and my soul is exhausted,
I need a soft bed and a blanket,
surrounded with white walls
as blank as my mind
and carved lanterns
that decorate them with shadows.

You’re home to me,
and while I may occasionally require repose
away from you,
you must understand
that it is not because you are any less comforting,
but because I need to roam,
I need to go away
in order to return
and I would never take you for granted
but the knowledge
that you will be waiting
with the same familiar fragrance
of scented candles
and the same song
of the birds outside my window,
is what gives me the courage
to wander a little farther each time I go.

You’re home to me,
but you can’t always be homely.

Hushed.

You mustn’t talk about it
because it’s highly personal
and you mustn’t share such intimate details
with everyone you encounter
by discussing it so openly,
so casually,
so candidly.

You must make sure
that the only time you engage the activities
is in the privacy of your own home
or any such establishment
where you can be assured
that you shall not have any witnesses
who may or may not be uncomfortable
by the sight of you.

You mustn’t flaunt your identity-
it is disrespectful,
make sure you keep it well concealed
until you are within the confines of your own home
and even then you must maintain caution,
do not do anything
that could possibly offend the majority
because you shall be brutally punished
and shamed should you do so.

You must treat your religion like we treat sex.
Private, sacred, silenced and offensive.

Survival.

I nearly drowned once.
I watched the light at the surface become smaller and smaller
until it was no larger than a speck of dust in an ocean of darkness,
as I ascended deeper and the blue turned into a black
which left me blindly staggering,
unable to find my direction,
unable to tell if I was close to the surface which awaited me
with fresh air and new life,
or whether I was closer to the bottom-
if there even was a bottom because I was tired of falling.
It felt like I was tied down
but the chains that had me tethered were nothing but my own hands
and the weight on my shoulders that had me spiralling downwards
was nothing but the weight of what my neck supported,
and as the pressure increased I could feel my lungs caving into themselves
and my throat ran dry though I was surrounded by water,
my hands shivered and trembled
and my legs could not have carried me had I tried to walk,
if I could even muster the courage to attempt to do so.

I nearly drowned once.
The only thing worse than wanting to swim
but being unable to do so out of sheer exhaustion
caused by being propelled deeper into a tide
where every wave is a tempest,
the only thing worse than the helplessness you feel
when you know that all the will in the world would not be enough
to get your body to swim,
is the horror you feel every time you let the foaming waves gently caress your ankles,
and you’re reminded of how your body felt
like it had been carrying every grain of sand
on the beach you are standing on,
when you are suddenly washed over by a fear
that makes you tremble,
afraid of losing your footing and plummeting
back into the deep depths
you fought so hard to swim out of.
The only thing worse than having nearly drowned
is the fear lives on
and surfaces every time you’re at a beach
and the sound of the ocean fills your ears,
and suddenly the sound of the ocean
is substituted by a cackling static
like that of a spoilt radio
and it doesnt stop,
as though your mind is, at once,
both blank
and sweeping with waves of dread,
one thought crashing over the other
before the first has the chance to retract;
suddenly the sand has vanished from under your feet
and the waves are crashing down on your chest
with a ferocity so intense it breaks your ribs,
shattering them
like the rocks which have been powdered into the sand
that seems to have flooded your blood,
and they pierce your lungs and puncture your heart
which is struggling to continue pumping life into you,
fighting against the tide of terror
that is trying to drown you.

I nearly drowned once.
The water is still in my lungs.

Blank.

I can’t think of anything to write
which is weird
considering I’m almost always thinking in poetry
and there’s very few moments in the day
when I’m not thinking of how I could write a poem
about that very moment,
that very thought,
that very emotion-
even when I’m feeling nothing at all;
but do we ever truly feel nothing at all
or is nothingness perhaps a feeling too?
I’m not sure if I can put it into words
because how do you articulate nothingness,
how do you use words to describe the things you feel
when you feel devoid of all emotions?
It’s a rather unusual thing to have to explain.

Nothing. Nothingness.
There’s an odd sense of doom that accompanies these words
and somehow I find it absurd,
though incorrigible.
Why is ‘nothing’ perceived so negatively?

Nothingness. Emptiness. Hollowness.
These shouldn’t be such…dirty words.
Nothingness and emptiness and hollowness
have so much potential.
They’re so incredibly versatile
because nothingness
and emptiness
and hollowness can be filled
with anything at all.
Maybe that’s what makes us so cautious about them.
Maybe nothingness and emptiness and hollowness
only makes us afraid
because it makes us unsure and doubtful and uncertain,
makes us nervous under the burden
of the responsibility that accompanies potential.
Maybe nothingness and emptiness and hollowness
are just fancy synonyms for a blank sheet of paper.

Metaphors.

I never wrote about love.
Instead, I wrote about a dahlia
whose silent swaying
in the cold winter breeze
was the cue to my waltz.
I wrote about a conversation
with whispered words drizzling
like soft raindrops on a hot day, comforting me
with their hushed pitter patter.
I wrote about a stream
that flows on
at a calm, steady pace,
carrying me along with it,
engulfed in its safe embrace.
I wrote about a bird
whose song still rings in my ears,
etched into my heart,
no matter how many miles
we may be apart.

I never wrote about love,
I wrote about loveliness instead.
I never wrote to you or about you, but
I wrote you into everything I said.

Dahlia.

You were a deep, dark Dahlia
and I couldn’t help being drawn to you,
even though my favourite flowers
are usually roses or carnations,
sometimes daisies and sunflowers, too;
but there was something about you
that no roses, carnations,
daisies or sunflowers had
and I don’t quite know what it was,
however, I do know that it made me nervous.
I wanted to pluck you,
I’m surprised I didn’t extend my fingers and do so,
I wanted to pluck you
and keep you for myself
but I knew I should not
because I didn’t have a vase befitting you,
and if I did, you would wither
and all I could do then
would be to bury you in my diary
filled with roses, carnations,
daisies and sunflowers ;
so, I gazed at you while I could,
all the while preparing myself
for the impending goodbyes
I’d have to say when I had to walk on
and I thought
I would eventually forget you,
I thought your fragrance
would leave my senses
and I thought I would stop waltzing
in time with your gentle swaying;
but the truth is that I cannot.
No, how could i forget you when
your smell still lingers as though
I have my face buried into your chest
and I still waltz alone
to the breeze you swayed to?
You were a deep, dark Dahlia
and I wish I had plucked you.