Climbing higher and higher, quick steps, heavy steps, feeling the wind and stopping only to catch my breath. Cold skin, sweating, and a runny nose—I peak through her apertures.
The view from the top must be sublime, the voice in my head utters. It lacks the exhaustion my muscles weep, but I keep moving forward.
Amid the crowds of tourists. Vicarious beings experiencing the moment through their back-camera lens. I do nothing, except stand there in the care of silence, leaning on a railing while peering at the luster of city lights. I fix my glasses on the bridge of my nose, as if the scenery could get any more repose. I huff when the glass fogs in contrast to the heat of my skin and the weather—but smile, like I am the winner.
They say the best love is unexpected. And so, I pretend to look around, yet to understand, I need not be searching for anything else. And perhaps, this is what it really means to be human. Rather than feeling alone. In the best way we can, to believe in, love and depend on, something or someone else—without forgetting we need to be our most authentic Self.
Graduation. A mere-reflection, a pause, and an unrecognizable applause—Who are you?—No, that was not on the study guide. Though I cannot help but try to read between the lines.
In the shower, sheltering under lukewarm water, I scrub and scrub, gasping for air, allowing myself to belong to myself for the first time. I wipe the bathroom mirror, naked and hair soaked, with no glasses to hide my face, running my hands over the molds of my arms, shoulders and waist.
An organ pulsating to the tune of kindness, replacing self-betrayal with self-love. An act of redamancy. Though I already do not say much, I am at a loss for words. I am aware of my own heart, and the rise and fall of my own chest. Child, know you are heaven-sent.
Hey there, sweet-pea. Welcome back, my eyes whisper. It’s been a while, but you’ve always been here.
I crawl into my mother’s bed and curl up against her back. Can I be close to you? Even if I go far away and do not master my fate?
Arms reaching for the moving box my mother is carrying. My right elbow lifts to push my glasses up, then realize I have not worn contacts enough, and giggle at how silly I look, but laugh even harder at the fact that no one understands my habits are growing up.
How lovely it feels to be human, alive and breathing. Freely and willfully.
I am a lotus flower still seeking. For the greatest romance is with one’s heart still beating.