you are a walking enigma;
the embodiment of an ideal
and i was nothing to you but
an unrealistic vision
(do you truly know me,
or does your love eclipse me,
twist me out of proportion?)
we were young and foolish —
flawless and foolish and false,
so fucking false —
who are you, really?
you’re not in love with me,
you’re in love with an idea of love
being unsure of yourself is something akin to being lost at sea;
unable to see anything but vast empty blue stretching out before you
(i do not know in which direction i should swim to reach land)
i was never one to cope well under pressure; it suffocates me —
static buzzing in my ears like waves crashing on the shore;
electric ocean currents running through my veins
my body is a shipwreck and i am trapped beneath the waves;
the air at the surface seems so far away
(i cannot breathe.)
i have been told i have wings and that i could
if i wanted to
but i feel my heart is too heavy
(perhaps it is made of stone instead of fire,
and my wings of paper;
i look up at the sun and wonder
whether i will ever be able to reach it,
or whether i will simply crash and
(perhaps the ocean would be a better place for me;
i am not one to shine brightly amongst the clouds)
i am the raging waters, a storm brewing
under a calm surface; churning itself up into a fury
without ever being seen, lost out at sea
(the bottom of the ocean is a lonely place)
but you, you are a wildfire,
burning brightly, destroying everything in its path
to achieve the end;
you are god-touched, transcending reality
i have spent such a long time crawling in the dark
that your light is dazzling, overwhelming.
my eyes burn at the sight of you;
you have blinded me
(and i do not want to see;
i would rather not know about your flaws.
do i love you,
or an idea?)
you are fire and i am water, and
i cannot bring myself to touch you
for fear of
extinguishing you completely
(i was a fool to think
that a mere mortal was worthy of
touching the sun.)
bury me without a coffin;
i want to lie six feet under among the tree-roots.
perhaps the trees will soak up the nutrients from my decomposing cadaver,
and create something beautiful out of death.
or perhaps lay me to rest on the sea bed,
a shipwreck at the bottom of the ocean
with seaweed growing between my ribs and
sea-creatures living in the empty space where my brains should be.
do not tell me i am significant; there are approximately seven billion human beings on earth, all of whom have a life story just as complex as my own and infinitely more interesting, and to the vast majority of these people i do not exist. to many, i am simply a passing stranger in the crowd; what are they thinking as i walk past them? perhaps they do not think of me; perhaps they are pondering over their own existences, or else something mundane like what they want to eat for lunch or the fact that they need to sort out the bills when they get home from work. perhaps they are planning their own suicides; what they’re going to write in their final letter, the choked-out confession of love to a voice on the telephone; perhaps they crave the adrenaline rush as they plummet twenty stories down onto the cold, hard concrete below, the tightening of the noose, their reflection in the gleaming metal of the kitchen knife just seconds before they plunge it into the centre of their hearts. perhaps they, like me, wish they did not exist.
do not tell me i am significant; do you truly believe me to be a ship in a sea of people? i am just a single drop in a vast, infinite ocean, or else a piece of driftwood floating on the tides, occasionally being washed up on the shore before being carried back out into the waters, unable to find a place to settle. perhaps i am one of the billions of grains of sand found on a single beach; tiny, barely distinguishable from all the other tiny grains, simply a fragment making up a larger mass.
do not tell me i am significant; there are approximately ten times more stars in the sky than there are grains of sand on all the beaches in the world, each of them several light-years away from the next. it must be incredibly lonely; perhaps i too am a lonely star, screaming silently into the vacuum, unable to make myself heard. perhaps i am a dead star; i do not burn brightly.
do not tell me i am significant; the human body is made up of about seven thousand quadrillion atoms. every human on earth is individual in some way; i notice that the girl next to me on the bus has freckles on her arms, the man standing in front of me in the queue at the coffee shop has a scar on the back of his neck and the old lady i walk past while crossing the road from opposite sides like soldiers going into battle has a crooked nose. perhaps they were born with these traits or perhaps they are souvenirs from a past experience, a chapter in these infinitely complex life stories, but at the end of the day we are all made from the same matter; we are all human. we are different, but infinitely more similar.
we can live our lives, write our stories to be as simple or as complex as we please, but in the end that’s all we will ever be - stories. some people like to believe we are all part of a master plan; we were put on the earth for some reason, some purpose, but in the end we were born so we could live our lives and die. one day, human civilisation will cease and our world will turn to dust, and no matter how complex our lives have been, we will all just be remnants of a fallen empire. perhaps another super-species of the future will study us and laugh, as we have done with many extinct species before us.
do not tell me i am significant.
you were a deity, born of the stars;
the supreme ruler of a kingdom,
all-powerful, all knowing
you let yourself believe you held power in your hands,
but when you grew up your empire crumbled into dust and
you realised just how naive you were
you went out with a bang,
a bullet in the back of your head;
black hole seeping scarlet like a red giant
even the greatest empires will one day fall victim to the passage of time,
and it’s always the brightest stars that go supernova
i once read somewhere that otters hold hands so they don’t float away from each other when they sleep, and it reminded me of you and how your fingers slipped out of mine like sand as the waves broke on the shore and the waters whispered your name louder than i could ever scream —
(come back, come back to me, ocean current)
i saw your face once in a sea of people and for a fleeting second, your eyes shone like sunlight on the waves before you disappeared into the crowd and vanished forever; you were just another drop in an infinite ocean
(oh, where did you go?)
i once sat in a café in downtown paris
listening to a man with wine on his breath and
fire in his eyes
ask me how to say ‘je t’aime’ in english,
and as the candles on the tables burned lower
and the lights outside grew brighter,
i found that i no longer knew.
we’re all just labels on bottles of pills,
different combinations of phobias and negative personality traits
all put in little boxes with name-tags -
hello, my name is madness;
schizophrenia with a hint of anxiety and a dash of insomnia
nice to meet you