Because this longing is a story worth telling.
Because the truth is that we are magical only in ravenousness.
A passing train baptising our singular bodies,
a blip in the quiet night.
Because we used to be lovers now we're a checkbox.
That bike ride in summer to my house, our tires swallowing the fat white lane as we sped, our knees swollen with 7pm.
Because when the door closed, the tinniness of my father’s tantrums
turned into heartbeats.
My room suddenly a chapel on the last day of war.
Because the first time we kissed, I heard the hiss of steam coming off you.
But it was only October slashing outside, wind making a lexicon of the leaves.
Because your dad's car was a room capable of movement, arriving at destinations that were no destinations at all.
Sides of the roads, undersides of bridges, a corn field freshly razed. A room where we escaped without leaving our bodies.
Because you followed me this far without looking back.
Because I cannot judge Orpheus, for we too did not know we had been assigned a tragedy.
That time when we painted the walls purple, drowning in drinks in our mother's white dresses.
That time when we sat on the crumbling sidewalk and gravity started talking but never stopped.
That time when you folded up August to place it in my palm and I looked for my pockets.
Because pockets are for hiding things you secretly want to find in the future.
Because I am still waiting for: luck, hope, rain
For being defined by the absence of it.
For being divine and unreachable in the cool arms of memory.
Because you were singing, palms fixed towards the sky,
which is why I remember.
Because there is so much music in dying.
The funerals, the crying, the hymns, the eulogies, sounds crowding the air with what the dead can’t say.
Because I am useful only in language.
That it snowed yesterday and the city turned white as if ready for ink.
Because it’s September
until morning and the night is a coffin I climb out of.
Because I’ve stopped trying to dissolve into thin air.
Because grief is the last act of loving you.
Because you didn’t kill yourself, just disappeared on purpose
like the camera in films.
Hi, thanks for reading, I really appreciate you. I've been away from Vocal and writing for a while for a myriad reasons, residual grief being one of them. During my absence, I've been wrestling with the pressure to be constantly productive, and it's been a struggle. I've felt shame and embarrassment on days when I couldn't meet that expectation, which, truthfully, was pretty much every day.
But I'm learning to accept that one of the most valuable things we can do, whether we're dealing with grief or not, is to allow ourselves not to be hyper-productive all the time. Capitalistic pressures often push us to be at our best constantly, even when we're unwell or hurting. It's like we're instilled with an expectation to remedy these trying conditions through some triumph of productivity. But that's just an illusion, and it undeniably makes us suffer more.
I think there's real value in sitting still with your emotions, letting them flow through you, and knowing that they'll change with time, just like language does. There's real value in being forgiving. I'm learning to be okay to pause and be with my discomfort without trying to immediately fix it. Maybe I'll take some more time off, maybe not - whatever I do will not be forced. Perhaps spend time reading. Reading is a bit like that too—being still while the world moves inside you. One thing's for sure - I will not let myself enter this world unloved.
About the Creator
A wannabe storyteller from London. Sometimes words spill out of me and the only way to mop the spillage is to write them down.
"If you arrive here, remember, it wasn't you - it was me, in my longing, who found you."
Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!
Compelling and original writing
Creative use of language & vocab
Easy to read and follow
Well-structured & engaging content
Original narrative & well developed characters
Niche topic & fresh perspectives
Heartfelt and relatable
The story invoked strong personal emotions
Zero grammar & spelling mistakes