I can tin-plate my skin and heart against your impact, but always the cracks appear. Always, this slow shattering when the moon is full, or the sun is blinding.

It happens when I close my eyes. Or when I open them under water, or when I stand in the earliest morning, all surface and rain and disappearing.

All of the forgetting, and weights falling. As I dive back into the void.

(Loving you so often feels like letting go)

Kobi Yamada Leap

 ~ Kobi Yamada

Every day

They are not the same mistakes. Most are brand new. Every day – a different set of hopes. Every day – a different way of dashing. A medley of missteps you endure time and again, like Sisyphus with his rock.

(Though it is your heart that you hold out in front of you, and it is love that is your labour).

You have long known this to be your fatal flaw. An enduring optimism that brings about a thousand little deaths. A thousand nights that begin with opened palms – and end with a dying in the light. This is why you have always liked the tomorrows more.

(All those dreams you slept over so easily the night before).

Your heart is always in your hand when he slays you, this man. With his distance and his betrayals, with his dismissals and his reserve. He slays you in a thousand careless ways every day. And then waits in his quiet vigil for your resurrection.

Because there is always a resurrection, always a return when the dust has cleared. Something elemental compels it – the blue of the sky or rooftop rain, or the silver of sunlight on water. It has never really mattered the kind of weather.

It’s all just proof that you have survived. These little deaths that give way to new life. When you hold out your hand, when you say –

“I’m still here”.

Your words adding another crack, another flaw in the composition of your love.

The mosaic made of your mistakes. Seen clearly from a distance. And so terribly beautiful up close.

Rock Bublitz by Joanne Piechota at body, remember blog

Image by Joanne Piechota

(He assumes I lose my reason. And I do)

The ones who are leaving

You never realise just how fast you are travelling.

There is something about take-off that gives you a hint of it, the way the force pushes you back in your seat, the way so many fingers grip at armrests, this unintentional and collective human twitch as bodies brace to be cannon-shot into the air. Up – and away from where they have been. Or, for others on board, toward their destination.

You feel it briefly at the start, of course. The acceleration of your leaving – or going. For the rest of the flight, velocity is not so obvious a companion. For the most part you’re flying, and you don’t feel a thing.

Except for the ones who are leaving.

I think about the ones who are leaving. How they travel in the exact same direction as everyone else on board. And yet, even as they face forward, even as they track their course, it’s not the same path at all. Not when they have left so much of themselves back there, on the ground.

For the others, for those suspended and flying toward someone or somewhere better, does it feel slower still, these waiting hours? As they get closer to where it is they want to be? Who is having the more difficult time up here in the air with me, right now? The heavy-hearted, looking back – or the light, straining toward their destination?

And me, just which one of these am I today? This question I cannot answer at 30,000 feet, no more than I ever could on the ground.

Am I finally on my way now, or is this just another leaving?

The middling people push back their chairs and snore, but I’m wide awake now, and racing. My heart or my mind, it’s impossible to say which comes first, who takes or hands over the baton that I clutch. And start running.

You’re flying, not running! I remind under my breath, but I know better than most to not confuse truth with the facts.

A fact. I’m heading toward the wide and offering unknown – definitely coming. A fact. I’m leaving the heart-constriction of my present, muddled life behind – definitely running away.

The truth. It is possible to do both, and at the very same time.

(My heart and mind merely loop the track now, with a nod as they pass each other).

Plastic has stopped rattling. Trays are set down. The snoring softens. As the cabin dims, I reach into my bag for my phone; I stare at the screen and that last message all over again. A reflexive stare, yet hopeful and breath-held too. As if something might have recalibrated since the last time I looked, as if the words and letters might have rearranged themselves into something better than the single line sent and received as I boarded the plane.

The text right there, stark and simple. The letters fully formed, unchanged. I missed you. Past tense.

I missed you.

As if he already knows I am gone.


 ‘Into the After’ is taking shape. Word by feeling by word. I forgot just how much of writing a novel is heart excavation.