poetry

Longing. {poetry}

{Photo Credit: Judith in Tuscany}

 

In April, I was in Tuscany. I stayed on the coast, trying to get over a nasty depressive phase that had settled in during the winter. But this is a lie — in fact, the toxicity had been chasing me for years; I had only been too stubborn and afraid to look it in the eye. That is to say, I was terrified to look myself in the eye. Now, in Italy, my depression was coming to a head.

As I walked down the road next to the white, rocky beach, I had the physical sensation that with each step, a massive hammer was getting closer to smashing me into dust. The harder I tried to curl away in defense, the more it hurt. And then I uncurled. I looked at the hammer and dared it to pulverize me, and when it came down next time, I felt it shatter the darkness around me. Once again, I could taste my colors. What are yours?

***

Longing
but a special kind.
Someone said:

“Homesick, in your own body.”
Longing — mind squished in the sidelines
between brain and skull.
Longing — to escape, to be held,
to be naked, but hidden;
hidden in yourself, in someone else,
in another time, and
I know this because

pieces of you, prisms within you,
exist in me, as well,
cutting away from each other, but
equally sparkling
back into position —
I can tell you with certainty,
this longing is your strength
exceeding itself,
as one piece of you grows faster than, or perpendicular to, the rest, smooshing the others in the cracks.

And let’s be clear:
when I say, “pieces of you”
I mean your heat, your colors,
your tides, your drives;
I mean the flashes
in your aqueous fluid —
what do you see
when you close your eyes?
I mean your cuts,
whether fresh, or scarred,
and your paths of healing —
past, present, and future;
I mean the places and people
where you’ve made a home,
every home you’ve ever known, and
every tool you’ve used to
build them.

You’re a vessel for all these wonderful,
creative, tragic, soft,
powerful energies, all
pushing on you,
striving forward, but
you’re wild
and so are they.
They don’t always move the same way;
sometimes, they lose each other, and
have to find their way back —
and that’s how we get this longing,
this homesickness —
pieces of ourselves,
qui se manquent.

Yet, how special it is
when they find their way back;
what a release, what warmth,
when each part of you moves in synchronicity.

And when that happens:
purple light overflows,
tipping up through cracks and
lines in the floor, and
flooding the walls,
which are shades of orange;
together they make brown, and
brown is beautiful
when it shines and sparkles,
never waiting, but
always attendant,
ready to serve itself
and me and you;
brown is familiar, brown is together,
ready to take us
to warm dirt and old tree-trunks,
and the smell of coffee,
of a candle that’s been extinguished,
of the inside of your mother’s car,
and the love of
all these things.

***

Alexandra Moore is a recent graduate of the American University of Paris, with a degree in Comparative Literature and Creative Writing. Originally from Southern California, she currently lives in Paris with a stray cat named Bowie. Alexandra is inspired by the marvels we find within the seemingly mundane: lines in flower petals, the curvature of stones, lipsticked cigarette butts, cotton fuzz… Synesthesia has been a powerful influence in Alexandra’s creative life, and she relies on a crossing of the senses to tweeze out the pleasure within the grotesque, the majesty within the pain, through prose and poetry. She seeks to bring others into a space of healing by shedding light on the beauty and vulnerability that live inside and around us.

***

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