March 24th, 2023
❝ No longer am I wretched with regret. No longer do I drown in unmoored anger, nor grapple with bitterness snarling. No longer am I raging in the secret heart of myself.
(No longer am I sorrowful. No longer weeping.)
No, no—gentle airs have washed through me, sweeping away deleterious detritus.
Hope—clemency--peace--stir within me, gently wakened, wings unfurling, limned in light.
Yes—I forgive you for your love unfamiliar, unwanted, and mine unmatching. I forgive our muteness, our deafness, our histories incompatible, our tragedies unspoken.
I forgive us our unbelonging. ❞
— (I forgive us both for the time it took to get here.)
❝ it is autumn, and the world is exhaling ❞
❝ i am haunted by a tragedy that hasn't happened yet // i cannot speak its name, nor can i weep // this preemptive grief—a self-fulfilling prophecy // a spectre summoned by silence ❞
i lay the ghosts
of all the people i've been
to rest in the water
and i watch them be
s w e p t
s e a
she holds all the secrets of the world with such jealousy
i know within her my ghosts will be better than buried
i know she will drown them
i know she will never let them come up for air
i know they will never see the light of day
i know i don't want to be known
i know she will not let me be
❝ sometimes things are ok // sometimes it's true that they will be // even if not right now.
sometimes hope is not a flower, blooming slowly, carefully tended // sometimes it's a sword and shield, a battle // sometimes you are your own enemy, or the world is // sometimes you lose.
but sometimes picking up that sword and shield means you've already won // the enemy already vanquished, already vanished // sometimes it means there's no battle to fight // all you have to do is hold on, hold tight // believe in the stalwart steel, your grip on it.
sometimes it means you reach for the sword and shield // find instead you are holding a bloom // watching petals unfurl towards the sun // the roots tangling between your fingers.
sometimes everything is ok // sometimes that's a fact, as true as the green of growing things // as cutting as a sharpened blade // as firm and unbreakable and protective as a shield. ❞
❝ i dreamed about magic and dragons and flying to neverland and i knew if i wanted it hard enough i could go and i dreamed an old, cracking voice softly saying after thunder, golden showers and a young, lilting voice singing and 'round the corner there may wait / a new road or a secret gate / and though i oft have passed them by / a day will come at last when i / shall take the hidden paths that run / west of the moon east of the sun and there were fireflies i chased laughing in the dark and there was a swarm of mosquitos but they were golden and dancing in the light and they did not bite me and it was magic, magic, and i want it back. ❞
—text in italics is from j.r.r. tolkien's lord of the rings
the mug is a metaphor
it's an average looking mug, nothing special about it. it usually sat in the cupboard, among other mugs, some fancier, some just as plain, some truly hideous. it got used an average amount. it was a good mug, perfectly serviceable. time went on, and pretty much all the other mugs ended up chipped or broken or lost between moves.
this one outlasted the rest, so it became a favourite of mine. it got decorated. it got used a lot more often. it was regarded fondly, and held carefully, and appreciated because it was a really good mug. i really liked that mug. like, a lot.
and then one day somebody picked it up and knocked it absentmindedly off the counter. but again, it was a really good mug. it didn't immediately shatter into pieces. it just got a crack. a big one, sure, noticeable, but if it was taken care of, it would last a really long time.
i know it's probably not a good idea to keep on using something that damaged but the mug was my favourite, and it didn't leak, and it didn't cut me if i sipped carefully, and i didn't want to let go of something that was mostly fine. still, the crack couldn't be ignored. i was always aware of it.
i knew the mug needed to be treated carefully or else it would break. i tried to make sure other people knew that. i don't live alone, you know.
but despite my best efforts, the mug got rattled around, like it could take it. it got neglected, and then used roughly, in intermittent bursts. sometimes by me, if i was having a bad day. sometimes by other people. sometimes it was just such a pain to use. a lot of the time it seemed like so much work to have to handle it so gently. nobody should have to think this hard about a mug, you know?
and i got tired of it, all the careful handling. but i couldn't just toss it. the mug has history. it's hard to let go of something with sentimental value. it's not the mug's fault it's a mess. it's not even my fault.
deciding to push it off the counter though—that was definitely my fault. i knew it couldn't handle another drop like that. i knew this time it would break. i just got tired of wondering when it would happen. it seemed like the best idea would be to speed up the inevitable. then at least i could be done with it.
it's still falling though. i'm wondering if, when it finally lands, it'll chip, or crack, or shatter into tiny little pieces.
fun with words
❝ s p i r a l l i n g
it’s a fun word
fun to say, fun to spell
spins off the tongue too
twists on itself at the end there
goes backward: not out, just in
and then a loop de loop
starts at the tongue, ends in a grin
w h i p l a s h
another fun word
a full mouth word
lips pressed together
and then a shhhh
can’t say it without a smile
can’t say it without a hush
i n e r t i a
another fun one
but now i’m tired ❞
— (i’m not going anywhere with this)
❝ it’s summer and i’m full of yearning, but when am i not?
it’s summer and i’m trying to teach myself that being happy—here and now—doesn’t mean i can’t want something else, something different, and doesn’t mean the happiness is false.
it’s summer and the sky is blue and the clouds are made of cotton and you haven’t kissed me yet, which is a tragedy, but a small one, and a cliche, but i don’t mind.
it’s summer and i’m trying to capture life, but it’s so fleeting, even if it’s pretty and sweet and turning my skin a golden brown.
it’s summer and it’s not enough, not without you. ❞
❝ come here
let me hold you
let me wash the dust from your feet
wipe the tracks from your cheeks
soothe your aching hands.
i have heard you screaming in the deep night
in the hollow of the wood
but you have found your way out now
and these shadows hold nothing
except a peace you are allowed to trust
here you are at last
and i do not begrudge you the wait
a heart is a heavy burden*
but so too is a mind ill at ease.
lay it down
lay it all down
let it rest in the cool dark earth
let it root deep elsewhere
untwine it from your bones.
it is not you and you are not it
though you have grown so close
you may be forgiven the confusion.
here is a knife to cut away what you cannot relinquish.
i promise it will not hurt. ❞
—i promise i love you too much for that.
*Howl’s Moving Castle (2004) dir. Hiyao Miyazaki
Sumayyah writes poetry...
...though she doesn't feel proficient enough to call herself a poet.