Between the Lines

I loved him, that’s the problem. I love him. What he doesn’t realise is that, for me, there will always be the pain of the love he and I could never get right. It’s actually about pining for someone desperately and loving them dearly, but you can’t figure them out. It’s about when you’re always in […]

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The Shine

It’s ok to love the deep dark places in ourselves, to explore their murky depths and hear our own voice back, a haunted echo, it’s ok. But. Be the shine. Always be the shine, and give out your light and warmth like pennies in the offering bowl of everyone you meet.

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— (in my sleep I dreamed this poem) Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness. It took me years to understand that this, too, was a gift. – The Uses of Sorrow, Mary Oliver

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“I hate your stupid face.” “It can’t be that stupid,” he answers, “it likes your face.”

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070710

I feel a little broken but also a little bigger. Do we ever really move [on]? Or does the void warrant movement, motion, improvement, commotion; everything that we never had but always wanted. Even after all this time: you [still] move me.

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Oranges

“I don’t like that word.” I stammer. “What word? Goodbye?” he asks. “Don’t…” I grab him by the arm,  his biceps tightening as I pinch, and lean in to steady myself. I exhale as I release my grip slowly. After all, this is always how we’ve operated: constantly keeping each other at arms length. “Okay,” he says, […]

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Lieux de memoire

That moment when you finally cave and go on a date with this boyishly handsome French nomad;  he is in town only for a week. He speaks six languages and is currently learning his seventh. His appetite for adventure rivals your own. You agree to meet for lunch, it turns into dinner, then becomes a night […]

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Seen

“It’s not that I hide,” I tell him, “I’m just not used to being seen.”

“What do you mean by being seen?” he asks. “Is it strange that a man wants to get to know you and not just look at you?”

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Shortcomings

They tell us all these stories
About women who became unforgettable
Because they walked away
And their absence opened up an ocean of longing
And their fault was only that they were too beautiful to be grasped
Between two arms and kept close.

They tell us stories about the women who were unattainable
Because they vanished
Inside a plane to Paris
On a road to Mandalay
In a train to Little Britain
And who carried the hearts of the men they left behind
In their suitcases.

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Violations

I’ve always thought of myself as a writer first and a photographer second. But these days, I am unable to conjure the words for the many ways I think and feel.

To photograph people is to violate them, by seeing them as they never see themselves, by having knowledge of them that they can never have; it turns people into objects that can be symbolically possessed. Just as a camera is a sublimation of the gun, to photograph someone is a subliminal murder – a soft murder, appropriate to a sad, frightened time.
– Susan Sontag

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Karak at Midnight

Tea was the ritual comma to our midnight drives; the hours carelessly slipping away, unnoticed.

“Wasn’t it just six pm?!” S would wonder out loud each time we would drive up to one of our many tea joints for our regular fix of two karaks.

But it was almost always midnight – or worse, three in the morning – when I would find my way home.

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Verrücktheit

It is four in the morning, and we are going nowhere fast. I want to curl myself around him and fill in all the empty spaces that make him feel alone. But I won’t, simply because to do so would be irresponsible.

I can no longer be irresponsible.

I feel his gaze on me, so I turn to receive it. His eyes, blue in the daylight, are now grey in the cover of the night; they look at me with a precision, they are deliberate, sure, and demanding.

He demands of me everything that I am not.

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Equivalent Synonyms

I often ask people what language they dream in because I want to know the words to which their hearts respond.

The dictionary is based on the hypothesis — obviously an unproven one — that languages are made up of equivalent synonyms.
-Jorge Luis Borges

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Of Hands and Hearts

A and I had gone dancing; I had finally surrendered to the pull of the music and with some concerted effort, allowed myself to be led.

I had come to adore the subtle romance of the bachata, and for the last dance A dipped me gracefully and whirled me right back up with impeccable finesse. He was one of the best dancers, if not the best dancer there.

I was happy to be there and be privy to this part of his inner world.

We met up with the guys afterwards for tea and shisha, as we are accustomed to. It was an unusually cold night for the Sandbox at the cusp of spring, and so I warmed my hands by the fire.

“Your hands are the closest I’ve ever been to your heart.” said A sincerely.

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122014

Thank you.

For the luxury of changing my mind, my opinions, and beliefs about the world.

For the understanding that value and worth are not dictated by the external world.

For the appreciation of a steady hand. For your integrity; when it was needed, your draconian measures.

For the bullet through the brain. For the arrow through the heart.

For the pressure. For all that you demanded of me, and demanded me to be.

For never treating me like a child, even when I was acting like one.

For making it clear to me that one can be born into obscurity; one does not have to live out one’s days there.

For letting me go. For knowing better than I did; that it was time to let go.

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Lacuna

Some souls
spend eternity
finding
each other
endlessly –

over
and over
and over
again.

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Letters to Vera

There is nothing more erotic than to be understood. “I won’t hide it: I’m so unused to being — well, understood, perhaps, — so unused to it, that in the very first minutes of our meeting I thought: this is a joke… But then… And there are things that are hard to talk about — […]

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