‘What It Is’, a poem ———
How does it feel to love? What does love look like?
I tell them love is fire. A burning, roaring anguish that can consume you whole. A war of desolation that can vacuum your soul and seethe your body to ash. It is the call of a doomed destiny, an inescapable tragedy, of a memory that shouldn’t have been.
Or, love is like fire. The intensity of the universe keeping you warm on a morose night. It is a body of blanket holding all of your edges, clinging to all of your scars and calling them water. It is the weight of another human being on your shoulders leaving no space for your own.
If you ask me what love feels like, I will tell you it feels like the first time you heard your favourite song.
Lost. Inarticulate. Like you had knocked on a door that would now open endless epiphanies. Like you would never want to hear another song again. Like nothing before this could’ve ever come close.
What love feels like is the bed. Too large for one person, too small for two. Soft, like a hard day’s night. Like an escape route; not for those who dream but for those who do not. Like the bed, love is also lonely. And as cold as a goodbye. It can drown you into itself, leave you fighting for air, only to throw you back to the shore with no sense of belonging. Love is cruel. And lazy. And tired.
If you ask me what love looks like, I will say it looks like a man who has to bury his lover. See them nail his own body, his own skin and bones, into the ground and leave for him a vessel, a hollow identity with which he is to survive. See him cross out the letters of love, peel it off his paper skin, and then light that same skin to fire. See this man trying to rub his lover’s scent off of himself. See him trying to taint her taste. See him only try for the rest of his life.
If they ask me what love looks and feels like, if I’m honest, it looks like you.
It looks like your fingers, and how they tangled themselves into my history. How they burnt the bridges meant for us to walk away. Like the same fire that eventually, consumed us whole.
It feels like your touch. A delicate storm. A slipping into the abyss.
Like love, you are a memory I wish had never been