Refuge

She unlocked the door, peeled off her layers, and removed her bra. It’s 6:30, and the might of the day has placed itself on the other side of those hinges. She wasn’t a champion of anything anymore, no — in that space of stucco and stains, she was just herself, reclaiming herself. On her naked floor, she walked around unclothed. The only face she saw was her own in the mirror, pensive and undemanding of her time and energy. In fact, nothing in this world was demanding anything of her right now. Even her newly treated apartment windows dappled the hazy evening light, as if the very building itself understood — she needed things diluted at this very moment.

Bare-bodied, skin left raw to the air, just free to close her eyes, close her thighs, close her mind, she slips on her gratitude. Thank you, she thinks. Thank you for surviving this day.


Daily Post prompt: Champion

This slow fire

I wait for this urgency to become just that — urgent
But see, it sprawls like a desert, and other continental things
It follows me like a strand of pearls, step by sauntering step
I am crushed by the desert’s expectations

These changes, in their haste to find cover,
Lovingly, painstakingly claw glittering passages inside me
Like my left hand clumsily partnering with a knife, or a pen
A light shifting from red to green, urging me secretly — to go

This is not inertia, no; I have already acted, yes
But this trail of fire I’ve left burning in my wake
Progresses so languorously, its heat warming, not hurting
This time around, I ask myself — where is last year’s inferno?


Daily Post daily prompt: Urgent

What makes a city? 

What makes a city? 

Is it the cracks traversing its roads, our human wanderlust rendering a city cripple?

Is it the tunnels lined with darkness, like coffins, reminding us of our destiny back to the dirt?

Is it the cacophony of human desires, splashed onto billboards and bedsheets, spilling out into streets?

I breathe it all in, letting in particles of you, you, and yes, even you.

What makes a city? There is a strange comfort to this suffocation, a warmth to this blanket of shared struggle, this smog of excrement, this mosaic of pain.

Anticlimaxes

I’m starting to understand the premise of adulthood now: recognizing the patterns in all the mundane-ness.

I know I’m getting accustomed to adulthood because I can feel my capacity to be surprised dwindling with every year of life. Oh, someone cut me off in traffic? No big deal, whatever, I’d probably do the same thing rushing back home. Oh, someone else got assigned this very important task at work? That’s alright, I don’t have to be a superstar all the time.

It’s a non-issue — I can almost feel myself shrugging my shoulders nonchalantly, with an air of that’s life.

It’s about getting used to all the anticlimaxes that occur in life, like when you realize you are no longer someone’s most important person, where, once upon a time, you may have been. It’s okay — life happens. People move on. And more importantly, I’ve moved on.

These bittersweet realizations no longer hurt as much, and that’s because I know that in the big picture, I’m picking the right battles to fight. I’m less reluctant to let go; I have lost the death grips so common to the youthful.

This ever-growing stoicism (/wisdom/calmness/unflappability/help me find the right word here?) feels like a good thing.