Meeting my friends here in Japan is like meeting unicorns. You know, all magical and unbelievable and fairy-tale like. I fell in love with them. Hardcore love. Even the most obnoxious part of them that I hate, I love. I hope my feeling is not unrequited. This poem is for them:
Four words, twenty five letters. I have such a long, intricate name. So complicated, that my friends started to call me princess. Call me so often, in fact, that I started to believe them. Started listening, until I asked my younger sister, “Hey do you think I look like a princess?“. To which, she replied with burst of laughter and disbelief beneath her eyelids.
But my friends know better. They know that I am a princess of drawers left open. So don’t try to ask me any secret because I always leave my door on the latch, which means, you can either walk away or hold that door handle, exert some force and come in. You might be surprised at first, with the loud music and honesty I played on my radio. Or why my socks and daydreams are scattered all the way to my patio. Sure, I’ve been sliding my fears under the bed before I tuck in myself at night. But please watch your step. You might knock over the stack of strength and confidence that took me all day to pile up.
Feel free to open my diary and do write your story. Because every scar that you have – every burnt skin or sprained muscle, each marks a story worth telling. We can spend all day talking about nothing. But when our shadows are gone and the streetlamps are calling you home, you will linger on my door, trying to find reasons and excuses to explain why you can’t leave my home yet.
And I will sit on my bedside. Pen in hand, writing poems about my best friend, which is you. How you became my guidance to come home. My lighthouse. The only infinity tangible enough to touch.
Until I realize that you are not made of metaphors. I mean, is there a word for backstabbing someone in the heart? Is there a word for when you are sitting at the bottom of a roller coaster, where you can see the climb, and you know what the climb means, but you are strapped on your chair unable to escape? Is there a word for wishing your dearest friends good luck, and really mean it, but you dont want them to leave you behind – is there a word for that? There should be. I would have said it.
They say every great story has a beginning, a middle, and an end. Not necessarily in that order. So explain to me why some poems don’t rhyme, but every story must have an ending?
I know that we live in different worlds, that you are always busy. Yet even though my room is really messy, I will still be missing you like crazy. And DON’T try to tell me all that vectorial physics crap. I am an engineer, a soon-to-be engineer. I know that the quickest way to go from point A to point B is through a straight line. But a straight line is rarely the most interesting one. Everyone needs to take a wrong way or make a U-turn once in a while and I’m so glad I got to do it with you.
I so badly want things I know I can count on. I know, oceans would stumble. Our smile would curl, and that’s okay. The world is, indeed, made of sugar. Might crumble, but don’t be afraid to stick your tongue out and have a taste.
I know I can’t count on tomorrow, but why would I? Because today is the only day when I can hold you dear and warm. Like day does dawn. But I hope you’ll stay who you are now, as morning. Full of hopes and hints of coffee in the air.
My mother told me, “Be careful of what you wish for“. So I’ve built a glass jar in my heart. Saving up all the birthday wishes and shooting stars I saw when my shoulder touched yours, at the night sky of Tokashiki island.
I wish that I could still make fun of your accent, your white skin, your funny hair, or your weird sense of humour. I wish that no one has ever taught me how to wish upon a star. Because seriously, slowly disintegrating flames in the sky won’t help you with anything. Even I know that.
I am cashing out all of my savings anyway and… see? There aren’t enough stars and I am still left behind. I wish that my wishes were as simple as Cinderella’s. That all I needed was a puffy dress and a date. But I’ve been wishing for too many things that even fairy godmothers are not equipped with enough pixie dust to do so.
They say every cloud has a silver lining. I think Okinawan sky hates me so much, because I’ve been running around pushing clouds and storms like a sunny idiot, looking for the slightest clue of that silver lining but you are still going home. And I’m still here. All wet, tired, and out of breath.
So today, I’m gonna give you my shoulder, my elbow, the bend of my knees – all parts of me I could afford to offer. I never meant to hide anything from you. It was just too many stories but not enough time to share. If I could, I would have given it all away with the rest of me. I do not know how I would be able to keep some things for myself. Because your bath tub is the only place big enough to fit all my problems but small enough to keep me from drowning.
When it’s really time for you to go home, I will turn off the music. I’ll listen to the quiet. I might not be able to giveyou a hug, though. Because even after all these months evolving it is still difficult to do. Still unnatural and heavy. ButI will thank you for stopping by.
For those of you who don’t know me. Who chose not to open my door hande. You might be wondering why on earth would I want to expose myself. To share my stories with off-beat off-rhyming poem, in front of people, in the middle of the room, under this bright light, am I crazy? Absolutely.
But, hey, I only do crazy things when I’m home. And this is my home.
(Ranintia, Japan, August 2014)