A Second

Just wait a second,
I’ll be right back. 

You do, you wait.
You don’t turn around
to see the look,
the foreign smile,
the rolling of the eyes.
You don’t say
I love you, or
I’m sorry.
You don’t call out for her
to stop,
you don’t go chasing.
In that feeble moment,
in that fraction of the time,
you decide not to talk,
or run, or cry,
not to step away,
to stand still
for a bit too long.
The moment ticked away
and passed.

You waited
just a second.

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Sleep

a lonely body                                 a company of two
in a bed for two                             a bed made for one
warmth                                             the heat
and empty space                          of uncovered bodies
only pillows                                    the cold creeps in
to rest your head                           the smell of sweat
the air light                                      rustling sheets
and oh, so quiet                             and heavy breathing
laying flat                                         squeezed into a corner
with room right next to you       a kick, a push
for the invisible love                     to claim your side
that keeps you cold                       reaching out in darkness
cry out in the night                        a hand waiting
and feel the silence                       an arm wrapped round your body
calling back                                      bow-tied embrace
toss and turn                                    restrain from moving

fall asleep
and dream
then wake up

and fall                                                    and land

 

Reflection

I stare
into a mirror.
I try to see
everything I am,
but the face looking back
is not my own.
I stare
and it stares right back at me –
it’s skin is pale,
eyes dark,
as if everything they felt
melted down inside them
and slipped into
the hidden corners of the mind.
The eyes blink
and I try not to,
but fail
and never notice
the tear
falling off the eyelashes
and hitting the ground.
Then the face smiles
and leans in
to whisper me a secret.
But I cannot hear,
and as the face
tries to move away,
I reach out my hand
to stop it.
My fingers stretch out,
feel for something cold,
and are stopped
from moving.
They rest flat
on the ice-cold surface,
tapping for that
unreachable, smiling face,
and just when they feel
they’re about to touch it,
the smile fades,
and everything I am
slips away
into the darkness
of the mirror.

A Little Magic

To walk a flight of stairs.
To cry a silent tear,
to wipe it off
and swallow down.
To hold out a hand,
to kneel on both knees,
to hang your head –
and then, to get back up,
to shake off the dust,
to straighten your back.
To smile
when you can.
And to smile
when you can’t.
To touch and talk,
to sing and see.
To breathe.
It’s all
just a little bit
of magic …

On A Rainy Day

On a rainy day
like today
very little can be said.
In loss of words
you simply open the window
and think,
or maybe try not to,
and you wish
tomorrow won’t be wetter.
On a rainy day
like today
you waste away the time,
stare into the clouds,
and you convince yourself
it’s not loneliness
you’re hearing.
It’s just the rain.

Ceiling Lamp

Staring into
a ceiling lamp
is the only thing
that brings you joy.
Babies are crying
down the hallway.
Babies are crying
down every hallway
of this world,
and you can hear
all of them at once.
But you stare
into the ceiling lamp,
and smile
ever so slightly
so nobody notices.
Babies stopped crying,
the silence is shy,
and now they stare at you
staring at the lamp.
They see you smile,
and they too
stare at the lamp
to see
what all of the smiling
is truly about.
While everybody is staring,
the ceiling lamp smiles back
ever so slightly
so nobody notices.

One World, Two Worlds …

The speed boat motor was making a racketing sound. The wind pushed back my hair as we were racing down the river. The sound was deafening, my vision blurred. The green and brown tones of the Guatemalan jungle were smeared across the palette of the blue sky, losing all shape and form. Finally, we stopped. We remained quiet so that all human sounds went away, letting the wilderness come creeping in. The birds were singing in the trees, but that wasn’t all. There was also the sound of rustling breeze in the mangrove trees, of the waves lazily rolling to the river banks, and of the animal cries coming from afar, muffled by the ferns and vines that made the jungle look like a thick deep green velvet curtain. I noticed dozens of tiny black birds on long legs standing on lily pads that were scattered around and gently swaying on the water. The birds seemed to be completely weightless. They walked upon the leaves as if walking on air. Somewhere right between them, a boy was floating in his small canoe made out of dark light wood. Handmade, obviously, but not made by just any hands. Carefully carved out of a log by the hands of this five-year-old Mayan child with big round eyes and dirt on his brown skin. Made to take him away from his home, even though ‘away’ meant just down the river and into a new river branch. But even this small away was good enough for him. It meant seeing the world outside that small hut I could see in the background, made of wood and dirt, hanging in the trees above the water, holding on to the branches, lingering over the jungle. The boy admired our big shiny canoe, his eyes refusing even to blink. But then this curious machine flew away like lightening, and the boy’s world was, once again, filled with calmness and free of strangers. We were rushing to see another world.

Our speed boat stopped on a small peer of a town called Livingston, sitting on the beaches of the Caribbean Sea. There were no Mayas here. Every person who kindly greeted us on the steps of their home had skin as brown as the trees we passed in the jungle. It was almost like a lost puzzle piece that made its way into the wrong box – the picture was completely different. The world was completely different. Livingston was a town cut from the rest of the world, so they told us. Besides the river, no other road led to it. Still, there were people driving cars from on part to the other of this extremely tiny town that could easily be walked in a matter of minutes. I couldn’t completely understand why, but they seemed to be enjoying the ride. The heat was pressing down on us as we passed a cemetery. I was tired and hot and I had absolutely no desire of watching tombstones. I almost wanted to go back, but then we walked down the road, turned around a corner, and I could see why I was there. The sight took my breath away. The sparkling light blue see was licking the yellow sand on one side, and stretching out to infinity on the other. You almost couldn’t tell where the water ended and the sky started. We sat in the shade of the palm trees for the rest of the day, and the people of Livingston danced for us in the rhythm of the drums, until the big orange sun heavily dipped down into the waves of the Caribbean, reminding us that this should only be a visit. We had our own world to go back to.