You left the house when you were eighteen. Contrary to what you’d previously believed, the sky was so bright it hurt your eyes. It was as if the world was celebrating while your heart broke into pieces you had no time to collect.
Take my hand and leave the deafening world. Get rid of people. Get rid of love. Get rid of the burdens stripping away the last bit of kindness you still have.
My own world — your new home — has no place for either things. We are the only people left. There is no need for love when I plan to let go of your hand just as quickly as you take it. My company is only to pass the gate. From here on, your life is yours to live. I have no need of you. You certainly have no need of me.
When my tears overflow, I wonder: is it you I hate or is it me? The sun breaks through layers of curtains, colouring the room red. My heart is still beating even when each thump feels like a kick to the chest. Is it grief that leaves me broken or is it anger? Am I sad ’cause you’re gone or am I angry ’cause I’m not the one who cuts you off? Am I selfish for not wanting it to end or am I stupid for hanging onto something that’s destined to break apart?
How to say goodbye? He asked. Close the door and never come back, she said. How to explain the farewell? He asked. Give them a smile and say you no longer want to be around, she said. Wouldn’t they think that’s a lie? He asked.
Sing to the fire of the past, dear one Tell them your wound has healed and that your heart can love again. Tell them how the smile comes back and how the laughter follows not too far behind. Tell them that I am still here even when they once told you I would never stay.
Broken heart, I say, isn’t real. Because it’s not a piece of marble which can be smashed and scratched. It is not a branch which wind can squeeze until it loses its support. It’s not a bone which you can hit and make a crackling sound.
It is flesh, beating and continues beating. It’s a rhythm that’s half real, the rest you can’t see. It is a container that holds emotions and encapsulates the unspeakable.
It cannot be broken.
Or at least that’s what I believe.
(Yet who am I to trust.)
Sragen, February 3rd, 2021 Translated on February 4th, 2021