with moustaches of strawberry, crème de
menthe and vanilla, we shiver and, gripping
the rusty rail overlooking the pacific, regret
that we have chosen knickers for ice cream
and late-night walks in a california town too
rich to laugh at itself.
these two siblings of mine, laughing as they
mimic the speech of passerby, could never
know the burden that i bear: the weight of
a burgeoning life that, not but three months
ago, wanted nothing but to martyr itself.
cold and terrified, i feel empowered in this
stagnatingly hot hellhole only when i look at
the ocean; the waves, like an invisible force
hurling itself at the cliffs through the thick
veil of night, have not the power to break
me into little sharp shards, nor have they
the power to make my dreams like confetti –
colour, light, sound – all wasted in a moment
of useless frivolity.
today, i hold the life that, though fading, is
yet mine, straining to flee from my grasp to
ride upon waves to eternity's shores. these
waves, crashing upon the cliffs at la jolla,
will not steal my dignity, my love, my life.
i care not that once, i had feared them: the
only two words that could break me:
when i am home in the place that is not home,
away from the lights and heat and noise of
california, i must not forget what this night
means – freedom from something i have yet
to understand, much less name. it is, as i am.
i must not forget the colour of the night, how
it seems to stretch forever into some unknown
ocean of its own, this thing they call eternity;
how, though the lights of la jolla dim the stars,
yet they exist, kilometres and kilometres away,
unknowing that a child, not yet seventeen, looks
at them and feels like laughing, feels like throwing
her arms into the air, to cry, "god, the great i am!
but man, the great i will be!"
i must remember that tonight, i no longer feel
small when i look at the sky.
This is based on an actual experience I had in California during the summer of 2006. I hated La Jolla (where we went on several day trips) and everything about it, but this is the one fond memory I have of the place. On that night, the six month anniversary of my close friend's death, I swore again that I would live, and these were some of my musings from that night... roughly and translated to poetry, that is.
Written on 20 July, 2007.