Friday, 24 January 2014

The Word-a-day Writing Challenge

Day Seventy-Seven: Rejoice

The few words you wrote
about going back to Sri Lanka
were well packed, tucked away under the gentle fabric
of your travels thus far.
Nonetheless, the phrases hurled themselves at me
waving madly from the shores of your broken heart.

There are so many questions I haven't found the courage to ask
and so many ways to ask them
but a deeper knowing too that you can't possibly convey
what I will never understand.
Still, I wanted to see the shadowed creases
under your eyes as you typed those lines, pausing I imagine
but not for long, to beat back the tendency to explain yourself,
crammed in the corner of some internet cafe,
the fibres of your sandy hair tussled
with Varanasi's grit and clatter.

You spoke of it with me only once
The Tsunami
and not in details that would ever betray 
you for the writer you are
armed to the teeth with metaphor and meaning.

How to tell the story
that lines the walls of our arteries
and scuffs its heals across our souls?
The one that beat us to the punch
the one we see only in gusts
and never as it really was
knowing always
that what we won't write
inevitably writes us.

So maybe you go back
stand on the beach
That Very Beach
and stare for a moment
a lifetime
thousands of lifetimes
into the mouth
of what you never saw coming
breathing salt air and agony—
a quiet rejoice that churns
through every merciless truth
and every tender corner
of your still beating heart.

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