Storms

There’s something so devastatingly beautiful about storms
The way the lightning leaves cracks in the sky
Letting us peer through the other side
The way the rain soaks the earth
As it drums against our windows
The way thunder bellows into the atmosphere
Rattling our bones
Reminding us that
we are simply living in a world that does not belong to us
and that we are truly defenseless
no matter how much we puff out our chests
and yell back
the storm always yells back a little louder
strikes back a little stronger
and we surrender to the echoing
of something much bigger than us.

The Settling

“I can’t do this anymore,” she spoke softly but firmly, “I just can’t.”

She drowned her face into her hands and her body moved with her breathing. Her voice was filled with disappointment and a tinge of shame. She felt everything and it hurt her. She didn’t just give her heart, she gave her soul, her body, her everything. She started to numb herself, she spent her days into neutral. She always ended up feeling empty and hollow. She entered love like a sin and flogged herself with the pain of self-questioning, leaving her bruised but hallowed.

She breathed into the air, hoping for an answer from a silent god. She felt the world seeping into her skin and onto her bones. She twisted and turned her soul like an old Rubik’s cube in hopes of fitting into the colors of the spaces around her. She couldn’t do it. She never really could get it right. She thrusted her chest out and threw her head back in a desperate attempted to feel something. She let it all in. The anger, the pain, the sadness, the memories, and finally the calm.

“I can’t do this anymore,” she spoke weakly with determination, “I don’t want to.”

-jl

 

Love and I

Love came to me like a new friend and greeted me with brilliance.
Filled with excitement and childlike anticipation, I found myself infatuated with love.
Love held my hand and gently brushed the hair out of my face.
Promising me a forever that I never wanted, love took me in and never let go.
Love gripped at my wrists and cut off the circulation.
My hands became numb and I became selfish.
I reached, trying to feel everything around me
But love never let me get completely numb.
I felt every time the door would open and close.
I felt every time I said I love you.
Every breath in between.
Every single moment, every single goodbye
Obliterating my soul.
Love tightened its grip around my neck
Whispering the promise of forever repeatedly
It breathed into my lungs,
Filling the empty spaces with hopeless possibilities.

Love stayed.
Even if I didn’t want it to, it remained.
Smearing my walls with colors I never knew existed, love painted my world.
Love became second nature and I found myself falling.
Love blinded me and I gave away my heart like pamphlets.
Every day became more and more difficult.
Quiet nights became a deafening reminder of my failures.
I disappointed love and it became habit.
Love carved notches onto my bones of all the times I let it down
Until my bones could no longer remain stable
And I felt myself breaking under the pressure.

I never tried to stop it, I never resisted.
Love was beautiful.
I became addicted to the destruction it brought.
Love was annihilating.
I never knew the many ways my heart could break.
I kept loving with everything I ever was.
That was the problem, wasn’t it?
It was my fault, wasn’t it?

Love stayed,
But you didn’t.

And I let it happen.

-jl

Tomorrow, Dear Heart, Tomorrow.

Without a sound, you empty your mind onto the coffee table that sits in the middle of your living room. You fall back onto your couch and stare at the mess of thoughts dispersed in front of you. Your tired eyes glaze over the memories and you take a deep, painful breath. The sun glides through the room and reminds you that the day has come to an end. You run your fingers gently over the new set of scars branded onto your skin from the last 24 hours. You bury your face in your hands and you keep yourself from losing it. You place all the broken pieces back in their places and you wearily start to get ready for bed. Your legs are heavy and your eyes are red. Your hands are rough and your soul is exhausted. It takes everything in you to push forward but you do it because you don’t know anything else. You don’t have a choice but to keep moving regardless of how slow and tired you are. You shuffle your way through the motions and the routine continues at an utterly infinitesimal pace. The mirror reflects the face of someone you used to know, such a long and forgotten time ago. You steady yourself against the rocking earth and tear yourself away from yesterday. You crack your bones and settle yourself into bed. The darkness takes over your room and your eyes grow heavy under the pressure of the wounded world around you. You take a final moment to mutter last words of hope into the buried atmosphere. What a waste of gross expectations. No matter how loud your heart is, pounding against your ribcage, you fall asleep.

“I’ll just deal with you tomorrow, dear heart, tomorrow.”

-jl

The Winter Streets of Edinburgh

I took a walk.
Down the rain covered streets, through the violent wind.
Passing the bars, illuminated by lipstick stained cigarettes
Light jazz music could be heard over the light conversations
Each step was colder than the last
Each breath harder than the last.
My feet moved aimlessly
Walking down the street of light
The dimly lit stairs that dangled dimly lit pubs with drunken chatter.
A casual love, a broken soul, another pint or two.
Seeking shelter from the weather, a planned meet up, another round please.
I staggered down the uneven steps, mindlessly wondering, mindlessly dreaming.
I came upon Waverley.
I walked through the hellos and goodbyes
The trains whistling in the distance.
I sat in the designated waiting room, wondering if it would be that easy to leave this place behind.
A lady was waiting, a bouquet of flowers rested next to her
Her eyes occupied the pages of a book and her mind wandered through the printed words, the flowers resting, waiting for her attention.
A mother held onto her child, his tired eyes rested on her tired face.
Two women shared a drunken goodbye tied together with an unlit cigarette.
A man stared at his phone, time to time his eyes would lift up to the arrival and departure board.
Friends held each other in one last embrace before they would go back to their separate lives.
Everyone was going somewhere, watching the boards with anticipation.
Waiting for their next goodbyes and hellos.

I strolled down the once filled streets of Princes.
The Christmas market was empty, the once inviting rides now chained off,
The ice rink was being flooded with the rain, the skate sign still illuminated, patiently waiting for tomorrow.
I stared down the empty, dark streets. The kiosks shut tights as the wind knocked violently against them. It was easy to forget that when morning came, these streets would be filled once again with new and old faces.

Princes was darkened now and people were briskly making their way home.
Lovers huddled against each other for warmth.
Others kept their heads down against the sharp rain and fought against the violent gusts that filled these Scottish streets.

Making my way back home, I took one last look at Edinburgh.
The city that beat my heart and ate it.
My eyes were filled with wonder as I whispered my regrets into the wind.
I could walk these streets forever.
My feet have already made their home on these cobbled paths.
The rain soaked into my hair and clothes, the cold held my hands like a jilted lover, leaving icicles on my bones.
I couldn’t cry even if I wanted to.
The wind would wipe them away before they left my eyes.
Edinburgh was my unrequited dream.
Scotland was a beautiful love affair that left me an empty shell.
I laid out my bones on the Royal Mile and buried my love in the meadows.

I could’ve walked those streets forever.

-jl

Her

She stood there, leaning up against the window frame. Her hips braced her stance, she used her left foot for extra support. Her skin was so lightly kissed by the sun as if the sun knew how delicate she was. Her dark, blonde hair was tied up in a messy bun that flopped slightly towards her left shoulder. My button down white shirt fell over her, swallowed her. Her deep, dark green eyes stared off out into the open world and her lips carefully sipped on the coffee, which she held with both hands. The coffee warmed her small, button nose and filled her senses with an invigorating morning call. She would place the mug on the ledge but her hands never abandoned it, her fingers carefully placed on the ceramic. She looked so content, so safe. I remember sipping my own cup of coffee staring at her, in slight disbelief of her existence. Beautiful wasn’t a good enough word to describe her.

She spoke into the air, her words gliding through the atmosphere, filling the room, “It’s a gorgeous day out today.”

It really was.

-j.l