Updated: May 31
They fed me notions that tie the intricacies of our vessels with shame. Plump curves are ones to hide, scars are emblems of weakness, and explorations of corporal pleasure a crime. The body is consistently under scrutiny—the judgment of nosy relatives babbling about weight loss, the repulsive gazes of lust and hostility. Under scrutiny the body is tense, each skein of muscle tightened, ready to flee. Or freeze.
Then I found you, and I let go. Relaxation allows each tissue, each pore to absorb collective pain, and collective memories, then allow them to dissipate. The body is not shame but passion.
Yet passion has never been well bred. Those moments before I depart, again and again, the touch of your fingers bites my skin. The imminent heartbreak creeps through every cell in me. I would have bound me to you with ropes and had us lie face to face unable to move but move on each other, unable to feel but feel each other. In that world, we could conclude our passion infinitely. To end would be to begin again. Only you, only me. I am rash but so are you. I am jealous but so are you. I am brute with love but so are you. Neither of us has the upper hand, we wear matching wounds. You are my twin, my best friend, my lover, my home. You are my paradox. With you I am patient enough to number each of your lashes, too impatient to get undressed. Skin is waterproof but my skin is not waterproof against you. You flooded me, blinded me, drowned my rationality. I let you wade through me, with no boat at the gate and the tide still rising. I am afraid.
Afraid of the day when I can no longer behold your clavicle, the collar bone, extending in an elegant slope, outlining the sharp angles of your shoulders, when I can no longer bury myself in your grooves and edges, breathing in the slight scent of fresh wood sage and cinnamon.
Afraid of the day when I can no longer feel your scapula, the shoulder blades protruding as your spine curls in a reach to decrease the negative space between us, when I can no longer run my palm down the burning skin on your back, startled by the bursting strength contained in the flesh and bone.
Afraid of the day when I can no longer count the thirteen bones that form the skeleton of your face. I am no longer allowed to kiss you from your brow bone, down the bump on the bridge of your nose, to the dimple that adorns the carved borders of your chin. In this helpless instant, I linger on the ample volume of your lips, your taste gushing like a sugar high to my brain.
I find myself in your skin, myself lodged in your bones. My body knows you, welcomes you, and thirsts for you. So what’ll happen when it's torn from you? I am afraid.
I am afraid this torn feeling is no longer an unfamiliar one. Perhaps the essence of being a global citizen, a multicultural young person, a traveling nomad with connections across the world is the fact that I am never with each person I love for long enough. Every time I begin to feel joy, it is already time to say goodbye. Goodbye, to you across the ever-expanding universe, to you who rapidly changes and grows to someone I no longer recognize, to you whom I do not know when the next time we meet will be.
As loneliness and confusion dawn, only the spiral brings solace. The spiral imprinted in the swirls of your hair—on the back of your head and on the corners of your body—reminds me that everything diverges and then converges again. And again. Soon I will be pulled back by the spiral, to those moments when I hear my best friend’s laughter, hold my Grandma’s wrinkled hand, or feel your lips on mine once more.
As the idiom goes: “分久必合，合久必分。”
Editor(s): Chris F., Charlotte C.
Photo Credits: Unsplash