20.37

First lovers do die.

 

They die every day.

Time; fire touching clay.

 

Each recollection,

Fails to bring to vision

Any sort of authentic

Feeling of affection.

 

That feeling, exactly

That, died long ago.

Dying down slowly, like

Falling flakes of snow.

 

They’re dead,

But they live on.

 

Walking to and fro;

Distant shades of

What is no more.

 

Twenty years,

And maybe more.

 

First lovers die,

Just like any other

Thing that lives.

 

Sooner or later,

They have to

Say goodbye.

 

 

Malam Rakus

“Mengapa langit petang membiru, Ibu?”

Tanya Anak pada Ibu, matanya yang hitam itu memantulkan cahaya dari lampu pijar tembok seberang. Ia kini mulai besar, enam tahun sudah umurnya, dan Ibu tetap saja menua. Ia kini mampu bertanya mengenai banyak hal baru, karena tingginya sudah sepinggang orangtua, dan pertanyaan-pertanyaan baru, perihal dirinya maupun perihal dunia, tidak berhenti keluar dari mulutnya. Mulut Anak yang belum pernah mengecap oplosan pinggir jalan.

“Langit petang membiru karena malam menelan matahari, anakku.”

Ucap Ibu pada Anak, dengan nada datar yang sudah biasa muncul dari mulut orangtua yang lelah dengan pertanyaan anak-anak. Orangtua mungkin akan senang melihat anaknya tumbuh besar dan sehat, namun mereka tetap perlu rehat, dan pertanyaan-pertanyaan anaknya kadang sukar untuk dijawab. Jam besar yang tegak di lantai pada sudut ruangan berdentang beberapa kali, menandakan hari sudah malam. Mungkin berdentang sepuluh kali, mungkin sebelas kali dentangan itu berbunyi, Ibu terlalu lelah untuk menghitungnya. Sudah lama Ibu menemani anaknya bertanya-tanya.

“Langit petang membiru karena malam menelan matahari, anakku.”

Anak mengulang perkataan Ibu dalam hati. Bagi si Anak, Ibu adalah orang yang paling bisa ia percaya. Bahkan, semua orang menurutnya harus percaya dengan Ibu. Belum cukup berkerut dahinya untuk kembali bertanya pada ibunya, tidak ada masalah yang muncul dalam kepala mungilnya kala mendengar jawaban Ibu itu. Malam, baginya, benar-benar menelan matahari. Ia percaya bahwa malam rakus, bahkan matahari pun dilahap habis olehnya. Langit membiru, karena malam rakus; lengan Ibu banyak bercak membiru, karena malam rakus.

Lampu pijar di tembok seberang diam. Jam besar yang tegak di lantai pada sudut ruangan diam. Ibu diam. Anak diam. Semuanya diam karena sudah malam.

 

17.19

let’s talk again about our past

and how everything didn’t make sense

and how we almost lost our minds

because growing up was a pain

and the truths we learned hurts

and how our imbalanced hormones

made us stay up all night

wondering why life is so bad

of course it isn’t bad now

but it used to, or it just felt

bad.

 

let’s talk again like we used to,

though I don’t know you like I used to

because we both changed a lot

and still we change, day to day

The Things that Follow Me Around

Some things follow me around. They’d appear out of nowhere, and they’d start talking about things I don’t want to think about. Things my inability to have friends, or to fall in love, or to believe in other people. I try hard to not think of those things. But to them, releasing these thoughts are easy, too easy in fact. With enough of thoughts like this, I’m forced to lay lifeless on the cold hard floor. These things would disappear; if I’m lucky enough that is.  But most of the time they’d stick around longer, and destroy the peace of mind I’ve tried so hard to maintain. Their voices are silent and nobody hears them talking but me. I don’t know why, but these things love to follow me around.

Sometimes they’d bring up small and unimportant things. But fuck me, even the most unimportant things become painful to think of when repeated over and over again. One small mistake, like forgetting to return a book to the library, could feel like stealing a whole rack of books. They’d bring up one small mistake I made, and then say that what I did was more than that. They’d appear, they’d torment me with my own thoughts, only to disappear without a trace. I hate myself for not being able to handle them. I want them to go away. Why are they so persistent on making my life harder than it already is? I’m starting to think this is a curse. What was I talking about again?

I apologize, but, they’re here right now. Even when I’m talking to you about them, I can’t really explain what they are or what they do clearly to anyone. They’re just too much. Too much. These things are everywhere, they can’t die. At least I think they can’t. I don’t know for sure about that, but maybe they can’t. Can they die? I don’t know. But I want them to go away, I can’t stand them, help me. I hate every waking minute I spend around them, help me scare them off. They’re scary. I didn’t call on them, why did they appear? Why can’t they go away? Who are they? What are they? These things are everywhere.

This is a mistake. Explaining them to you was a mistake. Maybe you know them, maybe they’ve been haunting you longer than they’ve been terrorizing me. But maybe you don’t, and maybe knowing about them would lead them to you. And I shouldn’t let the thought of their existence bother anyone else, but what else could I do? I’m sorry for bringing this up. They forced me to do it. I apologize, again, I don’t want them to come for you too. I’m a victim of their terror. Don’t be like me. Forget everything I said.