Softhearted and unlikely
By Hejin Kim
I feel like a poetry kinda day; I feel like losing myself in the sounds of words in my head as I listen to writers and singers; I feel like smashing reality into a thousand pieces with a single stroke of a pen. I feel like drowning into pain, but find myself swimming despite it all.
I feel like writing letters to myself, to the past and to the future… Sitting by the fireplace, with the fire consuming the wood I feed it, I try to sooth my throbbing heart. I desire to comfort my past, by lying to my younger self; I’d tell her that everything will be fine, though I know it won’t. I would tell her that wounds will heal, while I’ve learned that they just grow faint; they remain ever present, thorn open when a single sound or smell touches it. I would ask the future a thousand question, at least I thought I would. Yet as I hold my fountain pen ready to write them down, they seem to blur together – incoherent and fading.
When I was younger, I’d pace across the schoolyard. I kept my head down, counting the steps I’d take. Teachers used to ask me what was wrong, why I wouldn’t play with the other children; but the games they played could never compare to the world of dragons and fairies I had made myself as I put one foot before the other. With every step I took a new landscape would emerge, and I made journeys across mountains and floated on clouds. My childhood was alive in the questions I asked to spirits, about how they felt when they kissed a giant; they would giggle and remark that sometimes love was most unlikely, yet all the more deep. Everyone else’s reality of soccer and games were a dream to me, the lessons of teachers seemed like a strange whisper that dared intrude upon the world that had become a shield before me; it comforted me, taught me, loved me…
I want to ask my future self if perhaps I will have retraced the breadcrumbs back to where I grew up; I want to ask whether the spirits would still softly kiss the gentle giants on their lips… Whether the air was still alive with strange music…
I write poetry, not because I want to, or need to; I write poetry because somewhere a softhearted spirit is asking herself where this young girl is that used to ask her silly questions. I write poetry because an unlikely love is all I want to hope for…
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