To Cami (inspired by her and a poem by W. Szymborska)

I prefer letters to numbers

I prefer paper to screens

I prefer autumn to winter and spring to summer

I prefer wind to calm and storm

I prefer sparkling eyes to soulless faces, empty places where there’s nothing left but skin without anything within

I prefer small grocery stores with vegetables from the owners’ gardens to giant halls filled to the brim with useless things

I prefer yellow morning hours for work and golden afternoons for relaxation under leaves with my feet on grass or sand

I prefer tennis courts to football fields, a net to confrontation

I prefer having my loves spread out over the world to living in a narrow space, a place not allowing distance to be perceived as safe

I prefer loving someone from a distance

I prefer understanding and relating to disapproving and excavating differences

I prefer trains

I prefer books

I prefer the sea to lakes and cliffs to mountain chains

I prefer tea to coffee, trousers to skirts

I prefer people with ideas

I prefer seagulls to dull doves

I prefer right words in the right moment

I prefer silence otherwise

I prefer the smell of earth

I prefer presence

I prefer solitude sometimes

I prefer the sound of crunchy leaves or the first steps on snow

I prefer rebellion from within

I prefer consideration

I prefer honesty in giggles and words

 

I prefer you being around but that’s something I can’t change and in mind and heart you still are

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On this occasion

I remember

walking into that cemetery

and spotting this statue

of a Jewish figure

with a bare head

the shoulders hanging down

–  as if zinc were attached  –

and eyes facing the sky

 

It was autumn

and soft light was resting on curled-up leaves on the steaming concrete

Cobbled pavements and perhaps a stall

selling flowers or waffles

 

It might have been Brussels, Amsterdam or Prague

I can’t remember

 

All I remember is the statue’s expression

that has rested upon my conscience ever since

Lights at night or To J. and M.

Remember that evening

when we saw winter approaching

 

Traces of autumn

delicately

still on the sky

 

And we were sitting cross-legged

on the courts’ cold floor

Still sweaty while the night was creeping

into our tracksuits

 

And your cigarettes

were the only lights like glowworms

after the light bright orange pastel pink over Richard Hoggart Building

had faded

 

As the days

and the leaves crumbled

and we sat there

motionless and unbelieving

that the end had approached

so soon

 

Some of us would go home over Christmas

Some would return

Others only for short stays

Who’d be gone for good?

 

The constellation would never be

as golden as that autumn

when it was flowing through our bodies

this orange light

through the leaves on branches

while we were moving fast and chasing

star-like objects

with a smiling heart

 

 

 

HSP or Intensity isn’t a given

Being highly sensitive

is a tough task

most times

 

When I was younger

I used to feel

microorganisms crawling on my skin

 

And more than that felt within

everything going and turning

in wild shapes – mostly circles

 

I used to throw up on every backseat I knew

 

While people tend to think

one’s exaggerating

You’re mostly understating

what you really feel

 

When one wishes to stop feeling at all

and escape the scene

be numb and indifferent and ignorant of aching parts

aching hearts

on public transport

 

One crumbles through relating

 

Intensity isn’t a given

But I’ll never find pleasure in pain

 

 

A room of my own

While Woolf

resounds with autumn memories

of thoughts lost on misty college lawns

Ardyn in my ears

reminds me of the valley

into which I sank

from the garden

that felt so deep

 

Alone in my room

The desk lamp illuminating

Gothic fiction

 

Leaves almost gone

Black branches talking of

December

 

When you didn’t hesitate

to leave

without saying goodbye

 

I’m so used

to being

on my own

I couldn’t imagine it

any different

anymore

 

These pastel colours

These pastel colours

Make me wanna drown

between brick houses, tiny lanes, wet streets and road signs

telling us in vain

the miles still to go

Until we grow

and let go

of the memories of places

that won’t ever be

as they were

when we used to be there

 

Cafés replaced, stores out of stock

Colours changing with the songs played on Fridays

in pubs down the road

 

When we knew it was right

to expand our senses at night

Pondering, wondering, singing, illuminating cakes with candles with stolen lighters

Knocking on doors at midnight

and talking ’bout everything that

Coubbe

if we just

Lebbe

 

When late-night shopping at Sainsbury’s

was accompanied by orange skies or

tiny drizzles under lanterns of the same shade

just more intense on

the deep blue sky

and pieces of chocolate on one’s tongue

on the way home

where the kitchen light was on

 

And the following days would mean

reading and talking and writing and moving

between golden trees

or in the single hour of sun at noon

 

While they threw frisbees

over the College Green

and voices faded in the wind

and merged with planes

and plans

 

We never made it to that flower market on a Saturday morning.