Coming Around

A poetic reflection on our struggles with closure.

Art by Lilly Aggio.

I – From the Start

That blasted green light. How it compels me to reach for it, how it mocks me as my grasp is left unfilled.

The hands of time are in mine now. They puncture into my skin like nails, leaving pierced marks, curved voids…
but the agony is momentary. You were never lost to those hands, no no. You will come around, come right back. You will soon see that this is not some past, some five years ago, some passing chapter. This is an epic of destined mistakes, tangled in a web of heroic accidents,
to be continued.

You and I will never be over. The waters will continue to wash to the shoreline
and the coast is not out of sight.

II – To and Fro

She craved coffee
and made it every evening from leftover packets,
poorly poured, with an overshot double shot
and overflowing foam but
it was the perfect cup that granted her
the power to hover somewhere
between before and now.
Before, she made haste.
Now, she clung to the taste for as long as she could.
Before, she longed for sweetness.
Now, simply bitter would do.

Her tongue vacuumed
every stray drop up. She would not allow any of it to be
abandoned in her kitchen sink. Every smooth sip
was ultimately desperation;
Perhaps this one will finally have the answers.

The late night latte swishes to and fro,
from one side to the next in her stubborn,
trembling hands, stained with spills.
A pool of caffeine she drowned in
before she could even swim,
filled to the brim with a thickened,
now sickening froth.

This was the kind of drink that kept her up at night,
the kind that pulled her towards before,
the kind that pushed her away from now,
the kind she could not live without.

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III – We Kept Circling

When did it stop being about finding answers and about reminding each other that we were inescapable?

Though far apart, we continued to orbit, to collapse in the thoughts of those days. How our arms have been waiting for each other once more. How could we forget the way our hands let go for the last time—so certain, so sure? How could we forget how they plummeted to our sides, for the first time—so uncertain, so unsure?  Our certainties opposed one another. We told ourselves this was the end.

And yet we convinced ourselves that this was an intermission, and our final act was yet to come. We clasped onto the echoes of our departure and stored it in our hand lines.

IV – Back and Forth

He still returns to that empty concert hall
where there is no more music
but each visit meant that the silence became
normality, that the vanity of the search
had a reason that belonged only to him.
He had none of the answers, none of the symphonies,
none of the words he had been waiting to hear…

but he did feel something—
his own movement, growing
not in the struggle, the unfinished melodies,
but in the light,
in the release,
and in the final unfolding of his palms.
It was right there in the crevices,
tucked and hidden, but there,
pulsing, swirling
back and forth.

He was the conductor
the entire time.

V – Until the End

I often wonder if it could have been any different. Had I let my words turn into an irresistible chocolate, had I tightened my grip until my fingers broke off, had I only surrendered it all.

When I find myself lapsed into the memory of that day, something never fails to reel me in and back to reality. I remember these words someone once told me.

You only achieve closure when you accept you may never.

Cruel it may seem but truer, it was, than any other answer I had received. This gorgeous paradox was conceived, delivered in a single breath. It was not rotating and spinning like I had been for months on end. It was still, clear and coloured in truth.

This was how I stopped running around and how I finally began coming around. When I found closure, it was far from the end. It was a new chapter, a new five years ahead, a new future. It was the first of countless nights of sleep. It was meeting halfway, leaving without that desire to turn around. It was rediscovering my body, mind and spirit all at once. It was the beginning, ending, ending, beginning and every other opening and closing possible. It was realising that I no longer needed to run, that I could stand in the centre and let those concentric circles revolve around me. It was learning to venture into the unknown, and embrace my greater fear—of the unknowable. The answer was the question, the silence was the symphony.

IV – Onwards and Upwards

Right in his hands was what he was searching for,
what he yearned for,
what he had all along. The weight of a promise

that only he could keep and hold.

III – They Kept Moving

Together, they decided to make their own universe.

II – Coming and Going

She inspected the basket for a moment
before dumping the remaining espresso.
There was now room for her to prop up
a whole line of chamomile tea bags.

I – To the Start

I mustered up all the courage I had and walked away.

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