Shelf Life
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Gradations of Us

i don’t believe in the “soulmate”…

…and i think we short-sell our relationships with friends and family when we conjure up a romantic, fantastical individual whose self is significant because it fits into the jagged edges of our own.


perhaps it is a simple matter of discovering that people in this world are connected by a slim but stubborn thread of grace, that snakes its way around parts of ourselves and draws us to each other in different seasons in our life.

after all, there are many me’s, and who’s to say you will always be what i need?


once upon a time it was a simple matter of following.

hushed walking in mutual acknowledgment on the balled edges of our feet.

were you in front     or was i          and

who caused who to slip and stumble off samene s  s?


after the fall

we became adventurous and went places in our minds but who cares about these trivialities

through Elysian sweetgrass prickling a conscience teetering on white picket fence tops – things left behind.

what explorers,                                                                                                                       you and i.


ambition sent us night trains that bypass reality in favour of the deliciously purpled mysterious something to be wanted and never known.

too eager to stay hidden we preferred the sheer power of element in element coarsing through tiny fibre wires shocked into the brain.

we went and we wanted and we knew not now never to know.


oh all know the things to be seen. except foresight costs money and we were just kids so we

pooled for sharing but things never work our way.

so i was left with a squint and a longing for tunnel-like landscaped dreams.

did i decide then that dark-ringed eyes were an indication of wisdom?


i tried to give you one.

i really only had your best interests in mind and still it came down to this:

taped to the benches by knew unknowing words examining compromised mobility in a tingling foreboding or maybe it was just the painkillers kicking in since

there was no other way to look because the mirrors were too clean.


if only.

just beyond reach.


i tried it for myself.


and you and your umbrella always waiting for a step or a heavier raindrop to tilt the world in your favour but we were both too busy looking at the wrong things.

did i ever tell you about the girl who loved element in element shock waves to the skin?


no, you say,

as we lie in the middle of an island stream and the memories hurtle back in.

except now we are older, wiser and more prone to soaking – kisses i say.

kisses on the skin.

we will brown and crack as the warmth seeps into the dusty hollows within
imprinting mapped lines of old frolics in green
as they snake their way into charred pathways of the brain from the edges of our toes and
bypassing the thin
remembrance of pain-less-seam in bone-more-redeemed.

glimmering in the light; these threads

marking gradations of us.

the many.


*all images created by Jimmy  幾米,  an artist who has changed my life forever.*


  1. Beautiful as always! Your way with words has something so fluid, alive, and connecting about it. 🙂


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