Our mirrors were shattered,
And sorrow was multiplied a thousand fold.
And we gathered the splinters of sound.
Mahmoud Darwish, ‘A Lover from Palestine’.
Singing a slow-breaking soliloquy in the cold, high, quiet of abandoned cathedrals. Songs of a time before this when words were a thing that fell, spilled and bubbled in the caves between bodies. All that is: a thinning blanket of scars, a bridge to countries we created and destroyed.
A single note trembles below the layer of stone: a river rising, rising, rising and quelled. Always a fresh mourning so much like the last they blend together: a conspiracy of losses. The cloning of each and every one of our phantom pains.
I saw you earlier in a small piece of things that I carry with me now. Delicately, oh so lightly, I set you down in every house; a desecrated shrine, the blade of memory.
It is the betrayal that hollows you out. Leaves you with gaping holes the shape of a mouth trapped in the ebb of weeping. Hollows that throb and hurt and hurt and hurt so nothing else can fit there. Hollows where the space is a live, spitting thing that coils around and around eating the air.
I would tell you that I have forgotten to speak of things that make the heart cave into itself. Forgotten the language to articulate what pain feels like entering and reentering the body. I have ten words stolen and wrestled for. They fill the air with something that sounds like language but is fear in its gentlest form.
Look and see what you have made of me. What I have made of myself. What we have made of it all.
The only stories are dug under the lines. The stories that remain gasping under a thin film of water. The stories that hold together the illusion of solidity.
And it is here, in the shallows and the murmurs that we breathe our whispered pleas for forgiveness. From ourselves. For all we gave away.