he doesn't know how to love
but he's been trying for twenty years.
it is a cold winter night and he sits, legs hanging out the window of his third-floor apartment room. what if this is the end? what if he slips off the ledge and breaks something and they find him, cheeks flushed, body splayed as if making snow angels on the hard grounds?
he sighs, retracting his arms and legs until he is perched on the windowsill. there is no space in his small world for another dead body. it will have to wait.
the apartment is rather big and his family lives there.
a father. a sister. him.
in the slow ticking of the two clocks, like an insufferable, mocking applause from an audience of one (may it be god), he finds his animus.
it becomes the reason he wakes.
the reason he eats.
the reason he sleeps.
the reason he dreams.
the reason he loves.
he walks to the kitchen and sets aside half of the takeaway for his father when he is sober. his sister is at a friend's house, living out her childhood. he begins to clean the house. is this called love?
upon finishing he sits down to eat by himself. palms pressed against each other, he says a prayer the way he was taught to since youth. he's since forgotten the name of the god he prays to. is this called love?
at two am he checks the kitchen to find the food gone. he stands outside on the balcony and makes five wishes, one for each friend he's ever lost, a sixth one for mother. is this called love?
he goes to sleep to a silent house.
is the faint blue empty space
behind his eyelids
where he loses himself
is nothing much.
won't fix his life-
but nobody's willing to tell him.
so he goes on, trying,
in a world that's long lost hope.