At the Tropic of Cancer, red is the color born of blood, thickened by sweat and applied on lips to ignite conversations.
In the seconds of acceptance, she felt the weight of responsibility lift, one she had been carrying for years. Her shoulders alive, her breath free, her days suddenly hers.
A cacophony of drunkards wage war into the night. The fight in their veins building up for generations—crown after crown, their idols replaced by outsiders who cared not for their tomorrow.
The thing about rabbit holes is that they exist in their own neon universe, and only when one consciously traverses a landscape of doubt and uncertainty will they show themselves.
As the first child in his family’s generation, his mother had named him Prothom—or First—and only recently had he taken the weight of it on his shoulders. Names don’t make us who we are, he thought, but a part of him couldn’t escape it.
Our bodies are Churchill in the face of Hitler. We rest at Dunkirk awaiting our saviours, and we do not accept resolution that results in capitulation of our hopes.
You wake up in the morning, lips bleeding, blood on the pillow with memories of a broken goodbye. “Just get in,” she says as she tells the driver where to go. You’re a visitor in a foreign land where your only commonality with her is a newfound sense of empathy—something that’s fully unimportant to the taxi man. He drives. She walks away.
But still she hated me. I wasn’t fat, and she didn’t understand why I would like someone that was. At that age, I didn’t realize what was going on, that the knotty feeling in my gut whenever she got mad was the sign of a burgeoning love.
But between the wining and dining, between the sheets and kisses, we were left wondering—there was always a lingering distance that made us feel apart. The tendency to fall is easy, but the glue that sticks never comes at a discount.
There is an older song, one the lady at the bar sings to me when I stumble in before close. It’s a lullaby that eases me into the night, cause I’m that baby and she’s the mother who wants to make sure I get home safe.