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Nocturnal Journal #8
Fiction & Poetry Newsletter by Ecem Yucel
A Different Universe
In the dark, I lie still.
Dwelling under the cover of the night,
the mystery of your riddle
Each night, the bonfire burning in me
is smothered to a dim, idle candle,
inside me, every nook and cranny
is shadowed, and I tremble.
Then, like a miracle
one never really wishes to witness,
the sun reaches down
to stroke my temple playfully:
for the rest of the day,
the dark spell will be broken,
like a curse you come across
in a Grimm fairy tale.
I force myself out of the bed.
To look out listlessly,
I drag my reluctant being to the window
I can watch
after swallowing my daily dose
of a teaspoon full of melancholy.
It sears down my throat,
heartburn arises wave after wave,
yet, only then, I dare to imagine
with the sour, acidic taste in my mouth
that there is a different universe out there
from the one we live in,
a different universe that harbors
one unique galaxy
whose stars I long to align,
where everything is not about you
On the off chance of meeting you again someday
On the off chance of meeting you again someday, maybe in a restaurant, sitting at the tables next to each other, or in a street where the crowd would push us toward each other and make our shoulders brush, I wonder what we would do. Would we say hi, smile, and hug awkwardly? Would we grab a coffee together, and talk about the past, soaking our heads under the rain of nostalgia? Would you tell me how much you loved me and still haven’t forgotten me? That when you feel low and alone, you’d still think of my face? Would I dare to tell you the same, that I miss you often, still compare every other man to you?
Even if we get all these things off our chests, nothing would change; and the moment I tell you the meaninglessness of our struggles, I can imagine how our dialogue would unfold.
Wouldn’t a fish struggle the moment it is deprived of water? you’d ask.
It wouldn’t if it knew it was going to die anyway, I’d answer. So, it can face death with dignity.
Yet, you’d say, it can find its way back to the water if it keeps struggling.
Not if the body of water it came from has already dried up, I’d counter.
And you’d start pouting instead of an answer. You wouldn’t want to talk more.
Maybe we’re the cursed parts of each other’s lives. A brand on each other’s back, symbolizing the life-long slavery. How would it turn out if we… being the question that never goes out of our minds, though we know how it’d turn out if we… It would be a disaster. In the end, we’d hate each other. Though we’d still ignore what we’ve always known at some level and keep our eyes on the shiny, nice side of the medallion because we’d think (not know for sure, just hopelessly hope for it) even when we hate each other, we’d still be in love.
Maybe we’re the dark parts of each other, inviting the other to sin.
On the off chance of meeting you again someday, I know I’d find out that your voice is still the one I remember in my dreams. Your smile would be the same one that makes my heart skip a beat, and I’d be delighted to see how you still tremble at that first moment your eyes fall on me. And even if I’d see a much different man when I looked at you from afar, you’d turn into the one I had loved once when I stood right in front of you.
We are like the different parts of a kitchen appliance, which were taken apart and boxed away years ago, but still would work doggedly the moment they are put together.
On the off chance of meeting you again someday, I have no idea what I’d really do. I’d probably pretend like I didn’t see you as a defensive reflex. It’s a big advantage that my face doesn’t turn red in these kinds of situations.
I’d ignore you because I wouldn’t want to know what you’d say or how you’d behave. What if you turn out totally different from the version of you I keep in my mind? What if even the smallest trait of yours makes me find you off-putting? What if you shatter that beautiful image I’ve carried in me for years?
But the most frightening one is, what if you act exactly how I’ve imagined? What if you are the man I wanted to love all this time? What if I’ve wasted all these years just because I was afraid to tell you that I loved you?
You always fill me with a desire to push a knife into my heart to repress the pain of missing you.
You and I, we shape a circle, without a beginning nor an end. We keep turning and turning, always the same.
Forever prisoners in love.
Thanks for reading! If you’d like to read more poetry from me, please check out my new poetry book ‘The Anguish of an Oyster’ here.
You can also check my website for more information.