Saradha Koirala

Tag: metaphor

Balance

The last time we were strangers was on the roof of a party / you’d climbed higher to photograph bands playing at one end / view of whatever suburb we were in / I’d lost my sense of direction long ago

I pictured a fall, but you reassured me / only on your second drink and I guess I’ve always liked that about you / always only on your second drink / always just that little bit higher / even when the rest of us are on top of a roof

I was dancing solo to Paul Simon’s Graceland / not my favourite track on that album, but a definite favourite album / a link to my past in a place still so new / I was only a little self-conscious at that point

you introduced yourself and I felt this kind of safety, like, my situation was difficult then – disappointed in the man I’d moved here for                    struggling

to fit in –

but there would be people to know and to meet, I mean, if the roof collapsed out from under us…

I’d be okay, you know?

and with that clumsy realisation, clunky metaphor

my awkwardness around you was born

it’s hard for me not to look back searching for signs / even though I’m coming to understand there is no fate, no destiny, just good old-fashioned cause and effect / although that in itself can get pretty metaphysical

like the retroactive significance of you being / the first person I bumped into in the city. As in / my first ‘bumping into someone I know in the city’ experience / I was counting things in firsts / until they recurred

less mystical, more meaningful the moment you brought me / all the chocolate you could find from your cupboards / sat with me under a tree / I was pale that summer and in need of your blue-eyed chatter

I ride the two right angles / between your house and mine / lights if you let me stay late, or with you / your arms wide on the bike path, because of course you don’t need to hold on / of course you’re not going to fall.

Advertisements

Yard Duty

I’m teaching again. Students smile at me and say hi as we pass in the corridor. Sometimes they ask how I am. When we’re practising writing they might ask me the name of that feeling like butterflies in your stomach, but not excitement. It’s anxiety I tell them. Oh, anxiousness, they say.

On Monday and Wednesday lunchtimes I’m on yard duty. I have to shoo all the students out of the corridors and I have a walky-talky that I assume works, but have never used, except to pretend to call for back-up when someone’s trying to ask too many questions of me. I hold it near my mouth and make a fake static noise. Kkkkkk. They get the idea and move on.

Today a bird was trapped inside. There was a warm breeze and the sun was out, but that bird was obsessed with the unopenable window at the top of the stairs; wouldn’t move from the windowsill. It fluttered its wings like the butterflies in our stomachs, oblivious to the door we’d opened at the end of the empty corridor.

The Great Weight of Metaphorical Lightness

Never get so attached to a poem you forget truth that lacks lyricism – Joanna Newsom, “En Gallop.”

12744005_1050761621613372_681022737855470830_nJust as I was trying to learn that not everything in life is a metaphor, we got a new bed.

Beds are so deeply symbolic and a new bed bought together is steeped in meaning. On a more practical level, it really has changed our lives. Perhaps that sounds hyperbolic, but lives are just made up of days and nights. It really has changed our days and nights.

Sometimes I think I’m living in The Great Poem of Life where everything stands for so much more and demands to be read twice, scrutinised, figured out figuratively. Sometimes I think that sounds like an excellent place to live.

The old mattress has been dragged to the shed out back and very quickly looked like something one should not be touching, let alone relying on for the restorative properties of a good night’s sleep.

It reminded me of how the light leaves a person’s eyes when you suddenly realise you don’t love them any more. But that’s not something that’s happened to me for a while, and far too much weight to give to an old mattress that already sags with such woe and the burden of having been such a burden.