Rachel Norman currently lives and studies in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. She has been published in the Falling Star Magazine.
my corner of the world in a round planet
I shouldn’t grieve over this speck of geometry
When a planet awaits-
Yet not waiting, but moving on, clinging to me;
Trapped in the pull of the earth-
Quite an unwanted embrace.
But if even man is made of dust
What denies me the right to mourn my plot of it?
More like ashes- the fire suffocated,
So no hope of a phoenix there.
The smell of smoke and dust and lung cancer-
My red thread was tied to the streetlamp,
Now blown away by winds of change.
Boreas thinks he knows best
But my spare kite was torn before he took the string.
He thought it would give me closure-
If ashes are all that is left,
Would they be the memory of a flame,
Rather than the dust that they are?
We were the soft glow of morning light, the steady beat of hooves against the ground kicking up dust that flew in your eyes, we were the brash but beautiful lights on your neighbor’s roof because she would not lose the christmas light competition to him again, we were the way you think you see the world- through a convex lens- are you in the fishbowl or peering in, nose pressed against the glass? we were the youth who did not fear time and knew that beauty and vigour and wrinkles were not mutually exclusive, we were the oatmeal your mother said was too sweet and you insisted was too bland, but sweetness can be bland too you know, and the saccharine is bitter we were the way you always glanced at us twice, the delicacy and fury of wavering flames- a tapestry of fire perhaps – we were the night and the day and most importantly, the twilight- we did not know quite what we were but we knew it was a melding, a change, we were those who aged with the years but did not grow old alongside them, we were not coppery on your tongue and ruby, nor wet and salted, no- we were air that told you spring had finally come, the broken pine needles trampled under your feet- if we were red, as you say, then we were not crimson blood, we were a scarlet letter, a new page written not in the way we speak but what it is we say! we were us because we decided that what we express is more important than the way we enunciate it, we were real when we decided that a carbon copy is great and all but paper decays over time , and why feed the fire with books and souls when we have sticks? we were not confused when they said we were palindromes because we all know that you read us backwards and declare that is what we meant in the first place, we were the scholars, the listeners, the dreamers of dreams – aptly named, and yet not, for we were those who made dreams into reality, wove the fabrics of thought into a blanket of warmth, turned empty words into a book and trampled down dust into a path, we were those who had hope that the sun would rise even when it surrendered below the horizon, we were those who knew that the cold earth could not hold the might of the fiery beacon forever, we were those who waited in the still quiet of the reawakening of the sun- and when the night was over and dawn was blossoming, it is then that we were the soft glow of morning light.