This Sorry Cycle

by Andria Wu

The Q train rattled, hurtled through the inky night outside
with its passengers, their minds all tangled in cyberspace, their eyes locked
to the glowing screens of their iPods, iPhones, their iWhat-Have-Yous.
In the dark we laid quietly, chests rising and falling together,
fingers laced between us, empty pizza boxes littering the floor
and blankets twisted around our legs.
I would have stayed until forever,
lying with you on that lumpy mattress with its frame broken
and discarded in the least obtrusive corner of our crumbling flat.

By the light of the moon, I traced circles against your skin,
counted the freckles across your cheeks, and kissed them all, one by one,
as you laughed and hugged me to you, fingers resting in my hair
as you said something about bad dye jobs and I interrupted Shut up, you love it.
How we lay in a warm silence, it strains me to remember,
when, in the later, bitter days, we screamed, cried,
clawed at the air, at each other, pantomimed strangulation, threw glass against the walls.
Raw lust and a hungry need –that’s all we are, all we ever were
-empty pockets and pent-up fury at the world –at each other.

After all those hazy midnights and two AMs, I huddle in the bathroom,
skin pressed against the cold, unclean tile floor,
as goosebumps thrive on my bare shoulders and I hug the toilet,
tongue heavy, breath sour, listening to the morning sounds
your sleepy groans in the next room, the early risers of the city:
the dog-walkers, joggers, job-goers. In the distance: the racket of a train,
making its morning round through –past the ‘hood—
I close my eyes, try to contain the splitting ache against my skull,
the one just behind my eyes, ever present these days. I try to drown it all out.
If I loved you, and you loved me, I would have stayed,
would’ve kept grasping straws, stubbornly refusing to give up what I wanted
to be mine.

The fat birds on the telephone wires caw into the sky and you moan,
collecting the will to pull yourself to your feet, to begin our cycle again.
My knees shake, bang against each other as I rise, my arms heavy at my sides.
If I ever loved you –oh, but I did, I did—
Still do, when I try.
And did you ever love me? Well.
I hope you did, oh, how I wish you did,
just once.

Our glasses lie cracked, side by side on the ground beside our bed.
The morning comes into focus; you’re curled, your back to me, vertebrae jutting out
against the pale expanse of your back.
Idly, I wonder, as I stagger away, how many nights will it be—
the room wriggles before my eyes; I rest my forehead against the door—

How long must the silence be, before you realize that I won’t be crawling back,
broken and high out of my mind and sniveling and Nothing.
Where –what will I be?
A part of me screams at the rundown building
fading from view as the Q train hurtles past:
If you ever did love me, don’t let me disappear.

Andi Wu is an Asian-American high school student with the intention of studying computer science and graphic design in college. They have always enjoyed writing, however, and will continue to scribble out stories and poems regardless of what the future holds.

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