I haven’t learnt much
never had a brain for retaining
everything fades soon enough
but I know two things:
everything crumbles if you look at it for too long
and we were never meant for here,
these intertwined hands were never meant for anything more than desperate clutching.
We were not designed for gentleness
either dead or storybook villains
confused and angry,
or lost and helpless.
I will say they’re not entirely wrong,
I have spent half of this life aching for more
aching for comfort
unsure where I am supposed to fit into this world
when none of the holes seem to fit me,
none made for this body that yearns more for the girl who ignores her than the boy who won’t stop speaking.
So I only grant myself the privilege of looking at you when you are looking away
afraid of what you might see if you look back
afraid I might crumble if your eyes linger too long on the pores in my skin
that’s what these queer bodies are built for;
love and tragedy,
the gentle silencing of falling in love just long enough to get comfortable before one of you is tugged away.
We are more beautiful falling apart than we are falling together.
I am sorry to god
and to all of the writers who need me dead for their art,
but when she asks if I can stay, all I can respond with is ‘yes please’,
and when she looks at me
but I always look back.
I always look back.
Words by Isabelle Richardson
Illustration by Sascha Tan