The Untouchable

Your twenty-sixth birthday went past, all the transient romances ceased, your adolescent lust turned into a hunger for a more timeless bond.

Never before you met a soul so impeccable; whimsical words born from their fingers, constant supplies of their contagious laughter radiated into the air, all the sincere goodness they touch the Earth with, their grace covered with elegance, all the exemplary qualities everyone wish to steal,

all sublimity you can barely touch. When boundaries are as high as discrepancy, bigger than numbers, stronger than faith,

all that is solely out of your reach. Even skins, even the tip of their fingers where affection is preserved for too long,

and a whole lot of other things you wish you could caress.

Are they worth the aching?

Moonlit Midnight of Men Murmuring

1:01 AM and somewhere across her room, someone is responsible for unnecessary assumptions passing into her head.

Why, of all implausible excuses she keeps fabricating by herself, this particular one turns out to be the most provoking?

Observation doesn’t seem to be of any help. She needs to ponder. Deep. Into rooms where perception and feelings are stored for long, for she has always been way too afraid to get close by.

But the answer has always been complicated and difficult, either to translate, or to appreciate.

All she knows that some things linger. And remain. And never escape.

Gentle pats on her head, awkward arms around her, the curly edges of ivory hair blown away by the afternoon breeze,

the fairest colour of skin she has ever witnessed,

all that she saw, all that she felt because.

Slight details she would rather disremember about.

Somewhere across her room, two bodies are inside each other’s, yet it doesn’t scare her. For the only freedom she owns is her own train of thoughts, as her heart is sealed with loyalty, and her body is bounded with promises.

She just believes there’s a space for her,

always. Even between the adhered surfaces of two skins against each other that night.

She’s an remedy he wouldn’t unhand.

Not now.

Stadiums Shrines

In a world where the fine line between white and black is sometimes undecipherable, there gets to be some time when everything becomes just clear and readable—in absence of the gray or blurred intervals. Spaces between your eyelids and that couple of brownish circles. Silvery dust flowing away from my face every time I breathe. Sheets of papers with your terrible handwriting on them.

Among things that are white, those are the ones I enjoy spending time to look at the most. Where truth be found, and things are absolute, with no transitions. Eyes that don’t hide lies, scattered dots showing where the atmosphere flows, and writings of non-fiction that are disguised in novels or fairy tales. Unlike snows that melt, the walls between our rooms that crack, or the back side of those photographs of your face which eventually turn to yellow.

Somewhere along the fine line, I can see the other side where things are all the contrary. Black, and unlit. Like the total eclipse of your heart before this story comes to life. Or the conservative mind of mine before our lives intersect.

In other word, the past before us.

A 7:AM of faith in expectancy revived

Expectancy is harmful, indeed. All this time we wish upon humans who were odds-on to be made from stardust, yet not shooting stars. They do not have wishbones placed under their skins, nor walking with horseshoes. Humans are just to whom our hopes and wishes drift, along with promptness of accepting that they may not grant the whole lot—they are just creatures of no good luck charms, no wish makers as well.

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Oneiric

After straight four hours of watching people wearing satins passing entrances.

/their own kind of today/

Adolescents standing on the dais wear bright sweatshirts, some with knitted vests, as well as harem pants with monochromatic chiffon shirt, all hymning twee to dreamwave if not shoegaze to lo-fi tunes with whimsical lines they have curated the list before—sometimes the bands do not mind doing Scandinavian folk for special order—and her (second) favourite person on Earth at the moment is the boyish-haired girl with xylophone. Filigrees with white to peach blossoms all over the hall, befitting the magenta-coloured flamingo installation near the doorway. Kids wearing pearly tulles to adults wearing ivory brocades surround the portico along with sous-chefs dishing up cannellonis from table to table.

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Errer

In times of yore, I used to fall for the idea of wanderlust. Stations moving behind night train window, eyes of spouses longing for immediate arrival in every corner of the airport, the smell of salty water slowly vanished within merchants’ old-fashioned perfume scent on cruises—all of them were all the kind of constancy that I kept witnessing each time. And I felt good, as well as alive. It was as if the entire humankind was within my neighbourhood and that all voyages were just routines that kept me sane. It was as if I never befriended the word “hometown,” or “settlement,” or “stay,” not even a chance to know the meaning of.

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Longship Noir

Slices of cold toast next to pairs of patterned socks, stranded in the corner of the ruffled futon. Few creased notes on the wall prompting how many weeks remained before departure. Windows opened behind untied draperies conveying waft from elsewhere. The loose end of a daybook with picturesque illustrations and few lines of children’s storybook. Empty cartons of almond milk, outmoded jumper with particular men’s odor, colourful inks from leaking pens, Dutch dictionary’s pages found in shreds, bleached trousers hung above fridge; everything was as misplaced as the summer downpour that is occurring outside. Cellphone thrown at the edge of her hammock, suddenly vibrates.

“Hello, there.”

And she just knows rainbow would betide even after cloudburst.


 

iii

Puji-puji tentang rumput yang disapa oleh kado kiriman dari langit, pipa-pipa di ujung atap rumah yang diminta bernyanyi riuh bersama anak-anak awan, rambut-rambut yang basah setelah dirangkul tanpa jeda oleh malaikat dari angkasa yang mengharap pertemuan dengan Dewi Bumi. Ruang-ruang di antara rusukku kini dihias dengan krisan dan bakung tempat kupu-kupu bermain hompimpa sehabis gilirannya kilat dan gemuruh.

Setelahnya,

diam-diam kukirim doa dan salam paling bersahaja untuk Sapardi Djoko Damono dan Cholil Mahmud yang telah berkisah tentang hujan yang sentimentil di bulan Juni dan Desember.


 

ii

Di udara kita menyaksikan salam-salam berbungkus kertas kado keemasan beterbangan—sayapnya dari gula-gula kapas yang menguar dari uap bibirmu saat mengeja gramatika tentang utopia pada turun salju sebelum subuh—menunggu disambut tangan-tangan gadis yang ruang-ruang di antara rusuknya berisi harap-harap yang kekal mengendap.

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