Author: Salomé Emilie Streiff
I hate falling asleep, feeling the grasp of a time I can’t feel and won’t see taking me away. I thread the absence of the hours transformed into seconds. Nights are the ellipses that keep us from tomorrow and, although some are obsessed with the day after, I feel stuck in a narrative where every sentence is conjugated in the past tense. Though I fear sleeping, I loved this one night spent next to you. Feeling your breath on my neck and the soft pressure of your hand on my chest, I found myself decoding your body to find poetry between its lines. There was in the way your eyes haunted my rest a house where I could have found some rest. For a night, we had painted a home with ceilings high enough to dream of later, rooms to raise treasures and a larger bed where we could learn to count till forever. Between these walls of intimacy, we could have learnt the languages of our bodies and the song our scars murmur to each other with our eyes closed. Maybe we would have gotten married, I would have had the white dress I dreamed about as a child, and it would have been intimate enough for you to be yourself. My cousins would have walked with flowers in their hair and our dads would have made a few uncomfortable jokes. Despite everything, your gaze would have been glued to me and I would have spent the day capturing your smile. Your eyes tend to talk more than your smiles. The former are as wide as worlds can be. The latter are as discrete and rare as wonders always have been. I wanted both. On this imaginary day, I would have had in my hand the conviction that we belong to each other. But marriage wasn’t our thing. I left in the morning, leaving you alone with your hopes as I was driving home seated next to my deepest fears. For weeks, I counted the stars, wondering if you ever thought about what we could have been. Do you hate me for being too fragile to start something beautiful and new with you? Do you resent me for the way I said I was not as attached? Did you get enough time between your sleepless nights to picture us happy? Since that night, some parts of the world have changed. The oceans belong to you. The pavements are empty on the roadside. You own the colour black and the label soulmate. Marriage wasn’t our thing, but there is in my heart the trace of vows never said.