I am sorry it has taken me so long to recognize your voice. I have come to realize that the human heart, much to my demise, has a hard time navigating gravity: how to slant one’s body against it, how to move smoothly the dance of politics, religion, social morale. And the gravity graveyard between even cusped lovers— how to accept that, too. You must suspect I’ve been lonely to come up your interstellar doorstep, red and restless, soaked sodden with stardust only just remembered. I guess you are right: people never really have been my forte. I used to put myself on strings for a love so finite, playing both puppeteer and puppet, rationing the gravity in each glimmer of my words because god forbid I take up any more space. Well, it is a habit I still regurgitate today— only kinder. Wake up one morning after making love with my grief, reconciling in the shattered dawning of light, “It is what happened, it is only life that happened,” the red-coated gravity sitting snug between syllables, as in, Universe, my comet-teethed confidant, I do not blame you. Sometimes I point my finger at you simply because God doesn’t answer anymore, but— I do not blame you. How could I? When inside you breaks a thousand milky hearts? Silver and sugar. Death-bound as you are immortal. You pick up the dust, put it on your skin again. I trace your constellations with the hand of a lover one plane ride short. And as you burn in the deepest corners of tomorrow, someday you’ll come back full-stop to the slow curve of your shoulder and you will see— in spite of all that burning, all that collapsing— that I was singing. All those lightyears, all those galaxies ago.
I was singing.
Always and again, Yours.
Mai Pham is a non-binary Vietnamese American writer currently living in New Orleans, Louisiana. They are often seen haunting cafés with a crochet or writing project in hand. Their favorite writers are Frank O’Hara and James Baldwin.