February Poetry Winner

The Astral Highway – Iona Ayachi, Stirling, Scotland

We have not exchanged words in several weeks
Your voice as foreign to me as the stars, we should be facing together
I wonder if you know
I am still here, lingering in this limbo
Devoid of your choices

Nobody knows of our distance
Assuming you and I remain cocooned in that blanket of nothingness
We created together
Now all we have are snapshot memories, engraved only
In the margin of my mind
You do not harbour such nostalgia
But progress with the linear inevitability of erasing us altogether
Whilst giving yourself to the man who stole your world

You are the emerald I so fervently sought
He has stored you in the fabric of his existence
Seeking you out only to place you on display
The proud jeweller keen to share his find
As it is you that we all desire

Today I searched the remains of your room
Hoping to find some trace, some inclination
That I got it all wrong
That you had not rejected the idea of me, but instead treasured notes I
sent you
Poems I had placed under your pillow, gifts I could not afford but still
Words of affection written only for me on quiet sheets of white

I found your inky words hidden in unassuming places
Letters of love directed only to him
You offer him solace in your poor apologies
No mention of me
Signing the letter, ‘I love you, always’

A pre-planned soliloquy of why you and him should be together
I laughed at your immaturity, reading lines that overflowed
With a childish ignorance to language
Immersed in the fairy tale ideal of love
You had always been impressed with my creativity
I was your link backstage, behind the velvet curtains of language
We both knew you would never seek, nor find the ulterior depth to the mundane

I re-read your words until my vision blurred
Soon I realised although uninspired by your flair
I would have given my life
To be the subject of your words drenched in infatuation

I locate a small, fading diary obscured deep in the corners of your room
Creased amongst the pages, there I find a flower
I once picked for you
Harnessed onto lined white paper, like a trapped insect
You had decorated her border with lyrics from the song we both used to
crave each day

‘I stand committed, to a love that came before you
But the fact that I adore you, is just one of my truths’

So here is your bruise coloured confession
Hidden skillfully amongst pages that all look the same
Proof that you and I were not a lucid product of my imagination
We existed in a time, in which it was just you and I
Marinating in the ecstasy we provided for each other
I run my fingers over the words that are not your own
And the flower which is now suspended here
Sealed behind the lined bars of her papered prison

I want to keep this for my own

It will only lie here to rot
Neglected by your concern in creating words of love for others
Logic directs me to leave this token of the past untouched
Fearing you would know of my invasion
So cross-legged on your floor I sit for hours
Exhaling smoke into the air just to watch it rise like dust
Refusing to part with the one thing I have craved since I met you
A sign that I was in your heart, fleetingly.

Now the days pass in which you are absent
You are always absent
I declare to friends that I no longer think of you
And that we have both moved on from a temporary insanity
You are unaware I have found another in our months apart
Do not ask me if I love this strange, hooded man now occupying my frenzied
I fear my response will reveal my intentions, in that I am with him only
to monitor your reaction
To make you see
Jealousy is a terrible roommate.

I want to place you inside a velvet box of Kohl darkness
Where you will find no reflection
Attempting to cup the light in your hands
As it beams through the small cracks
It is merely dust; it will fade like the stars
You will attempt to trace your fingers across the velveteen interior
Its smoothness will only provide a temporary relief from your suffocation

I want to place you into a thousand glass boxes
Scattered across the earth
I fear one cage will be too weak to contain your deception
I have changed my mind, the transparency would be too great a luxury
I wish for you to be in utter darkness
Where even I cannot reach you

I cannot achieve any of this
And at night, enveloped in the isolation of these walls
I still dream of you
We are driving towards both nothing and everything
Along an extended highway which seem never to end
The headlights of the car like nostrils, sniffing up the white cocaine lines
And the stars have never been so bright and full
Almost touching us
All you can do love, is gaze at this contradiction
Knowing somehow that this is indeed not reality
Smiling weakly you whisper
‘This seems to last forever’

As gold dust falls around us
Marking our arrival into this shimmering awakening
I continue towards the glazed pink horizon
Rejecting the idea of something which is endless and forever
Recognising, like all things

This moment will pass.