Is the year ending, or are we ending the year?
I spent most of it saying the year before was as bad as it has ever got, yet there I was.
Tongue stuck between memories everyone is tired of hearing. Skin trembling at the thought of feeling the cold the same way it felt when I touched Nanay’s dying skin. So this year, the heat never ended.
I missed the first snow and never saw the leaves crisp with time and fall to my feet. This year, I did not fall to my feet— though I talked about what it felt like a lot over the last few months. Remember?
Remember in 2017 when you threw wine glasses at the wall and fell to your feet?
Remember when you packed your whole apartment up 4 times in 2 weeks, begging yourself to leave but instead just fell to your feet?
Remember your grandmother’s hospital beside and how we all fell to our feet?
Remember when the ground grew glaciers under your boots, you had too many glasses of wine to notice, so you fell to your feet?
Remember when all the facets of your life you thought was yours aged cold and sour and turned from you? You ran to catch everything, thinking it was all yours to keep, but you tripped and fell to your feet.
Last year was not meant to walk through. You crawled cold and slow through time. And the winter it lasted and lasted and now you are still writing about all that, and it is almost January again. So is the year ending? Or do you end the year?
Sometimes time stretches for us, and movement feels like collapsing veins. And the tick tock of a second lasts longer than it takes to drink that whole bottle of wine.
But other times, the clock folds in on itself. And opens faster than you can turn your head to look back.
This year, you hiked barefoot through jungles and monkeyed up limestone rocks.
You touched rough leather skin of south east asian HillTribes and found your ancestors soft of the tips of your fingers, saying ‘hello our daughter, you have found us’
You found the best cloth to wrap your bruised knees and kept them safe with you
This year you experienced, you wrote, you published work about the most sacred love
You stood in front of hundreds of people to tell them you are here
This year you went back home, and found the sycamore tree your parents planted sometime in the 70’s. You climb up it. You wondered what the view was like from all the way up there and forget about your fear of heights. You use your fathers spine, your mothers mountain climbing legs, your sisters grips and your grandmothers time. And now, it is all closing and closing.
In November, the sycamore seeds fuzz and crisp then reach full maturation. They are picked with cold and hopeful hands and planted in barren lands because of all the space their dreams take. So you leave them there, you walk away and return when all that space is full.
Your hands are warmer now
and you forget how long it has been