What We Call Life

A big, beautiful, frightening mess.

People you love, people you used to love,
The ones you speak to, the ones you don’t,
Skipping hearts, breaking hearts,
Laughter, tears, sighs, smiles,
Anger, melancholy, apathy, empathy,
Company, attractions like distractions,
New interests and old flames,
Sparks flying and fires dying,
Early endings, late beginnings,
First dates, first kisses and weddings,
Long conversations, fights and missed calls,
Endless chats and unopened letters,
Hellos, bad decisions and goodbyes,
The sweet emptiness after a good cry,
Churches, mosques, bars, temples,
Faith, prayers, bottles of liquor,
Cigarettes, migraines and prescriptions,
Caffeine, stale urine, toilet inscriptions,
One-year anniversaries, one-night stands,
Orgasms, real and simulated,
Airports, road trips and small towns,
Big cities, pollution and street food,
Broken dishes, cuts that need stitches,
Faded clothes, stains and creases,
Bicycles, falls, grazed knees,
Laws, ID cards and miscellaneous fees,
Sirens, police brutality, Sunday mass,
Asphalt, grass, concrete and glass,
Men, women, norms and gender roles,
Gays, transsexuals, a variety of souls,
Closets, masks, half-lived lives,
Nominal husbands, suffering wives,
Pressure, the burden of expectation,
Fear, the consequent hesitation,
Ablutions, prayer mats, stereotypes,
Hijabs, xenophobia, more stereotypes,
Prison, small windows, depression,
Choices, second chances, first impressions,
Rain, winter, sunshine in May,
Umbrellas, respite, public holidays,
Fruits, flowers, grown and plastic,
Trees, beaches, hills, the earth’s magic,
Bills, money, crime, money, bills,
Youth, gray hairs, nothing stands still,
Peace, politics, wars swept under the rug,
Hunger, violence, priests and drug lords,
Crosses, guns, pens and knives,
Books, schools, wasted lives,
Freedom, art, courage and honour,
Black, white, judgement by colour,
Wealth, corruption, the one percent,
Labour, poverty, the ninety-nine percent,
Time, hurried, but somehow still slow,
Alarms, reminders, notifications in a flow,
Waiting, impatiently, eager to move,
Or waiting, frozen, too afraid to move,
Breakfasts, lonely, dinners with friends,
Family, forgiveness, bridges we mend,
Falling often but always getting up,
Failing but never too badly to stop,
Letting go because you are done,
Sacrifice is how some battles are won,
Flawed, perfectly flawed in several ways,
Thick skin, acne and bad hair days,
Chipped nail polish and uneven teeth,
Blurry selfies and cracked screens,
The past, the present, the future,
Regrets, fears and hopes,
Hometowns, parents, mixed memories,
Responsibilities, traffic, radio melodies,
Favourite songs, favourite places,
Familiar emotions on unfamiliar faces,
Dancing, off-pitch singing, showers,
Chores, everyday heroes, no superpowers,
Motherhood, fatherhood, childhood,
The nostalgia of old neighbourhoods,
Life, not owned, just borrowed,
For today and hopefully for tomorrow.

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