The Price of Love

i. The Price

She obeys my every word.

I thought the potion would make her stay close to me. Instead she became my wishbone, forgetting all of her earthly and celestial wants. She reduced in size, smell and prowess and became a person with simple questions and futile remarks.

  The advertisement did not say that it would change the essence of a person- it only guaranteed romantic love. All the reviews spoke highly of the moderate results that strayed far from the grotesque horror movies that filled our screens in the early days.

Loving Aphrodite guaranteed the mutuality and respect of a loyal partner, or a devoting wife. I was guaranteed the love of my life but instead I got a happy helper. The difference is slight, and would go unnoticed if she had not been a kaleidoscope of perceptions that challenged everyone she met. In every blink and breath she explored landscapes of emotion and waved them to you with hugs and poetic conversation. She was in love with life itself and it was mesmerising. A soul dedicated to helping you breath as fully and deeply, as you desired. She was as helpful as she was infuriating.

I miss feeling infuriated.

She could make you feel comfortable in an instant as she peered into your heart and asked you tender questions of darkening truths. She was a miracle- completely oblivious of her pearly whites whipping all beings into submission. 

     Thirty minutes after drinking the potion, she disappeared- her warm touch fading into icy droplets of doting affection. Her brown eyes, that glittered in the sun and blazed light in the darkness, now held the same liveliness of autumn leaves rusting in the rain. Sullied, squished and flattened into allegiance and order.

Her new thoughts took on understandable shapes that cuddled my ego and appeared jubilant whenever I was close. When alone, she would sit still, her eyes glazed over, her expression blank. She now moves in accordance to others rather than her own serendipity becoming. She was stuck in space moving in thrusts and grunts rather than twirls and embraces. I miss the days when she was within the inner realms of every space she entered and every person she gave herself too. She was unforgettable.

She was infectious.

I contacted Loving Aphrodite Corp to explain the unusual side affect and the dispassionate operator declared “our potion grants romantic love with steady safe hands and any irregularity to this, is the result of the host rather than Loving Aphrodite Corp. If nothing changes please do not contact us again.

She is human now. She always spoke of the spirits and energies that lived in everything and carried her through life and creation. I now know she was being sincere.

   I reduced her to the size of my imagination. I realised too late, that she dreamt of infinite space and believed herself to be in accordance with the eternal and I believed that too but I still had wants and needs that were entirely human and temporal. She was a time-travelling divinity engrossed in human time and perception, investigating human wants and needs as she learnt how to understand her own.

I killed her. I wanted her too much. I no longer look into her eyes, too scared to appreciate what I sacrificed on the alter of loneliness.

   The pandemic of early 2020 made every singleton search for ‘the one’ to snuggle with. A warm body to stay beside and love, when I suggested our coupling she simply laughed and told me that’s she married the wind at the tender age of 18. 

     In the early years of the virus, we all thought that the vaccine would come in time to save us from the bad marriages we had seen growing up. After 5 years of social- distancing, the majority of us arrived at wanting that special someone.

Loving Aphrodite was not my first option and it did not suit my moral compass but we were no longer in the early days . Desperate times calls for desperate measures. Loving Aphrodite guaranteed a safe and secure potion for deep love.

I wanted her to love me. The potion made her love me. On some days I didn’t see the difference in her prior self but when I saw her alone I felt disgusted by my action. When together, I felt her kisses and tender strokes along my skin and the illusion felt as good as heaven itself. 

   Such fears were discussed on the news when the potion first got released. They had philosophers and poets on every night declaring that such a potion was impossible. They argued that love could not be bought or invented- it was existence itself- the product of the universe and its inherit beauty.  Loving Aphrodite and its shareholders disagreed, promising no foul play only science. They quickly made their pig Latin- consumable and efficient with diagrams and quizzes that placed you into 7 uniquely diverse categories of love.  Making it simple for everyone.

   One night when we were drunk and high with friends, I suggested that we all do the true love compatibility quiz. We all laughed, sceptical of the world’s madness and it’s affordable venom. She would never have done it without social pressure.  I pounced on the opportunity to see us beside one another, as our friends giggled at our cuteness. I got love type no.3 and she had love type no.5, which was not out of ordinary and not a bad match but my neighbour Jean was love type no.5 and thus we all joked about their upcoming nuptials and Jeans chances of taming the love of my life.

I did not let this deter me, as it was sufficient to have the same love type but not necessary. We instead had common interests and a familial past. We had been friends for 7 years so it was not kidnapping or abuse but rather unrequited love remedied. I make sure to clarify this distinction to both Jean and my cat. Both look on disapprovingly; missing the erupting spirit of love that once filled our eyes and hearts.  

ii. The Love

I bought the potion online for £79.89, without delivery. Although the world was a shadow of our chaotic and noisy past, companies still found ways to allure consumers into buying sparkly dresses and other novelty items.

 I invited her for lunch- 3 days before her scheduled departure. Travel was restricted and her vagabond lifestyle no longer suited her. She was getting older and wanted a home and stability away from the memories of her birth, and the ghost of forgotten lives that sauntered along our grey London metropolitan streets.

I made her favourite, a creamy cashew butternut casserole, with rosemary potatoes and beetroot salad. Desert was a lemon cream cake-doughnut served with caramel ice cream. Her kryptonite. Her moans filled the house in groans, growls and howls that made me want to touch her sooner rather than later. I placed the potion in her favourite tea, coincidently made of lavender, rose and camomile a mixture called love. I always kept a box ready for her arrival, so I could say.

“ You want love, beautiful.”

She would lift her shoulder slightly, her waist length locs shimmering into a melodic sound that carried her voice like a chorus.  She would saunter towards me, her dark skin seducing shadow and light simultaneously, until she pounced behind me like a leopard in heat and coyly replied

“Of course, why do you think I am here beautiful?”

I added the mixture and anxiously listened to her as she told me about her new life, the one that did not involve me and never would. She was doing well, considering the world was coming to an end and the majority of professions had become automated.

This new technological revolution only matters to those who believe in the established system and made their life in accordance to futile rules inherited rather than invented. So many of us have found ways of supporting and funding each other rather than looking to the crumbling structures of the past” She was bashfully provocative making her life according to her own rules and thus her livelihood was safe as long as she had smiling persons around her and a cup of tea at hand. She was not a cheerful juvenile but rather a “pragmatic optimist with futurist tendencies”.

  “I love sitting beside you and not speaking. It feels like home. It is not very often, I feel at home.”

Sitting beside her and falling asleep felt like the sun meeting the moon, her body was the ocean while I lived along the horizon waiting to be peered into. I wanted her nectar. I wanted to taste the sunshine of her body and I wanted to make her moan, like the slice of cake she savoured slowly. After her final bite and a good finger lick she smiled high, her dark cheeks and burning aura radiated towards my own cold, dense body. She bowed her head in appreciation and kissed me on the cheek. Her lips were tender and her tongue lightly brushed against my skin. I wanted her now.

I was ready for the next step. I declared my love for her at the half- hour point. All the blogs recommended that before the hour was up- everlasting love needed to be discussed or mentioned in order to ‘engage’ the brain, into believing that the person in front of them was the love of their life.

My brain was racing and I was skipping over words, stuttering over my letters, my tongue was so far down in my throat- that I could not pull it up when her lips met mine and she said for the first time “ You are everything, I need.” 

 I had felt these sentiments since the moment we met and now she was repeating them.

The first time she spoke those words it frightened me.

She once told me that she never wanted to need anything other than the moon, water and oxygen and here she was declaring eternal love for a temporal being like me.  

Then her  tone and voice began to muffle and she wondered around the room confused, her eyes dry of sensation and feeling. Her head twisted back and forth in furious motions of bewilderment until she roared her final whisper“ I don’t want to leave.” At this moment she fell backwards towards the floor and was unconscious for 7 days. Not moving but rapidly breathing. “No M.U.M. No M.U.M. No M.U.M. No M.U.M.” in fast haste until she woke up and never said an unsolicited poetic word, again.

Stories Uncategorized

Want to look?

What lives on your heart, wounds your soul. 

What lives on your heart, can turn to gold.

Sensitive touches from the unknown. 

Be careful, many lose their way, making mines they see as courageous play. 

I have valleys I need to attend too. I have homes I want to adorn. 

I will not return to the battlefield. 

I will not look for you. 

I will pray. 

Battlefields become palaces. 

My heart has changed. 

Enfolded on itself, once again. 

Belief dies slow. 

Soon, only the heart knows.

Photography by Daniela Florez

Characters Stories

Heartbreak Hotel

I could have cried more, for you.

Wrapped myself in butchers twine, holding my ripped pieces together with your promises and lies. An exhibition to show all the pain you caused. Although I am not of this sort, I can see, how misery loves company especially when sought with a fervor that can not be bought. 

A demonstration of love; a magic trick for the far sighted. How a belief can became a conception with a movement of the hand. I know you wondered, how I could have changed my mind. It was your response. Your certainty that it would be fine showed me, you did not know what love meant in my mind. In that moment you made our love a fad, a magic bean that you sold for rotting land.

My heart has grown accustomed to pain. As a child I learnt that love was easy to forsake and fake. I learnt that many wish to have their way and you cannot be angry if you decide to play. There are many pleasures that I learnt not to enjoy, however heartbreak is a feeling that I play with like a robust wooden toy. As I heard your voice speak the words, I felt our eternal home ripped from the roots, and thrown to dirt to grow anew on fertile earth.

I love you, with a kindness that I hold dear.  All temporal beings contain fear. We clean our walls and scrub the rot from the dusky corners, but everything comes back if we are not vigilant and free with what you want to be. Pull down the blinds and let patience rise from the floor. You will know more,  you will learn forgiveness to all you scorned. Forget your old face, it has no space in this room, you must kindly wait as time changes your darkness into bloom.

I should have cried more, when you told me what took place. Perhaps then you would have believed that I was hurt in a terrible way. I should have been angry and pulled at the doors, fury in my heart and my ego on the floor. Although this is unimaganitve, I can see what it does to those who peer and to those who hear. Years of understanding has taught me that pain usually has very little to do with the person who carries the wound. So I never blame, although my heart is never the same. This is the burden of living day by day. Of forgiving yourself for all your mistakes.

 We knew it all along. Or was your deception for you? Your fleeting heart, created a pitch that disturbed, every tune between me and you. You spoke with certainty, a warning that I was glad to see. Your promises became  secret notes I could keep, showing me the fantasy that you whipped into belief.

I cannot change, the pallet of the lights. The harshness of it on your skin, is a fairly unpleasant sight that helps me remember that fateful night. Our symphony changed to a pop song, one that allows everyone to sing along.  

You are near although I do not hold you close. I do not enter the room, where you grow, the only thing left for me, is the bleeding plants that I ignored when you entered my space.

 Your sound is muted.  Our time together is displayed on my shelf. An exhibition  that we thought would never end, turned into a seasonal delight. I wonder through the many rooms to find a home that does not include you.

Photography by N. Iroh

Characters Stories


You made me see what I could be.

How could you love me so effortlessly? 

Perhaps my flesh was meat and you could eat me like a feast. 

This is what you do to me. 

Do it to me. 

This is what I choose to say. 

I like you this way.  

Without you, I would be wondering 

What to do with what remains of my body. 

What to do with this skin, you do not want? 

You put me to the side. 

You wrap me tight. 

You make me another body, this one with the protection, regulation and sensation inside. I no longer need to hide, you are clear. You want me here. You want me close. 

I walk towards you, opening the door.

Finding infinity and nothing more.    

Characters Stories

The beginning of our long song.

This piece is called the onion song. It is a reflection on love and the peeling of layers. I will peel my layers for you. For this is the beginning of our love story and with truth comes the fear of how it will end.

My heart is breaking from the inside.

 I am a heartbreak that lives in bloom, stretching to reveal the corners of a bleeding wound. I know I will be kissing you soon. You kiss me from the inside.  Your lips keep me away from my disguise; your soul swims next to mine, but eludes me in time.

How can I be close to you?

Help me choose, the right path.

I never want to hurt you.

I never want to hurt you.

I never want to hurt you.

I never want to hurt you.

How strange. A concept that I could explain but I could not express it in the same way. I hurt myself.

How can I live with myself?

How can you live with me?

I hurt you.

I never want to hurt you.

I want you here.

Be with me.

I wonder what my smile looks like to you; does it promise you sweetness and truth? Does it make you trust me? Trust me. I want you, to see, the curse you placed on me, saved me.

My ground was harsh, dry from the inside.  I become soluble to your touch, moving into a heated rush, gently becoming love, once again. You were not only my friend; you were a lover till the very end.  A blowing wind that cleared me into open fields becoming mounds, to become hills, to become mountains, to become clouds; you made me see how I would speak aloud. You made me see, that life was beauty. I could not catch you.  You could have played with me endlessly. I wanted to catch you. I swam into chaos trying to follow you.

Purity is for the dead but you made me feel clean.  You saved me.

I hurt you.  I still I don’t understand why. I was full of lies, even when I looked into your eyes. I had hid for so long, you were a piper and I followed your song, I followed your smell but still I was a rat wondering through streets filled with filth.

I no longer have the honour of your eyes, you no longer; see me smile, my many smiles, driving you wild.  You became a ghost.  I am alone.

I will be honest next time. Tell no lies.

I will make sure I get another chance. 

Are the gods so kind? I wont let you go. I wont let you go.  Haunt me all the way home. I wont let you go.

Humans are change, contradictions in every way. I contradicted what I knew would keep me sane, your smile every morning, making me play, what a fool I was not to see, all you needed was me and all I needed was you. I wish I could have told the truth, I love you, through and through.  

One day I hope to see you.

Photography by Daniela Florez

Characters Stories Uncategorized

The knowledge of a good man

There once was a good man that valued himself on the good things he did.

This good man walked down the street, smiling, laughing, and applauding all his good deeds.

One day, the man did an untrue deed. He lied and stole money.

He did not need the money.

He did it, because he could.

From that day onwards, he saw himself as a good man that did an untrue deed.

The person who he stole from, saw him as a faithless man.

As they walked past each other, they both knew the other had seen something true.

Neither could point the finger because they knew no good would come too.

Photography by Caleb Jack

Stories Uncategorized

Soul Talk

Our death signified the beginning of our world. Our death was the birth of a new one. What does this mean? It means that sometimes you must believe and move towards the element you can not control. You move towards what scares you- I know it may be unknown and debilitating to witness but you deserve a space of change, so beautiful you learn to grasp it in new ways. 

Artwork by ASTRO

Stories Uncategorized

Simple Subtraction.

It is very simple. 1+1= 2 but what does life+ memory=

This problem had upset, the small majority of persons who could and would bother to ask this simple equation.

One day an unsuspecting girl dared to ask the unspeakable. Her dark skin gleamed in the raging light of the campfire.

Memory – Life =

Memory the child concluded was a matter of molecule. Water has memory and thus it was not a matter of form but remembrance.

The child was from a people who knew that the elements were quintessential. They were not tools but Gods in their own right.

Thus we move to life.

Life is the act of making communion with those you are called too.

An inability to do such, can equate to a life but is it a life well lived?

A person with no community or no friends is a lonely soul, I know a hermit and he is my friend although often he is often alone.

This memory equates to a beautiful intangible florescent glow in the heart when one feel lonely. Thus the child solved the simple equation by subtraction and was left with


Artwork by ASTRO

Characters Stories

 (Be Extravagant)

I wanted her. I needed her.

She saw me occasionally.

I had preferred it like that, when we first met. I liked to see her and she liked to see me and then over time, I started to need her and she started to want me. I started to want her over my breakfast, her smile spewed over my muesli or pancakes. Her smell would embrace me like coffee, rushing through my veins giving me droplets of her social fluency and her charismatic nectar.

She became sustenance for my daydreams and I adored the feeling of losing myself in her presence. She both overwhelmed me and soothed me- she was generous like that.

She enjoyed me slowly. Tenderly and patiently feeding me small spoonful’s of her being. She often felt like soft whip and I a child with no teeth. This understanding sat undisturbed between us, she was kind enough to never mention my poorly disguised desperation and I never discussed her fading presence and ‘nowhere’ moments.

She was sly and cautious around, my kind.

My kind was prone to loneliness. I was particularly prone to crippling fear and anxiety. A sensation that was similar to quicksand, each grainy molecule gluing itself steadily along each pulsing muscle. I never fought back. I sunk at the same speed as those struggling to land.

I wanted and needed connection. I wanted and needed her.  

She was not like me. 

 This is why I wanted her. I did not know much about her kind, but I had read a few books belonging my grandma and I had observed her transformation into the water and thus I believed I could bring one to land. I observed each marking and description in the book with a tender scrutiny that allowed me to dutifully serve the desires of oceanic ancient spirit. I collected 7 shells, 3 rocks, and 2 feathers and placed them in formation in the instinctual setting rather than the told ones. Grandma always said the wisdom lived in-between the words and letters were only representations of the feelings felt.  

  I waited patiently- guarding the offering with my back arched to the sky and my head tucked into the shore- my knees bruised against the rocks and my heart sat was served neatly in the middle. On the 5th day she appeared, dressed in the clothes tucked behind my feet. I took her hand and led her home. In the early days, her  fingers were always around mine.

I could see that her time-travels had wounded her in a way that curiosity was the depth of her connection to me. She despised all humans that ran towards others rather than themselves- but she understood this as the human condition and thus responded kindly to us.

This conclusion was not based on my need of her but my infatuation. It began slowly; and grew at an expediential speed. I would check her social media platforms with a regular recurrence- I would wake up every morning with her smell and long to see her face. I would check to see if she was sharing herself the world. She never was.

She existed in a timeless space which had not anchored itself on virtual connection.

I grew in desperation and began checking her friend’s social media to see if they had any pictures of her. They did. Her friends loved her- she was someone to love with eagerness. She was intelligent, passionate, deliberate, fearless in an Audre Lorde type way. She was honest and caring but somehow mysterious in the deepest depths. She was beautiful and compassionate.

She was a delicacy of a vibration that could only be born and transmitted after travelling to each port in the country- picking a luminous shell (uncracked) and returning it to the Atlantic Ocean in a basket as an offering to the gods. I did this for her, before I knew her; I had dreamt and searched for her. She was that incredible and she was not real.

No one knew this but me and everyone else who loved her. For those who met her in passing, or in short durations believed she was as permanent as trees and edible delights but I knew that she was pure imagination.

It was not that she did not exist or that she was an illusion but that she was not real. Real in the sense of Reality. Excites. Adventurers. Loosely. She was not really a person in the way we (humans) were persons she was an experimentation of a person. A person that granted space, luxury and personal prowess to all that met her. She was a being born to fade, disperse and evaporate when the time or logical conclusion had been served or met. Similar to the ocean hitting the shore, she was a movement that calmed, collided and caressed.

The timing of her eventual disappearance was a mystery to everyone, including her. She preferred it like that; since she was a returning undying spirit it made time less boring. She liked to teach the surrender to life without time and thus I always had to be ready. To love her was to know that she would go, thus she demanded your presence and present.

The best gift.   

I had hoped that she would never leave me. She had confided in me one night that only a few persons would stay with her through the duration of her time- travel on this planet. She never made any promises but she did say, she loved me.

She said this to everyone.

She meant this with everyone.

I wanted to be special and thus she would undoubtedly break my heart.

I was running from this truth but she growled into my ear, on a dark night and said, I would be okay.  It was scary to see her read my mind and comforting to know that that I would survive it.

She was a luxury in all the ways I could manifest. She would lay me down on the bed and kiss into my thigh, slow and steady- telling me each way that she could not wait to get to my centre. She would repeat this until she was at the juncture of my body and then move her tongue higher until she was biting and nibbling at my solar plexus- feeding it her energy and igniting my own.

She liked to tease me like that and I liked to be teased.

I liked her wanting of me. I liked her kisses. I loved how she loved. It was particular and it was her own.  I could never understand why she wanted and had chosen me. She was polyamorous but always said it was never the right constellation or time. She never found the right humans to indulge with- at least not in the same time lapse or same life field. It always got messy and she had gotten tired of the jealousy and the noise of unprocessed emotions.

She could be deadly sometimes.

I disliked her coldness it made me see the tiredness of her beating heart, a reminder that her time was running out. It was a reminder that she was not like me. She had other hearts, ones that were private, and hearts that were eternal and did not pump blood around her. She had hearts in other dimensions and I was stuck wearing mine on my sleeve. She wanted me like an indulgent treat.

I always felt like I needed her like the breath in my lungs.

I would try and please her, make her laugh, do funny gestures and dances that only made her feel pitiful and me regretful. She never understood why humans amused one another rather than be with one another. She would look at me and smile cheekily, reassuring me that I was beautiful without jazz hands. Such a smile reminded me of being different. She only drank water and shells while I consumed carcasses and diet coke.

She was my favourite reassurance, with her I felt special. I was like her but with a different space and light glittering along my inner surface.

I got sad when I would think of her leaving. I got sad when I saw her move away from me; I got sad because I could not blame her for moving.

Each time she came around, she would comfort me. I could see it was draining her, my need of her, was repelling and repulsing. It was venom to her blood, an oxymoron for her being- for she as not real and I was. She started to shed fur around my space, a signaller that I was hiding and piling emotions enough to make her land-like.

I could not stand this sensation, this look in her eye. The wolfish glare.

She became more lucid and came over less and less but her presence was with me- more and more.

I was still checking her social media platforms. Nothing. She was nowhere to be found, seen or captured. Her friends faded away slowly, maybe they were with her, and maybe they were smiling and laughing without me.

Her favourite place in the city was a jewellery shop dedicated to crystals and other sedimentary stones.

I would walk past everyday, hoping to see her.

I would look longingly at each stone and item of jewellery- wondering what would suit her. I would package them up and leave them at her door. A reminder that I was here and I was hers.

Looking back on it I should have given her oceanic water. Her source but rather I clamoured her with material delights that delighted my sensation but denied her presence.

One day as I was sneaking up her front stairs, she opened the door and smiled and said

“It’s you, I could have guessed but I liked the mystery.”  

I smiled

“It’s me.”

“Come in” she gestured for me to sit down and unwrap the gift.

It was a necklace made of 5 crystals- amethyst, tiger-eye, unikite, rose quartz and a moonstone placed in the centre- wrapped with colourful threads and handpicked shells.

“A delight so sweet you can eat it, so beautiful that I don’t want too, similar to you.” She giggled.

I snorted. I was nervous.

“I made it myself”

Handpicked each crystal and placed small shells collected from numerous beaches and interweaved them together. She smiled as she turned around slowly so I could place it around her neck.

My hand lingered on her shoulder and she turned around and gave me one last look that reminded me that she saw me as human, a tender, caring human. She giggled that giggle that felt ludicrously sweet while horse and deep with a maniacal slant.

 She opened her mouth and bit her lips one last time before falling into a pool of water on the floor. It cleaned my feet and washed away my need for certainty. A pool of water that placed me into a pact with infiniteness, it slowly spread into a river that flooded the whole apartment with ease. She was everywhere and everything once again.  

Other than my feet, I was dry and left holding the last piece of the puzzle- the necklace that made her real, for me.

Photography by Daniela Florez

Characters Stories

Paradise Primed in Peculiarity

You enter the room.

Darkness lives uninhibited here. The door vanishes behind you. You don’t know why you are here but you know you can’t leave until you stare at what needs to be seen. You stare into the centre of the room, a blurring light is moving towards you with rapid and voluminous movements. You stay still. The light moves no further and neither do you. You look down at your feet and meet the nothingness of space. Your legs feel like heavy planks that falter and shake along each crack on the obscured cosmic floor, each step forward feels like fractured memories on the bottom of your toes.

You feel all of the memories you have tried to forget. They remain seeping into your nails bedding themselves behind each molecule and hair. You look down once again, feeling a wetness that puddles along your ankle and you see yourself in the early days of your life. You used to sneak away from the loud voices and reaching hands into the towering trees and forests you could escape into alone- the wet summer moss was a small clouds that allowed you to feel islanded and safe. The wetness along your ankle begins to wind itself into your blood- creating collisions of new reflections you cannot deny. You look down into the cracks that are pulling at your timelines and merging you with the reflection you spent so long running away from.

A long breath, feeds itself into the room obscuring your sight- it takes you a moment to understand that it was your own exhale. You stare back into the nothingness. The feeling of peculiarity that is raining on your feet is locked into time line and dimension in which you live- you take another step forward staring anywhere but straight ahead and above.

This method, will not keep you alive for long. 

You close your eyes, scared to look at what lives inside. You try and guide yourself by sensation- there is nothing around to hurt you, only sensations that reveal you.  

The blurring light moves closer, you stutter into past memories that guide you into your carefree days. Long days with bird songs and tweeting ribbons that twirled your back into elastic streams of movement. Your body finds the melody within the sharpness and the wet centre that is your heartbeat. You hop along the mosaic floor- that is a kaleidoscope of greys and black. Your vision locked behind your eyelids allows for you to imagine where you would like to be.

Not here.

You stare at your dance partner, a reflection you have composed of your past. Made of the lies, denials and soft moments of love that you have felt. Your feet are the only things that betray you. You dance beyond the fuelling peculiarity of your toes and ankles and rest into the joy of your legs and chest.  You give yourself completely to this moment. Swallowing your breath with each dripping tear.

The light fades.

A dark oak chair appears in the furthest corner of the room. 

You change direction, as you begin to the feel the weight of the endless space around you.

You move with long strides that you hope will save you from the sensations that feel looming. Your breath deepens into grunts. You are a ball of combusting flames and you are lost in the heat of yourself. You feel the heat of the sun and the howling wind of the heat.

Your eyes are still stitched closed. Until you hear a scream, a chant, a cry for help. You see you’re the dark oak chair and moved towards it like an oasis.

The chair slowly becomes occupied.

You stare into the eyes of the only person you see. They are draped in a black cloak that swims into the space with a seamless disturbance. It is their face that lets you know that they are as foreign as you.

Their eyes are as vibrant as yellow tulips in a sea of sunshine- they draw you in like whirlpools. You stutter along the rest of their features. Their skin appears to be made up Himalayan Ivy. It winds past the dark cotton of their cloak and frames their body till their knees. Their lips are composed of blood roses that are as beautiful as Red Pine falling to dry ground. A violent speed that thumps drums and loves it way through space, shaking everything in its circumference.

You feel called forward.

You move closer.

The fractured glass under your toes smoothens into the reflection you longed for. You skip in delight, shining bright with the feeling of embodied union. You feel the sun on your back and you are swimming in the oasis of your dreams. Your imagination, has met you at the edge of their glory.

They surrounded by a garden of flowers. A Gentian Sage that floats into you eye and captures your heart like the smell of Blue Lace that is swarming your senses.

You move closer. Your skin itching to feel each petal, your breath longing to be cuddled against the green grass that is an inch away from your toes.

You are stilled by the sincerity of the moment. You feel the speed of time and slowness of your pace.

Your heart is racing.

Awe is reverential respect and it is building inside of you. You have never felt it with wonder always fear.

You feel the delicate forest growing in you.

You step closer.

You fall to the feet of the strange figure- landing in the smell of lavender and orange blossoms. You fall into the quiet heaven of your mind and thank paradise for being as scary as it is wonderful. 


Another love song.

I miss her.  She made me wonder what I could be, if I was different beast. It lasted for a while, long enough to make smile. She made me sing a song that I learnt by heart. A human song, that made me understand my bones, it felt like home- with her I was never felt alone.

I guess its all true.

I am beautiful.

I am the moon.

I am a feeling that cannot be possessed, but you can hold me close, because I want to know, what it feels like to be you. I want to feel your skin; I want to wonder along your truth.

I like to feel that I belong, but this is not true. I am alone. I am a beast, one that was born from a falling fruit.

I want to forget, where I was born, but when you told me the truth, hell came forth and paradise was no more.

I walked through the door, my shadow a memory on the floor.

HELL-=Hope Explores Love Loosely

Photography by Michelle Gutierrez

Characters Poetry Stories

Nowhere is a place inside me and Somewhere told me I was home.

I know pain. I have known it well, since I was a child. It was how I realised I was different. I mean; it is how I knew that I was a body. If we all felt this excruciating squeal of fortitude, we would speak about it. 

I am consumed.

I wonder what it would feel like, if I did not feel like this. I wonder if I could imagine being someone else. Truly leaving this world and going to a place where I am free, where I breathe effortlessly. Instead I feel like a lizard dreaming of being a butterfly finding the wind after being in a shell.

Would I find paradise or pain?

I will find a body. I will find a name.

The joke is still the same.

I will find something all the same.

Artwork by ASTRO