love

You have to train a heart to open up

Painting by Hanna Jaeun

Painting by Hanna Jaeun

People don’t walk around the world open for love.

Sometimes they come to us stiff as a pair of raw denim jeans that we have to wear in till they soften up and start to fit us. Let Tanvi tell you about the difference two years can make:

I remember the boy from two years ago
He was tousled hair and funny bones
And awkward limbs
That didn’t know how not to
Build walls and burn bridges
He was goosebumps and three inch cuts
On pulsing veins hidden
Behind woolen shirts in hot summers
No one told him how not to
Shut his heart with eyes wide open

I remember the boy from two years ago
And the way his hands trembled
Even as his back stiffened
And his heart faltered and stumbled
Like a child learning how to walk
As I touched him, I felt his fire
And I leaned in
Instinctively
Like a moth takes to candles
Like a wave cresting helplessly
Against a shingled beach

I remember the boy from two years ago
And how his breath dragged like a corpse over cobblestones
When I wound my arms
Cat like, through his
Sixty seconds later, the first brick fell out
Then the wall crumbled whole
Quite at once

I remember the boy from two years ago
And he is still tousled hair and funny bones
And awkward limbs
But now he closes his eyes
And keeps his heart wide open
Because he understands
That falling apart, when done right
Can even make ruins feel like home
So now we come undone
Stitch by stitch, together

Tanvi Deshmukh is a nineteen year old woman from Pune, India, with an affinity for words and books, cats and coffee,Nepalese food and hippie music, and the color green. Currently pursuing her undergraduate degree in English, she loves poetry, volunteers at an NGO and plays the keyboard in her free time. Along with devouring books of all kinds, unless of course, she’s in the middle of heated discussions on feminism, patriarchy, gay rights, or what to name the neighbour’s new dog.