baby panda

December 10, 2001 - Malaysia
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Drowning On Air

and who will help
when they cant see
the murky water flooding your body?

and who will understand
when you speak only
to the people you’ve known for the day?

who feels the suffocation
who endures the weight
and yet
who will feel with you?
who will endure with you?

alas, for the misery of loneliness
lies not in being alone
nor in being lonely
but the damning desire
to be safe
to be held and
to be desired

(“if nobody knows you’re alive, you aren’t.”)

loneliness does not come
in moments of solitude
no
it comes when you see a mother with her child
playing in the field
it comes when you glimpse a young couple
sharing a private joke
it comes when you pass an old couple
who still remember each other
it comes when you see a group of friends
drinking, excessively boisterous
it comes when
you least expect it
and what hurts the most
is not the loneliness
but the sudden realisation
that you’ll never…

(“I’ll never be like them.”)

the sound of your heartbeat
quiets, silences, holds its breath
unwilling to entertain
the possibility that you, too
are lovable
that this, too
shall pass

when you are lonely
you are the closest you’ll ever get
to death

(loneliness exists as a void, not a feeling)

Author's note: "If nobody knows you're alive, you aren't" is a quote from the poem This is Not The End of The World by Neil Hilborn.
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