Photo: Jessica Xiong

shivering

stumbling down the bleak, blind tunnel

no welcoming blue eye at the mouth, 

only endless desperation for an end. 

 

my hand lost even its shadow

when i stare mindlessly 

forward?

legs malleable,

whistling a hollow tune; there is no end.

 

i sit down.

 

a ghost of a person—you,

lingering beside me, 

rustling through your pockets, 

lighting a match. 

 

i look to see a soft dark, 

wisps of golden strings dancing from your hand,

the light almost stung my eyes. 

the glow is weak, but forgiving.

it may not be a flashlight that could show me the end,

but it is enough for me to stand back up.

 

and so, you give me a box of matches, 

guiding my hand with yours to show me how to strike one,

teaching me warmth,

staying to hear my mundane stories of the dark,

laughing because you are not afraid of the dark.

 

but just like the flame of the match you lit,

it was only temporary,

the match became nothing more than flutters of black,

camouflaging in the front of me, like my hand

 

like you. 

 

i finally learned how to light a match myself,

and when i turn to show you?

you blended in well with the dark.