27 january 12:43 am

by rachel

old words –

today we walked through trees, sidewalks, four-lane streets, quiet bus stops, searching for light, for a beautiful place

everything felt beautiful but not beautiful enough, the light didn’t fall just right, our faces didn’t quite catch the glow

this is fall, earth’s last cuddle against our bodies, heat escaping through the amber of the leaves before fading fast into the cold

this is fall, this is new to me – the sunset shifting earlier and earlier; daylight saving? that one stolen hour is now no longer just an adjustment in the schedule of a lover in a land far away

today we talk, we feel the foreign tones of our accents rolling back over our teeth, back over our skin, today we rejoice in the moment when we taste the flattening of a friend’s accent as we make our sojourn into fall, “this, this is what it feels like to be the minority now”


 

I feel so lucky to be here but these have also been some of my hardest months. I claim not to be homesick but I am beginning to wonder if this dull sadness latent at the back of my mind, if the constant sense that I am on the edge of a collapse, are the symptoms of a traveller too far away from home. Because how else do I explain that when he talks to me about comfort food, I tear while thinking about the taste of lotus root soup upon my tongue, its sweetness, its familiarity. It is the taste of soup against my tongue and then, suddenly, it is the memory of my mother – the ease of her cooking, her concern, even her nagging (there are things that distance has yet to romanticize).

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