Home Is A Feeling, Not A Place

@brandondeebaker

when i entered college,
a senior whom i particularly fancied told me,
“Home is a feeling, not a place”
so i went about making homes out of places and people,
putting all my vulnerabilities, my recklessness, the shortness of breath and sight
on display
hoping that
they’d only help me see better
make it easier to breathe
the pain i had felt too unbearable
too ugly and scattered
to share
but gradually, i learnt
that no matter
how impulsively & instinctively
ingrained
my strive for more is,
and how far i stretch my arms,
how ideologically expansive
the numerous books & concepts make me,
how many jewels & accessories i use
to reflect the diversity i harbour within,
i would always be the same girl
with a thought in her head
and a tear in her eye,

i would only be able to sail off the shore
by letting go of parts of my
decaying domiciles,
that
they will always spell ‘safe’ & ‘strong’ & ‘stay’
but will wreck havoc by staying
wreck havoc by going,
that i must remember
that i cannot afford
the simplicity of complex neural pathways
& audacious judgments,
when my home is
a mother
who knows i’m in love before i do,
who knows
who touched me where
and for how long,
that my home

is made of 24 hours of hardship spent
sewing pieces of each other
into perfect wholes
& just one part astray
can make decay,

i crave ‘save me’ by dissolving
parts of me
into parts of him,
he tells me he’ll eventually fade away into nothingness
like the houses at the hilltop
that are the only remnants of light
in a lugubrious proliferation of darkness,
surprisingly,
he withered quicker than they did
but taught me
to let the darkness
consume me a little less
than it makes me sparkle
faster than they did,

maybe creativity and depression are first cousins,
for we must breed
enough
sadness in solitude
for collective awakening.

i remember wanting to reek of him
with the delusion of a seabed
underneath the skyline,
i remember settling for
available over preferential,
lusting to radically dismantle the marble floor
if it meant
my feet couldn’t leave their imprints upon
or sink deeper into
with each step
to lose themselves
into the sand of
your unrest driven design,

i remember wanting to rest
while rooting
for a radical revolution,
rather unreasonable,
for a different way of being;
same
same
but different.

i remember having long hair
only to lose them to the
claw of his catapulted cranium,
having hands that cupped
the skillfully seized stripes over my uneven breasts
with the caution of post-partum
and the clasp of a gnawing dog
who customarily
loses its customary docility
when told
to surrender
what was never his.

i remember
wanting to feel so weak
for him to feel strong enough.

losing my peripheries
to pulsate the sound of you.

i want you.
i want you
i want you.
i swear it wasn’t about fucking you
i just wanted to be around you.
i am not the guy who just wants your body.
oh god
i want your body.
what is this?
i don’t know.
i want to go back home.
but ain’t i home?
No.
No.
No.
I’d like to think you aren’t?

For how can you contain storms without being still?
How can you be ever changing and
promise to keep me the same?
go away.
I swear you make me feel so complete
I have nothing else left to chase,
I’d die tonight if I could,
Take me away from these cycles of
Strangers-lovers-strangers.

He tells me
we’re beyond time & space,
but how do I go back home now?
how do I know
which time-zone leads to you
and
how much space we need
to feel this close again?

i wonder if my loving home couldn’t contain me,
how will you?
you say you don’t want to contain me,
you want to hold me,
you want me to fly,
but it hurts the two of us
when I have to leave your hand
to empty the spaces between my fingers
to hold the skyline and the seabed,

why must i choose ambition or love?
why must there be enough space in my chest to want the world to hold me
tighter, faster, more often;
or why must there be so less
to want your fingerprints etched over me like
flags over flames
of forsaken forts and pervaded pussies,
& forget that the world has chipped nails
& i can choose to let them dig deep enough
to practice my pain
like the religion
i could never quite get myself to believe,

you say you’d lay still
if it makes me move.
i wonder if
moving
holding onto
love
is contemporary rebellion
in a world of
changing cities
to forgive & forget
what was never ours.

maybe ‘trivial’ and ‘mere’
are word ambulances to cut through
the irrevocable clutter of consequences
of the suffering
we caused
for meaning.
the heaviness
of the mistakes
we stopped ourselves
from making.

you tell me i feel like a safe place
but i’ve always risked everything that makes
me feel like
i’ve more breath than sweat
more love than fear.

goodbyes and tears and dramatic endings are all I have now,
you tell me you enjoyed the show,
that even if i called you for the very last time,
you wouldn’t say much,
because all you ever wanted,
was
To listen,
and
To be.

i tell you that
maybe it’s in the absence that we learn to love.
you tell me
you learned to love the moment we first spoke,
and the absence only tells you
why you loved
whom you loved.
maybe all the consequent moments
were just spent
creating
what we already were.

look here,
i can hear you like the raindrops
i never touch
for their love is too acidic for this frail body,
so we’ll meet
when
we’re less body more acid
less marble more sand.

i love you like i haven’t loved anyone until now.
i know you like the inside of my head.
but love and similarity aren’t enough
for us to continue feeling that
we’re in this together;
same
same
but different.
we were, we are, we’ll be;
distance not distant.

there are no homes for people
who learn to find stability in movement,
structures of mud and tarpaulin
stitched with the insecure vestiges of collective trauma
for you need to be married to rent land
for you must wander alone,
and structure promises
enough
perpetual perversion
for us
to not come up to the surface
when we lose the breath
that promised the next,
maybe we’ll last in the interval
between
this breath
and
the next.

maybe breathing is a delusional phenomenon,
like the idea of us.
maybe there never was an us,
not an us
that can survive reality
that’s made up of
pretenses & past tenses,
maybe there’s no us
yesterday or tomorrow,
we’ll be here for as long as we choose.

maybe choice is not a real thing,
for if we could all choose love,
why must our
brittle bones crack open their marrow
spill it onto obituaries
with the precision of a caveman looking for fossil fuel,
maybe we can only generate life
once we don’t have enough of it inside us,
maybe that’s why women bleed for
a little less than a quarter of their lives
before they can provoke
eyeballs & heartbeats,
maybe that’s why
childbirth feels like
degenerative
demolition.

because no matter
how much pain we want to live to experience
we can’t move a step
unless hydrogen and oxygen can mate perfectly
with a little more of the former
to sustain the
imperfect
idea we have of ourselves,
maybe perfect proportions are
socially sanctioned sidelines
of me needing you
more than
you need me.

maybe we aren’t as imperfect as
we think ourselves to be
and maybe we can never be as perfect as
we would like to be.

there must be a reason why love is myth,
and corpses hold each other
more faithfully
more eternally
in a pool of after-war rotten blood,
we must be less connected by blood
more by the death of a loved one.
maybe we need to die to last?
maybe we’re beyond this moment
forever.

i can look through
your savage ambition
that only continues as long as it is made to feel inadequate,
because what’s life
if not a filthy process meant to perfect
what already was?

for
if loving and leaving
start the same way
and end the same
why does the former hurt more?

you’ll be here like the clotted blood
that stiffens its own movement
when asked to leave what hurts.

you’ll be here
in the
sound of silence
we’re accustomed
to listen to
but never attend to.

you’ll be here
like the star peeping through
the tree leaves of the night sky
which could never shine the brightest
but just bright enough for us
to see the light
in each other’s eyes.

you’ll be here in mid-slumber,
lingering between life and death,
choosing none.

you’ll be here in the tree
that didn’t wait for autumn
to shed its leaves.

before and after all of this,
You’ll listen,
and
You’ll be,
with me. TC mark

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