3.78 cm per year.

by hiraeth   Feb 2, 2021

adrift | afraid

both apropos to superficially describe whatever this is –
i've sheathed my gaze, and anchored it to the red earth,
your eyes are daunting, too daunting. my mouth has forgotten
the taste of your name, much like how the original name
of bears was never uttered out of fear. and here we are,
at various ends of the world – at the end of your world
and the beginning of mine. it’s frigid. there is no sun here,
so i've casted you as both the sun and the moon, and
you respond with a singular gaze, and i become undone
at the seams i've spent the better part of a decade stitching
closed. and from the ether, you wake. you butter your toast
and slather on blackberry jam. your oolong tea is still warm
by the time you bring it to your lips, and by the time you
take your last sip – you’re already brewing with art.

therein lies the difference between us –

art is wholly intrinsic for you, natural, like morning dew
collecting on the roses that grow haphazardly in the

and as for me?

art is a game of mirrors, with bated breath, i steal
glances from the mirrors of others – i have no reflection.
pitiful, i know: i've lost my sense of self years ago.
i was once a vacated star, pulsing with death throes,
brewing a blackhole in the pit of my stomach,
churning everything but now – nothing remains.
there is no light in my domain, there is no sun here.

there are only light pillars emanating from the all
the places you’ve once inhibited, an incomplete
history of you. blinded by your light, i navigate
by the sight of canaries in a mulberry-pink sky,
little flesh-rowboats of hope adrift in the expanse.

and i'm afraid, the day will come where they moor
themselves in a place where you’re no longer on
the horizon. you're at home – your home.
you've found someone new, someone else
to love you in the exact way that i can’t.
you’ll move to the prairies and sleep under
an unadulterated sky every night, with a
heart brimming with love and peace.
and then december will come bearing
gifts and snow, blizzards and tranquility.
you’ll watch the first snow in childlike
wonder, and in matter of hours the open
plains will be buried in mass graves in a
quiet ceremony – and you’ll realize you
no longer remember my name. it’s forlorn
to you, a memory that you stop to wonder
if it even happened at all.

until then, i'm content with being
countably infinite in my yearning.


we'll waltz until our paths diverge,
it will be a subtle death,
pain-free, quiet.

i now know why Orpheus
turned around.


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Latest Comments

  • 2 weeks ago

    by Everlasting

    You know? It’s funny. I’ve been trying to figure out who the narrator is in this piece. I can only think that is a vampire because

    Vampires have no reflection
    Vampires are in places where there’s no sun

    I meant the entire time the narrator seems to compare this someone to both the moon and the sun. Which means, that if he sees her, he will ceases to exists so better not call her name else she may appear, on the other hand, she seems to be like the moon where he is safe to come out but I guess better not risk it.

    I search for Red Earth and a video game was the only thing that popped up in my search. A vampire name demitric maximoff also came as one of my searches.

    I just thought it was interesting. I have no idea what this poem is about. But I do like the voice. Congrats in the win.

    • 2 days ago

      by hiraeth

      You have a lovely way of thinking about things Luce. I'm not too sure myself about what the poem is about, but as for "red earth", it's in reference to a translated poem:

      "What could my mother be
      to yours? What kin is my father
      to yours anyway? And how
      Did you and I meet ever?
      But in love
      our hearts have mingled
      as red earth and pouring rain."

      as translated by A.K. Ramanujan.

      Thank you all!

  • 2 weeks ago

    by Mr. Darcy

    Congratulations, I can't believe I forgot to 'like' this.

  • 3 weeks ago

    by Star

    I have to start with how genius the title is, if I'm correct it the distance at which the moon drifts away from earth. That itself is a statement. And also for some reason it feels like you haven't written something like this poem for a while. Loved the first line, its smart too!! There is so much to take from it, and so many parts that left me wandering why you chose the wording (I mean that in a good way :p).

    Like here:
    "at various ends of the world – at the end of your world
    and the beginning of mine."

    Why is it the beginning of your world and the end of theirs, and not the other way around? Is it because it's on going for you, but not them? Or is there more to it, whatever it is it just intrigues us the readers and we want to read on. It felt like he beginning of a good story, if that makes any sense.

    The wording is especially beautiful in some parts, like how you ended the first part " you’re already brewing with art". Brewing with art I dont think I've read this anywhere else, or I need to read more :p

    And then another unique part/take of mirrors, having no reflection and stealing glances from other's mirrors. Thats so powerful gave me chills. Without even mentioning pitiful, it's sad on its own.

    Vacated star; this reminded me of the story of The Little Prince. And from that to the following two parts. They felt so tied together. The little prince left his planet and flower looking for more, though he knew he'd return to where he belongs. Just like here, the places they both visited still full of ligh full of hope even though it's sad there, there's a glimpse of hope it's where you feel belong.

    Then you see reality or what you picture it, it's very hurtful and sad. But why when there's hope do you feel things are over? Though for them it's beautiful.

    There's a so much more to this piece, it's powerful and pack so many varying emotions!!

    sorry if I rambled a lot :p

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