An Error In Reading

Once, you read me a poem that we both compared to a key.
We assumed it could unlock one of the many doors we previously refused to open.
We spent a part of our lives figuring out why no door budged.
We both hoped one of them will open a new probability for us.
As we tried again and again, each month and each year,
way past what we considered forgivable,
the remainder of our lives have conceded to what it truly meant: maybe
we need a window, and not a door. Maybe the key, even after all these years, declined
to be defined by newly given wounds and resurgence of our suffering. Maybe you need
to read me the poem again and understand that, perhaps,
all this time, it has been a different key. Maybe it was intended to open a world for us,
unclasped from the pain we have given each other
to which we can only hope we have not suffered.
But I have.
Years passed; we never knew what we were supposed to open.
Except, I got it all wrong.
You read me the poem in a language I never understood.
It was never about the key.
It was about the door that opened for one of us, a long time ago.
It was about holding on with our hands open: the same hands that refused
to open that door. It was about our tongues and our mouths that abstained
from opening new wounds: wounds we always kept without a bandage.
And here we are, locked in this moment,
we will tell each other how much of this hurts, whose grief is worse,
and who will have the courage to open the door first: to empty ourselves of our lives
and nothing we could say would make us remain.

Gari Vinluan is an advertising professional. He graduated with a degree in Creative Writing and Sociology at the University of the Philippines Diliman. He is currently finishing stories for a chapbook to be released sometime this year, hopefully.

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