coming home is not the same as homecoming

you taught me to drink vodka straight from the bottle

that way, there was no excuse, no respite, you said
just a lingering immediacy, a heightened awareness
of the passage of time, elevated by the pain

coursing through the oesophagus, the gut:
sublime, epoch-defining: like the first fall of childhood,

the first time you are left behind after school
or when the whole class laughs at you;

or the first heartbreak

pain is but a soul strengthening recipe, you said
with plaintive eyes on the last day of summer break  

it did make sense, and yet it did not:
because youth is rarely about that

you also taught me to use chopsticks

i kept working on it since i was told that  
it would help me become a better lover  

i must have been a terrible student since
the lessons stopped before i could even
get a hang of them bloody things

or you (bloody you)

for the love of love, i could not fathom it then

changed cities, careers, people, kept moving around
told myself it would come to me one day
whatever it was (or that meant)

last week, I relocated to our town, unseen

now it seems like the fancy twin from the big city:
looks the same, but feels all wrong

last night i went to the east asian diner where we first met

kevin morby was on the stereo, the staff and the crowd were all new;
ordered the usual: honey chicken noodles  with kimchi and black pepper sauce

later i choked up, as an unseen wave swept me up

the chopsticks slipped out as the staff kept inquiring, apologising
amidst a violent bout of coughing, i washed down my throat
with a glass of grey goose

then it hit me: i was all wrong; learnt and remembered
it all wrong; have always been

twenty hours later, i am sitting at the table in the dark
staring at the damn bottle

still waiting (for you)

for it to come to me, to be better
at love, or made aware of some
unknowable truth

while all there ever has been

is the telling absence

of pain

Written by misterrerun
All writing remains the property of the author. Don't use it for any purpose without their permission.
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