On Sunlight and Tomatoes
The winter sun is forgiving today,
and you are julienning the tomatoes in the kitchen.
There is something in the air this evening,
and it is worth singing about.
In the sunlight spilling across the cutting board,
your hands seem forgiven.
I sneak up behind you, my hands around your waist,
and kiss the back of your neck.
You are still here.
You are still here.
This is us making love.
This is us slow dancing.
I wish we never run out of tomatoes.
we never run out of this sunlight.
On Cigarettes and Our Worn-Down Apartment
In the dream where you're leaving for Italy, you met me before leaving for Italy. We met after four years and you told me you'd miss me. You told me you finally learnt how to make the perfect pasta, and how to play the guitar. You were going to shoot a film there, the indie flick kind.
I remember you hating film school.
I remember you making me watch every A24 film you could find and complaining about it.
You once compulsively bought Mezzanines after I read you the Mountain Dew poem I liked so much.
You gave it to me as a gift three months later.
I read this story about the Embankment Tube Station in London recently, and all I wanted to do was tell you about it.
Do you still like Bon Iver?
Do you still get toothpaste stains on your t-shirt?
The last New Year's that we spent together, we kissed at the hour mark. You were wearing your white shirt and your hands had never looked prettier. New Years Kiss by Bent Denim was on and we tried to slow dance in our worn-down apartment, but neither of us knew how to dance and neither of us cared.
I remember your scent like a haunting. I remember my hands inside your shirt.
I remember your taste in my mouth.
We fucked with the lights on until we were too tired, and in the morning you got us gas station coffee
and the newspaper, and we read the charlie brown comic strips together.
I wish you never moved out.
Do you think it'd be any different? Do you think we'd still be on the run, staying in motels and smoking cheap cigarettes?
I'm glad you have the movie. I'm glad you're onto better things. You deserve these things. You deserve happiness. I never finished writing that book by the way. The transcript is still on our bedside table and I think I might stop writing for a while.
You once asked me why I liked Euripides so much. His plays always made you sad and they never ended the way you expected them to. I never answered you then but I'll answer you now. I think his writing is true. Everyone wants a simple story where the hero swoops in out of nowhere and saves the day and gets the girl.
The hero always gets the girl.
But something generic is overbearing. It's too much to ask for. Euripides knows this. He turns a grieving mother into a dog, and the greatest Greek hero into a family killer and all you can think about is how all of this could happen, how this version of things is more faithful.
If things were generic, we'd all be happy.
If things were generic, I would send you this piece.
It was August, it was autumn.
I was eating pasta and you were playing with my hair.
The leaves were falling out of the sky and everything was singing.
You said you liked my hair long and I told you how I wish you held my hands more.
I put on Cherry Wine and challenged you to an
arm wrestling match,
which I pretended to lose at
You said you liked the word toothpaste-kisses and
then we went out into the yard
and shared a tangerine.
You were very beautiful.
I remember us,
so helpless in love.
How the world was infinite
and our bodies
we needed to breach.
became a hobby,
oh your scent
the heat in my bones,
the haunting in my body.
Jerin Tom is 19 and describes himself as both insufferable and cute. He is currently pursuing a B.Tech degree. He attributes his frequent writing to this field of study and aims to capture everyday moments and discuss understated topics.
Jerin has a fondness for cats.