The work below is by Sofia Freitas Andrade as part of our MA Creative Writers takeover.
I remain a reflection of everyone I’ve ever loved—
Searching for myself in the ocean of sore memories and fervid desires.
Looking out the window of a busy South Western Railway carriage, I am suddenly confronted by my own tired guise.
Tired barely scratches the surface.
It stares right back at me—
Its lips move but I don’t recognise them as my own—
The unfamiliarity disturbed me.
I’m not sure who I expected to see if not myself.
I mediate in this limbo; disconnected, disowned and gone.
The three-hour journey back that isn’t real—
Heavy boulders in my chest force me to sink into the patterned chairs and then once more in the blistering shower when I arrive.
Tears overstay their welcome despite vowing not to cry.
I cry every single fucking time I leave my girlfriend.
Shattered promises in a broken home that isn’t really a home.
Everything becomes so turbulent again the second I tear myself away from her and walk onto the dreaded platform.
The same overused headphones are crowned on my head and I am reminded of the abnormal lack of music I listened to over the week away.
Her presence alone renders all of my favourite songs futile.
It’s like the time I went to see My Chemical Romance in May and dedicated my chopped singing during Summertime to her.
I remember foolishly asking,
“Why did my mind go to her?”
The lyrics are, “turn my headphones up real loud. I don’t think I need them now.
Could you stop the noise?”
The song that meant nothing to me at fourteen suddenly had me kicking my feet at twenty-two.
She stops the noise.
With the smell of comfort—
Autumn candlestick wax.
Burning goop dripping onto bare skin.
Lukewarm in the folds of my flesh.
White hot chocolate syrup gentle sweetness—
Forever associated with the beverage I bought for her on that frozen night,
When the hanging street lights allowed us to embrace the night.
Caramelised daydreams and lavender longing, inhaling peace and turning blue.
I miss the golden skies and quiet midnights.
London has never felt more irrelevant.
Two decades and a couple of years of living with my vessel exposed and raw.
Numb to the loveless reality—
Without a muse.
Without a purpose.
It all felt in vain until June of this year and then—
Waking up didn’t prove to be such a conflict.
Reigniting my tortured soul with every visit.
I miss it all now and my yearning is so obvious except to the strangers in my kitchen who feed me but do not love me enough to say so.
Anyone near becomes contact-high from my happiness.
I miss her.
The caregivers who have the nerve to allow me to greatly resent their decorated and disguised rejection, framing me as the villain who asked for too much.
The criminal who craved understanding.
The one who’s angry and demanding and overbearing for crumbs and fragments of compassion and mercy and comfort and love and just one sign and it can be subtle or as obvious as spoken words and I beg on my scraped velvet knees for an intimation—
A depressed daughter who’s distant and dejected while being a secret lover whose warmth can be transcribed and carefully kept inside the draw of her bedside table in Portsmouth.
All of our love poems drafted with my aching heart bleeding onto the lined pages where I learned to write about hope for the first time in my life.