Grief, in Slow Motion

at first, i look to the skies for rain. for relief to flood like a prayer, awash with the promise of rebirth. a new beginning with you firmly left in the past. you always did the leaving; this is what i’ve spent my childhood rehearsing for. this body as a forecast: clouds the colour of ash, the same way a daughter’s bones are rattled by an unexpected pang. then: a violent downpour, sickly sweet in the summer spell. enter the taste of an ache—a metallic, ferocious requiem residing on the tip of my tongue—and i buckle under the rainfall, limbs spread out like a fallen angel to receive the torrential bullets. this self-imposed punishment galvanised by a crumbling naivety: sometimes, fathers let second chances slip. here, my head is submerged in the good years, heart steeped in the bitter storm—two halves still battling for control. i don’t want to be angry anymore. just ready to be made anew. and this awakening arrives lethargic, first settling with a listless recognition: when the raindrops falter, so do i. where then, does the light begin to enter this clarified body? how can forgiveness be learned again? perhaps it comes in the stillness that follows the storm, morning dew as a presage to all the tenderness in a lighter soul. this time, no more fighting, no more cursing the skies. just this ceasefire, like the first slits of sunlight leaking through dawn. this hollow body, a home for the hurt at last. this petrichor, delicate, but aglow in my memories of you.

Natasha Lim is a psychology student from Singapore and an editor for the Interstellar Literary Review. In her spare time, she enjoys drinking copious amounts of coffee and reading books that make her cry.

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