Light from far away

Djiha Stey Aishkamanarandan, I’m not sure what’s wrong with me tonight. It feels like someone has been digging at my chest with a shovel. It might be a remnant of the way I used to feel this week, every year for a decade. That should all be gone now though.

We went swimming one night a year ago, but I didn’t remember it until recently. We sat by the lake to undress, and every few minutes the floating moon would shatter as a girl swam to the surface, fingers bleeding from gripping the rocks. We patted the virgin grass down to find rocks of our own, then dove down. It was lighter at the bottom of the lake then it had been on the surface. The infinite loop of moonlight trapped between a thousand mirrors. It hurt to hold the rock and I was scared I would write the wrong name. It wasn’t until I was back in the night –lying on the grass, gasping like a wound– that I wondered how I could last so long without breathing. When I got home I saw that the blood from my hands had gotten all over my clothes.

When you wake up, do you still have the scars you earned in your dreams? Every morning I stand in the bathroom and count them in the mirror.