Eye, u/AliIhsanSafaa, Graphite Pencils, 2020

I am the night, coaxing in quiet yet murmuring lakes
and slippery, rain-coated cobbled streets – freshly written
like a round faced moon. With the andromeda of old buildings and the arc of music jingles, on the ears, walking home from classes conducted at evening.

I am the solitary. Looping on music, watching videos, streaming into digital pools for content – ordering dinner. Alone. And, loneliness at times aches. I long for home. Yet eat quietly, happily, feel the fibres of my body humming in an astral tuning fork. Pitched to my own human rhythm and life around. An ecology of unfolded laundry, hasty boxes, scattered books, opened tabs on a browser and the falling asleep with no ritual.

Of brunch coffee and a messaging group with allies and the calls from home – studying abroad makes you tune into yourself and in that tuning you are palpable feeling your blood rise and fall with your breaths. Arriving late to class, no food intake, yet taking notes, asking questions – attempts to make friends – culture conflicts and conflicts of coyness borne by social anxieties.

Abroad. Abroad. People have different meanings and emotions.
My experience is interesting to say the least. I realise how childish
I am. How much of a child I still am. I know no hidden language of adults,
No skill of teens, just honesty – white and hot like some metal being folded.
I feel weak. Yet also strong. I can feel so much in myself. A sense of
knowing I am quite plain yet so happy in the ordinary of things. A spell of rain, a hotness of tea, sinks into me like pulsing a new organ – its rich.

Abroad. Abroad. I am amongst so many things. My skeleton knows my frame stitched into it so much muscle memory and so many new carvings. Yet I speak of two tongues, of plural meanings that find it hard to translate to language yet I try and I work out so many sounds that are borne by me. Living is constant research. Solitariness is research. Maybe it’s not Walden.
Yet islands of me and others soak me into an ocean of grades, studying
and late breakfasts with friends – I feel at home from home. The loneliness
at times taxing. Other times inspiring. One body against the world is enough.

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