Present Tense | Teen Ink

Present Tense

November 25, 2016
By ClaireM. ELITE, Albany, New York
ClaireM. ELITE, Albany, New York
109 articles 14 photos 33 comments

There is nothing but love, and now. Nothing but places that ring out memories, memories of learning to lose, memories of us. There is nothing but heartbeat and heartache. Nothing but night sky. Nothing but the gleam of our spirits, their sheer capacity to keep opening themselves against all odds. Nothing but soft eyes and warm hands. Nothing but breathless winter snatching our oxygen and making us taste of ice and courage. Nothing but risk.

There is nothing here but ecstasy and boredom and wonder, nothing but watching her watch the moon, nothing but light. Nothing but mistakes and forgiveness, tender uncertainty. Nothing but the accepting of what is. Nothing but stars falling overhead, and us lifting our hands to catch them. Nothing but resistance, war, the ache for justice; nothing but our poetry burning these walls down, nothing but chain link fences and snow.

Nothing but creation, nothing but sunrise, nothing but nervous first kisses shared in the back of a city bus, nothing but mouths moving together. Nothing but reverence, guns, a god we don’t believe in, the children making snow angels in the park. Nothing but breathing together, laughter and bare feet. Another day, another hour. Nothing but the revolving of Earth, the splitting of cells, these fears we nurse in the darkness, the loss we have chosen to accept.

Nothing but our longing, our need, our dying, our letting go; nothing but nakedness, this human vulnerability, the trust we give to others, the thunder of our feelings, the words we cry out; nothing but our souls rising and falling and growing and moving and touching and aching and knowing and leaving and loving and becoming.

There is nothing but this.

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