shadow of another that once was

I am ambivalence.

marianna qi
* Age: 27
* Gender: Female
* Astrological Sign: Libra
* Zodiac Year: Sheep
* Occupation: hedonist

About Me
i am marianna. that is all. that is all.

Your people want to make a statue in your honor. What will it be made out of and what victory will it commemorate?
paper, for the ink.

* all things outside myself.

Favorite Movies
* the one where the boy loves the girl and she dies at the end

Favorite Music
* the song of the spheres

Favorite Books
* the one where the girl loves the boy who loves a boy

The edges smudge.

i do not need the salt of his indifference for flavour.
if i must take the sharpness of that razor – the cut of his devotion to things other than me – and slice away at the home i find in him, the sweet he offers me, the softness i pull from him, will i still find enough to cover my raw exposure?
but this is. love.

There is home in your arms, but there is hope in his eyes.

as paper-tissue to fire, fidelity blackens to smoke and nothing.
from whisper to shreds.

his voice folds concrete origami.

lonely makes you stupid
“is it so wrong to – just – want – to – feel?
even if he is impassive.
i feel enough for the both of us.”

it’s only a matter of seconds slicing back.
before she comes down in pieces.

simpler ways to cry.
For each a time there is only the pain, of having him and not. The wet of a kiss that becomes a tear in the dark, the way you felt you could absorb the soft-strong home you found in his arms, in the cotton crease of his shirt, and the warm of his scent, now sandpaper-coarse against your cheek and the assault of vinegar on your nostrils.

you must not break, but yet you take;
only what he is willing to give, which is nothing, when he is the only one who stands to receive.

she stinks of dreams
she wakes to his smile/
he’ll never love you i tell her/
she reads too much/
too much syntax, too much nuance, too much tone/
tells me his silence speaks volumes/
fuck that sister, you’re delusional [and trite]

you’ve got your marbles tripping up pedestrians.

she could be high/
the way she smiles/
i can even hear the shit she’s playing in her head/
fucking goofy bop-bop-happy-finger click thing she’s doing/
did you hear me when i said he’ll never love you?/
he spreads that smile like marmalade.

and he’s got you as stupid as jam.

I step on your masks, grind them down to talc when you are with me, but for one cemented.

random acts of comment.
paper-weight soulmate,

“feathers have more staying power”
speaks the bitterness of once

sole mate dead-weight.

He looks like you. Only softer.

that night
I wear the sweater you bought me.
The one you grip and read like braille the night you ask if i’ve ever been this close to anyone. No, i say, lying and telling the truth as i look into those eyes that never linger.
I want to say I love, I want to, but all i thrust is Like, I like you, I like you, but I feel the other pushing its way and I’m afraid of what it means for ‘us’.
I’m so close to you. I want to be closer.
I want to look into your eyes, see myself twice reflected, but i’ve lost you in your moment.
I lose you forever.

she spoke to me once of feeling bereft
She told me once that a heart could really break. That it was not something poets imagined, that it was the truest most painful thing she had ever, ever felt.
She asked me what she was to do with him, when he’d become everything and nothing to her.
I knew of what she spoke. I knew of friendly eyes and sweet sweet smiles.
She asked me, she asked God, why was he put inside her, when he was never meant to stay?

He disappears in acts. A histrionic ghost. And a wisp whispers; SHE doesn’t want me. and I? Muted it seems were my self-flagellations. the whip whispered, and he never felt the sound.

your post-it note declarations linger like yesterday’s toast and tea.
finds its nest at the bottom of a magpies hoarde.
litter me with your litanies;
i shall not want,
the bread crumbs of your fevered libido,
you’ve become disposable.

distance is close
reckless am i. to hold you to this road to anywhere. where i fill your ears and mouth. and you fill mine. with wicked wicked words of pious lust. and distance closes skin and lips to bruise from your red nouns and my liquid verbs.

My love would be true if it weren’t for him fucking around.

He kissed me.
That was the unravelling.

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I am a writer and photographer (look up my work on based in Johannesburg, South Africa. I have an MA in Creative Writing from the university currently known as Rhodes. My writing accolades include winning the 2014 Writivism Short Story Prize and the 2020 Ingrid Jonker Poetry Prize for my debut collection, Zikr.

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