last days in nanjing

bittersweet, the taste of nostalgia, and catalyzed fondness, and joyous memories
with anxiety and sadness and sense of loss

i may be here again
i may be with these people again

but i will never be in it, in this season of life again

the saddest goodbyes are the ones you don’t verbalise
goodbye streets
goodbye favourite coffee shop
and second favourite coffee shop

the anxiety about what’s to come
the loss of what is now

i know, i know
i must say goodbye, but also say hello
and i know
that nothing ever stays the same

and that which does is but an illusion of sameness
and that still water is bacteria ridden and grotty

and yet
i’m not really for the white water to rush through and propel me forward to the next thing

i want
to be babied, rocked, cooed at
in a place where everything is safe
and can’t agitate my ruffled state

i know
that i will look back on my stress and worry, and only remember the almost imperceptible silver thread of faith in everything,
in god, in myself
that things would work out just fine

that i would be cradled and carried
even as i felt i was falling and skidding

you don’t remember the pounding work of it all
you remember the view from the top, and the satisfying ache in your joints
that reassure you that you earned it

it’s never like what i imagine
it never quite measures up to what i imagine
(in technical, numerical terms)

it’s so much better
the swish of a monet watercolour compared to a paint swatch chart
a dog compared to a computerised 3D model of a dog
it’s alive and breathing
and so much more
in every dimension
than anything you could ever generate