Waltz of Separation

Author | Sahib Chandnani

While others seek comfort in friends
in making amends and playing pretend,
I seek asylum under blankets.

I drift away to the buzzing of my erratic thoughts
so I can escape,
so I can dream.

Usually it’s the same:
a man and a woman holding hands, my parents,
inseparable except by physical confines

but in every other way a single being.
One spirit of two hearts beating in rhythm,
and aside from each other, they hold my hopes.

Surrounded by an ornate quilt,
that’s speckled by a dreamscape of shooting stars.
These wishes of mine keep them warm

and keep them together.
I always knew them that way, “together.”
But only in my dreams.

While others awaken to sunny days
to solace in a loving gaze,
I wake up to reality, which is nothing like a dream.


II
I force my eyelids together,
grasping at the remnants of my made-up world,
so I don’t have to pick up the pieces of this one,

but it never works.
So, I stare at time,
watching the ticking conductor for my cue.

Alas, when his hands fall,
I exhale a sigh of attrition
And upon the melody of my relief,

I am whisked back to my realm.
My artificial safety.
But lately, it hasn’t been the same.


III
The conductor has begun a new waltz, a new movement,
my quilt has started to unwind.
Acceptance blurs my fantasy.

I no longer look up at them, but rather I sit between them,
not by choice but by force.
And I feel them pulling away.

The conductor said it was part of the song, but my new place in the ensemble,
has given me a pulsing pain in my arms.
A fatigue I still feel too young for.

But the tempo increases and the style changes to a smooth legato,
and the resistance fades.
As I sway to the metronome.


My hands feel stronger now as my awareness crescendos,
though the quilt has long unraveled.
I don’t feel the cold anymore.

The notes, the beauty of the composition, are making sense to me now,
their harmony is fleeting.
But my melody perseveres.

I used to look up to them, until, I unknowingly forced myself upon them,
too weak, too naïve to understand.  
To let the music speak for itself.

I tried to make myself their anchor, their glue, their rhythm, their pulse,
but their piece had reached its finale.
The last scale diminished.

I could never play on their behalf, or attempt to compensate for another part,
because their duet was always for two.
I tell myself that it’s just in the music.

But the conductor has shown me,
that desire.
That love.

Is mine to believe in and not others’ to protect,
my hymn doesn’t have to end.
Just because him and her do.


IV
So now I leave them to sit alone.
Two spirits of two minds thinking out of sync
but in spite of each other, they held onto me.

So while others give in,
forsake hope and something greater to believe in,
I dream a better dream.


About the Author | Sahib Chandnani is a college freshman attending the University of Texas in Austin and is majoring in Computer Science and Plan II Honors. He began to write creatively in the fourth grade, and while he usually adheres to writing short stories and narratives, he has recently been experimenting with evocative poetry. He is also active in writing communities online that cater to young adults such as TeenInk and YoungWriterSociety. He hopes to one day share his poetry with as many people who will listen with the goal of having the same impact on their hearts that poetry has had on his.