I went astray the day I lost you.
On the outside, I’m physically complete.
On the inside, I’m an empty barrel of wine.
I refuse to pour myself in anybody’s glass.
I traced your footsteps into the woods;
I found nothing but nature at work.
Trees have grown, animals were born,
and I’m still adamant about finding you.
I’m still searching for you in every person
and begging them to reveal “you.”
I’m carefully tracing their faces,
hoping to find yours among their lines.
I’m beholding their eyes, trying to glimpse
the aurora I have found in your irises.
Nowhere, but in yours,
have I seen the Big Dipper constellation.
I hear your voice in every person’s uttered words.
I lie to my heart and whisper, “It’s your beloved.”
I fake your presence and tell my unconsciousness,
“Weep no more, your beloved has returned.”
I fear the day I might realize
that my quest has come to failure.
No stranger, no friend, no lover
could refill the empty barrel of wine that I am.
I return to the woods, retrace your footsteps—
what is it that we wouldn’t do for love?
If death’s the only thing that would join us together,
I’d build my sepulcher and wait for you there.
I couldn’t find you in people;
perchance, I’ll find you in the wilderness.
Everything in nature
seems to remind me of you.
Like the stars, you bring me infinite joy,
yet you’re unattainable.
I can only gaze at you from afar
or reshape myself to become your night sky.
The purpose of love is to find each other.
Join me in my quest and look for me.
Let’s bump into each other amongst the trees
and below the stars that are so much like you.
I believe in the force of gravity—come find me.
You’re not a star; I’m not a human.
I’m the Earth; you’re the Moon.
Come orbit me.
Author: Elyane Youssef
Editor: Yoli Ramazzina
Copy editor: Leah Sugerman
Social editor: Sara Kärpänen