Can you hear me

Art by Arisha (@sitaradoodles)

“Can you hear me?” 

“Yeah, can you?”



We said those mundane statements 

All the time. 

Never really put any thought into it

After all, it was just clarification 

If we could see and hear. 



But that day was different. 

I woke up with northern downpour in my head 

The lyrics were always beautiful 

Heart-wrenchingly so

But that day I finally understood what 

“I missed your skin” meant 

I missed your skin.

So much. 

We hadn’t seen each other in a while 

All I had for company were my books.

A couple of dates too, but not with you.

Only the kind that you could break your fast with.


You always said I never shared my love with you 

I always held back.

Today I didn’t want to 

You weren’t paying attention, 

Rambling about something I can’t remember 

But I can still hear how my heart pounded 

Like it held back the oceans with every beat. 

The video quality was shitty 

Foreshadowing, maybe? 

But I still saw your outline 

And for my body, my heart, my soul, 

Deprived of your touch, how false it may have been, 

That was enough. 


“Hey I wanted to tell you something.”

“Haan, what’s up?”

“I miss your skin.”

[I smile nervously because I feel like I’m about to throw up] 

You laugh, unsure of what I meant 

I feel the voice, the one that tells me how ugly I am, 

How worthless,

How unworthy your time.

Tell me to shut up. 

To stop talking 

To cover it up.

Maybe I should have listened.


I lock that voice away and smile a bit more.

I start rambling

It makes no sense 



Chelsea Hotel.  

Room 708.







You’re still so confused, but I hope you get it 

I was right in a way. 

You did get it.

You heard that they were gay and you shut down 

It wasn’t enough. 

My love for you was tainted 

Because I said something that 





Had said.

Something that I meant.

Because I missed your gasps,

Your touch, 

Your hands running over me 

Your breathy kisses 

I missed the intimacy 

I missed your skin.

But that didn’t matter. 

It was the gay man that you focused on 

And the gay man you cared about. 


I tried again a month later, 

This time hiding my love behind asterisks

Because the voice told me that you didn’t understand 

Shouting it from the rooftops made no difference 

But maybe a secret smile 

A soft stolen kiss 

A place, a word, a phrase that only we know 

Four letters 


Maybe you’d get it.

Again, wishful thinking. 

The voice was right. 

You scoffed and raged 

It was my fault again. 

Always my fault 

Don’t forget 

Whose fault was it? 


Who was responsible? 


I should have been clearer 

We weren’t lovers that hid. 

I was to scream it from the rooftops 

But when I did, i was indulged 

Then politely rejected. 

You were allowed to hide though. 

I wasn’t worthy of it. 

I had to “prove” myself. 

I tried

I tried 

I tried so hard. 

But it wasn’t enough. 


I missed your skin.

I missed your touch. 

I look back, 

Nearly a year later, 

And a lot has changed 

For the worse 

But at least I can say,

I don’t miss you at all.



1 thought on “Can you hear me”

  1. this is so beautiful and open. i read it under this white moonlight while listening to patrick watson and ended up in tears. thank you so much for sharing this. reading this i felt brave and vulnerable. two things that i think are hard to go along but your piece made it possible for me.

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