the beady, brown eyes that looked like mirrors of a world that took your childhood, your hopes, and your dreams from you.
i could always tell if you were fighting you, inside of you, when i looked into them. you knew i could, too. whenever you didn't feel like talking about those wars, you'd look at anything else but my eyes.
we bumped heads sometimes, but it was the kind of bumping that knucklehead siblings and their bigger sister get into, the kind that made us stronger and better selves, the kind that made me love you indubitably.
you were a big soul. the room usually felt more full when you were in it. you were always learning something new and eager to share everything you just learned with whoever would listen. you loved teaching your peers, teaching younger people, and teaching those older than you. you loved to sing, and you were always down to karaoke with me if it was a song by fly leaf. the world was not big enough to hold your magnitude.
it also wasn't kind enough, safe enough, just enough, or free enough for your beauty, your power, or your magic. this is a world so painful to survive in that you left it for one that we dream exists far, far from here. one that's not only warm and inviting for us, the queer and of color, but that celebrates our hearts, adores our skin, protects our bodies, and calls us home every night.
i try to imagine you there. i imagine a glitter sky washing overhead, your skin sparkling with the innocent glee that would sometimes escape in your laughter when you were still here. i imagine halos of rainbow and gold hovering over you, far enough to avoid glare, but close enough to keep you illuminated. i imagine your brown eyes smiling, i imagine them dancing to the music of a cosmic sun beaming colors we have yet to learn and name. i imagine your face radiating with carefree joy, that famous deep grin of yours greeting a world that falls to its knees at the sight of your strength. i imagine that you are free, celebrated, adored, protected, and called home by a thousand sweet songs written just for your smile.
when the earthquake inside of me settles, the shock passes, and the emptiness that used to be filled by your existence sinks in, i'll try to knead the constellations of that glitter sky into the grooves of my memory and the notches of my bones. i'll try to press those halos of rainbow and gold into my heart. i'll try to hum the music of that cosmic sun as a reminder that there is reason to live in this world because mainly, i've just been existing, and lately, i've only continued to exist because my body has willed my lungs to keep pumping. and when i find that i wake up to the morning, that i wake up to a devastation where i may brush the ashes off but still awaken again in dust, i'll try to channel the strength that it took for you to give this world chance, after chance, after chance, after chance, to keep on trying.
soon, we'll be together again and you'll teach me the best dance moves, you'll practice a song that you love performing on stage, and we'll both laugh the clap-your-hands kind of laughter until our hearts sigh in a relief we could never have here.