Today, March 21, is World Poetry Day. Established by UNESCO in 1999, World Poetry Day celebrates the ancient and worldwide tradition of storytelling through poems.
“Every poem is unique but each reflects the universal in human experience, the aspiration for creativity that crosses all boundaries and borders, of time as well as space, in the constant affirmation of humanity as a single family.”
– Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO
In celebration of World Poetry Day, we’re republishing a beautiful poem from ISAK student, Jaymee. This poem about love first appeared in the February edition of the student-produced magazine, Catalysm. Jaymee currently writes poetry in three different languages – English, Japanese, and her native language, Tagalog!
E T H E R I A L I T Y
I don’t remember falling in love with you,
but when I look at you,
I can’t breathe,
like someone’s tugging me too tight
and the sun’s stopped setting
and seeing tides for the first time.
I don’t remember ever falling in love,
but with you,
I feel infinitely blissful,
like biting mints in midsummer,
or feeling snow melt on your palms,
or maybe just closing your eyes.
I don’t remember loving you,
but when I feel you near,
I can’t help but
feel fluttery and on edge,
like someone’s tickling me,
and like looking down a cliff.
I forget to breathe when I’m with you,
and I feel like my lungs are collapsing,
or my body is being filled with a virus,
because I can’t get your scent
out of my memory and system,
and it’s like I’m drowning.
I lose touch with the world
when you look at me—
and when I’m with you,
I’m autumn leaves in the wind,
a field of hydrangeas in July,
and plum petals falling during spring.
I can’t remember falling in love with you,
but if I do,
I must have loved you somewhere
in between sleep and consciousness
because I’m helplessly falling forever
when you utter or smile or grin.
Your veins are filled with the galaxy,
and when I feel its pulse under my finger,
I feel the most profoundly exquisite
and simplistic form of matters,
and I could get lost in them
because I am withered leaves in the air.
You are not the human form of platinum
or gold or earthly precious things,
for you are the manifestation
of every beautiful thought
that walked and graced the earth,
and you fill me with joy and hope.
You remind me of all the good things in life,
like watching vortexes and roses and snow,
feeling faux furs; seeping skin in satin—
and I forget to breathe,
because your eyes remind me of the sky
filled with fireworks and faeries;
your hands radiate warmth, and life,
like you stole snippets of the sun,
and your heartbeat is a song,
your voice a mixtape I won’t get tired of—
the way you ceaselessly make me laugh
and feel alive from the very core of my being
is something nobody else has ever, or can.
I don’t remember when I fell in love with you,
but I love you now,
and the only thing I know—
from the bits of my soul,
is that I can never explain how.
– Jaymee, ISAK Class of 2017