Ballad BY Jasmin Oya

i am in love with a hymn 

the song in his voice.

the fountain behind his lips that i drink 

from on mornings when i feel like drowning. 

i find myself running his name over my tongue 

like a comb does an afro.  

he untangles me.

my brain is trying to hold on to him.

it knows what time does to beautiful things.

we found each other like broken people do

you made my wounds feel pretty and i healed yours too. 

tell me,

what wind is this

that has gathered in my bones

whispering secrets of life through them.

what flesh is this

that when i showed you my flaws 

and asked you to bare with me

you placed your naked on my skin 

and wore my body for clothing.

what song is this 

that the my heartbeat has become a drum solo. 

what home is this

that all the people before you

were cigarette scented hotel rooms.

rotten bed sheets and 

something to gossip 

about in the morning

i used to think love was like

 a church building 

a place for everyone but me

but you were gospel enough to bring 

me to my knees at your altar.

what sermon are you

that you made me pray again

the journey to you was godless.

but praise God for the palms

yours being the sweatiest 

river my hearts ever swam in 

your arms,

 the sweetest home 

i’ve ever known.

please, don’t stop 

welcoming me.

for doesn’t love 

last til infinity twice in one lifetime.



We are standing on opposite sides of the room.

    You have gone

 in your eyes.

    i have tears in mine.

They are trying to create a 



down my cheek

    serene enough to 

convince you

     to stay a bit longer

even if it means to 

watch me rain.

We apologized for 

    everything except ourselves.

We love God too much

     to say sorry for existing.

So you turn to leave

your back ,


in the horizon.

    your skin, 

a raisin in the sun.

And from here, you look 


    my father.

You have chosen the 

        world over me 

Is this the meaning of it all?

A dare.

to fall and name my 

bruises after you 

find the 

    rhythm in your 

heartbeat and make a 

song out of it.. 

to bleed so much into 

someone that when 

you see them 

you see yourself.


Sometimes we made love

     like tomorrow wasn’t coming too. 

Other days,     I try to forget that

    I loved at all.

Every night,

    I wonder of all the lips 

you kissed after mine. 

Did you ever wonder of me.

Did your palms ever miss my palms?

your chest ever miss my cheek?

Your shoulders, 

    my lips.

Your neck, 

    my breath.

if your anatomy 

missed me at all

did it trust you 

enough to tell you?

seeing that you were the one that 

    gave its heart away

and forgot to ask for it back.

i’m so red handed from

 the heart you left 

that when we pulled 

apart it looks like

i’ve just been crucified.

and i’ve been mourning 

my death ever since.


and isn’t this love

we are old now.

closer to graves 

than we have ever been

and we have 

God to thank for that.

for this.

whatever this 

has been for 

the last fifty years of trying.

i am fingertips away from you. 

i am trying to hold onto time

and whatever I can remember of us.

I say,

the day will come when

 we will crumble to dust.

where we will close 

the last chapter of the book.

we will go wherever life goes 

when it is all over.

wnd we will go rejoicing. 

on evenings like this.

i draw the sky on your chest

to prepareyour body for 

it’s new home.

we are light years 

away from young 

and I can still smell the

rum of a drunken 

20 year old boy 

on your tongue.

you still smell 

like your worst sin

and I find myself

     loving that part 

of you the most.

i remember the nights we spent seventy-five years young

drunk pillow-talking about heaven

i promise if i reach it first 

i am prepared to paint your face on

 the pavement to make sure

 the streets are really made of gold.

and wait next to God for your arrival.

the God that we prayed to 

in the midst of the arguing.

the God that kept us together

when the storms came. 

i’ll wait right next to Him

 for when you come.

with a choir of angels singing behind us.

if love were a texture it would be his skin

if love could speak, it would only say his name

he is my favorite hymn.

to sing.

Posted on October 8, 2015 and filed under Literature.