The Unfamiliar Adulthood by Liswindio Apendicaesar

Adolescence passes swiftly through

the window of the house in the morning,

and I wake up only to find out that I have

missed the love of my life, or the joy

I once took for granted. I don’t know

what kind of future life may hold for me

while the emptiness is filling the echo

in the air I breathe in.

time picks the most blossoming flower in

my garden—orchid that my late grandmother

loved most, or perhaps jasmine that my father

has planted since I was a toddler. They wither

into hollow as if never existed. The memories

left in my head works like a mirage, I can’t be

sure if they all are real or just my wishes.

But surely the pain born of those images is real.

I ask my late grandmother if her spirit finally

rests in the garden we used to romanticize,

where the sky is layered in sapphires and

the rain slowly pours tiny starlight. She is

silent, and gently evaporates into smoke

of incense, leaving familiar scent.

I’m overwhelmed by the exigent ripeness

of age; is it just number, or something else—

something forceful—is in demand? Maybe I

should learn to archive carefree laughter of

youths in my pocket, so I can wipe against

my qualms whenever I open my eyes

welcoming the rocky road in my garden.

Bogor, December 09th 2020

Liswindio Apendicaesar is an Indonesian writer who loves poetry and short stories. He is involved in Pawon Literary Community in Indonesia and is a member of the editorial board of Pawon Literary Bulletin. In 2019 he has been invited to Bengkulu Writers Festival and South Tangerang Literary Festival. In the same year he joined Intersastra’s translator team for the Unrepressed issue. His latest poems were published in Fahmidan Journal 3rd issue.

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