what do I hunger for?


When the moon is full, and the stars are faded by its light, I hunger for your touch — your rough, calloused fingers sliding up and down my spine, or tracing circles around the tender skin of my throat. When the rain is moving horizontally, and my body feels as ripped and torn as an old flag from the battering of the wind, I hunger for a blanket in front of the fire, or a long, deep soak in a tub. When I’ve been tossed back and forth to the point of overwhelm on a sea of powerful emotions (mine or others), I hunger for tears and a cup of tea. In the depths of winter, on days that are so cold the insides of my nose freeze when I breathe, and every person I pass on the street is a hunched and smoking dragon, I hunger for those days we spent snowbound in a cabin — stories, decadent food and curiosity keeping us warm. When I’m surrounded by concrete and glass and other hard edges, I hunger for the smoothness of well-worn rocks in water, the roundness of flower petals heavy with dew, the softness of fruit beneath its skin. On humid afternoons in the middle of summer, when my head is so swollen my brain no longer works and my body so heavy and foreign I feel like my soul has been displaced, I hunger for the photos of king penguins on ice floes that barely registered when I first saw them, but now seem like gifts from another world. When the room is noisy and full of people spitting words, trying to mark their territory as a way of facing the intense sense of scarcity that throbs in their veins, I hunger for a space where we hold each other in the light so thoroughly and with such care, that none of us hurts for long. On a moonless night, when the stars are the brightest thing in the sky, I hunger for solitude and a quiet walk with the fire of my own light.

— heidi kalyani, 2017 
from the *nothing is black and white* project: illustration created out of meditation with a single unbroken line