We Were Architects of the Future
Riya M. Cyriac
My little yellow notebook
sat on my porch where I
imagined up our eggshell house,
sturdy with brick &
plastered with paper clippings from
dead newspapers. I sketched
a dog we would one day name
Raja because we need something
Unamerican here for it to feel like home.
They say your other becomes your home
but we never found comfort in the cushions
of each other’s heart, right? We were prolific designers
architects of the future. I constructed
tomorrow with the curve of my hand & no soul
could stop me. Loving you reminded me
what freedom tasted like. Maybe for you too, cause
you tagged along, entertained the fantasy
of a park next to the community pool.
We both craved stability, maybe that’s why we
wanted the picket white fence. Nevermind
that we both live in the suburbs. That never felt
like the American Dream, did it?
We both hungered for what the other was not, like a moth
gravitating towards a lamp in pursuit of the sun.
They all get burned if they stay on the glass for
too long. & the heat from their burnt wings
lights the house on fire, devouring the dead newspapers,
the red-hot bricks, the eggshell walls.
I can hear our parents laughing through the molten
sheetrock, holding the gasoline, but it’s me holding the lighter.
You watch the lava flood the swimming pool & scream,
yanking my hand to stop the flame, but it can’t.
It’s too late; this construction must burn or I will burn
you will burn, we all will burn. Love isn’t worth
this destruction. Love isn’t worth this destruction. Love
isn’t worth this destruction.
As the embers flutter down from the third floor
& all that remains of this abode is its skelton,
I wonder if we truly loved each other. Or did we just need
the promise that we would, that we could
be better. Perhaps we’re worse. At least our parents had excuses,
what were ours? I tell you now, “I’m a better
person,” but am I really? Are any of us better people
or are we just becoming better architects of a future
we want to control, but can’t.
Riya M. Cyriac is a 17-year-old writer based in Texas. She's been published in a variety of magazines, but what's more important about her is that she's an avid sticker collector, a dreamer, and lover of all things beautiful and raw. She is the Executive Director of The Young Writers Initiative. You can find her everywhere @riyamcyriac.