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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.

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