To My Housemates, With Love

Words by Jaime (she/her), 22 QLD  

I have found many sisters in

the faces of my housemates.

They weave between my fingers,

Smile at my sore knuckles

After another hard fought day.

Never by blood,

Always by chance.

But aren’t those the best kind

Of relationships

 

You cannot tell me

Our smiles are not tied together

Like constellations.

Me cross legged at the end of her bed

Her hugging a pillow,

A butterfly tiffany lamp

Draping us in a blanket of meant-to-be.

 

We have our rituals,

At first unspoken

And then honoured.

Sushi Sunday,

Cheeky market outings,

Afternoon Zumba dances.

We just grin and bear the day,

Together,

And then devote ourselves

To our religion of

Us.

 

One housemate,

Has crystals for breakfast,

Says they recharge her soul,

And she likes to cleanse the house

With sage after

Any and all one night stands.

To knock on her door,

Tears in my eyes,

Is to know that she will

Take my bad energy,

Hold it in her arms,

Weave it into jumper,

That will keep me warm

And change my sadness into something new,

Something between us.

Like a secret, or inside joke.

 

Another housemate,

In a different time,

cries when she drinks wine.

So, every Friday night,

Her tears spill down her cheeks,

While I sip rum and

Tell funny stories

About the men I’ve dated.

She finds a home on my shoulder,

My body a vacant block for her

Wine-soaked tears.

I don’t mind, I’m just happy

Telling my stories

And her listening.

Then one day she doesn’t cry,

After the whole bottle of red.

She leans her head on my shoulder

Anyway,

And I’m just happy that she is happy.

 

In a new house,

a new home,

A new rush of

Awkward kitchen encounters, and

Loud laughter as we grow confident

Retelling the stories

That sit in the pits of our bellies,

A new housemate will shine to me.

 

Yes, I’m worried my one cereal bowl bothers her

As it builds a home on the side of the sink with spoons and

Small chunks of weetbix,

Waiting for me to demolish it

In soapy water in the evening.

But it is a trivial worry,

A worry that’s only limited to housemates.

And we are more than that

Now.

 

I know one day

One of us will move out, move on,

Just move,

Enter and ebb into the world more,

New jobs or new places or new spaces,

We will gently drift apart,

Waving as our boats

Slowly push away from each other.

I cry tears from both eyes,

The right eye will drown in

Tears of pride as her figure

Shrinks on the horizon,

While longing drips like a leaking tap from the left.

One day, her room will be filled with a new girl,

And the butterflies are moths once more.

But don’t worry though,

It is not in a moth’s nature to stay

The same.

 

In my life

There will be other women,

New housemates, friends, workmates,

Who will wash up on my shores.

Some will always be stuck at arm’s length,

A wall they just can’t break through.

But there will be some women,

Who I find sisters, solace, serenity in.

Maybe I say goodbye to them,

Maybe they stay, or I stay and we continue

Onward together.

 

These women,

Will flicker through my life

Like shooting stars,

Or gentle ghosts.

They will weave between my fingers,

Help me hold the weight of growing up,

Teach me to weave my sadness into jumpers.

These women,

These housemates,

These sisters.

 

It’s said to be loved,

Is to be changed.

And Oh!

Haven’t they changed me.