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A dash of salt in a large boiling pot with silvery grains of rice beginning to go soft.

A subtle sprinkling over marigold cheese spread across a delicate cracker generously.

A large salty dollop drizzled over a fresh bag of store-bought popcorn while it’s still hot.

A light splash in an otherwise perfect curry, sent in as a rescue mission to revive flavors gently.

One could prepare a pot of authentic Italian pasta, hand-made and fancy, but without powdered crystals in the water, not a single flavor would pop. For the magic itself can be distilled down to salt. Like a soul breathed into a vessel already upright, salt elevates it beyond pretty packaging and brings it back to life.

Hence the routinely, full-frontal dive in the nude, straight into the salty sea, tattooed sporadically with greying wounds. Wounds that, two years later, are starting to go stale but their worth cannot be reduced. Wounds that ensure I stay tied to you. Wounds that are threatening to leave now as well, leaving me in a future devoid of you, one that sounds rather obtuse. Wounds that begin to dim every time some colour enters my life, as if they don’t want to share the spotlight. Wounds with one eye on the calendars flipping by, stringently following the rule of healing with time. A bullshit rule if you ask me, probably spewed by someone who got tired of being kind so they dolled out this poor excuse. For just because the wounds are going grey, does not mean that I am now suddenly okay. Watching them leave reminds me of yet another goodbye I am still not ready to say.

Like the rice in a pot, I soak in salty water, letting it soften my armor and my limbs, sizzling as the dormant wounds awaken once more and sing. With wounds that repeatedly sting, I can trick myself into thinking that you haven’t been gone for more than a few minutes. That you’re still a part of my life, and not reduced to a traumatic event in the distance. That as long as my wounds are kept alive regularly, the bitter, overwhelming flavor of your loss will dance on my tongue indefinitely. So I continue to float, simmering in a sea of my grief, rubbing salt on my wounds sadistically, because it’s the only way to close the distance between you and me.

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