A human mosaic


Once I went all the way to Albania to see a mosaic

It is kept under sand for most of the year 

But once a year it is revealed

Shards of tile tied together with ancient mortar

Enduring and at the same time ever so fragile


Sometimes I think people are a lot like that

We’re built from tiny pieces of each other

Those are passed down throughout the years

By all the people who have ever met us 

And those that have met them

A mosaic made of everyone who came before us

Hidden and held dear within


I collect fridge magnets because my Nana did 

And I keep my grandfather’s watch in my bedside table drawer 

(Even though I can’t read analogue time)

Because I like having a piece of him with me

Safely and soundly locked away

When I watch a film in the cinema, I always stay till the end

Because my best friend always guesses the name of the boom mic holder 

It’s a game that her family play, so now we do too


Fragments of you become fractals in others

In that sense, you live on

Through mosaics throughout the years

As enduring and precious as painted stones


I have been changed by people I have never met

I fold the corners of library books 

I like to see where people before me have been

Which pages they deemed important enough to be permanently scarred

And I like to think others feel the same


Sometimes people you never expected to meet 

Affect you in the most unwelcome of ways

They push their tile shards into you 

And you can’t remove them for fear of bleeding out

Some parts of me are so painful 

All sharp edges and uneven sides

Like the artist had begun to get careless

Left by those who did not know how to love me

But tried to anyway


No matter how hard you try

When people leave, pieces of them remain

I wonder how many pieces of me I have left in others over the years

How many of my fragments are stuck in other peoples’ chests

Even when I never intended to leave anything behind

It’s true that none of us is who we are without other people

Because we are other people, all as intricately designed as a mosaic. 

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