I don’t trust myself with water these days. Of late I have found my arms devoid of the will to struggle. I seem to be getting better and better at abandoning myself.
I now only stand rooted at places where life comes easy. I only linger in spaces where not-breathing is more difficult than breathing. Against my best efforts, all I do is try to live.
The ways to live, the painful familiarity of the world, this stone stuck in my shoe, pressing against my sole, it all used to be unbearable. For long I tried to find a way to live with it. I always failed to find its use.
But now I know how to surround myself in the suffocation of it all, to fill my mind with the smoke of this crude life as I learn to see from scratch again. Hold parts of me captive somewhere, till the rest of me can chip away at my spirit that only sings of blood and end.
Today, in the hot summer afternoon, covered in breaking illusions, I walked away from the lake where my past swims. I unlearn one more pain. I found a road I had never seen, a garden never tended to, a foot of mountain where there was abundance of fruits and all new reasons to live.
Even in my nightmares I had a home, I had the warmth of my own love-yearning heart whose selfish haunting was more powerful than the sorrow of the world itself. Even when the night came and killed the song of every bird. Even when god abandoned my shadow, even as I dreamt the eyes I loved drowning in blood, floating towards my end. I could live, I could still write poems under the light of my pain.
He broke my shackles with his blood and took my hand, my weightless hand, my almost wings, and held them in the warm embrace of his own prayer.
As my hands created ripples for my own amusement, as my hands broke the bread that I would now get to eat, as I looked at flowers for hours at leisure, and sang wordless songs without the fear of being heard -he cried. It was beautiful and sort of silly – his tears.
He cries at the smallest things yet is unfazed at the moments that require tears. Like this farewell, where with a smile he recites his memorized list of wishes, he recites the feelings of hope he has for the ones before him.
He looks at me. He looks at us all and says “you are free. this is now a game without masters. this is now a world where you are as good, as deserving of respect as anyone you stand with or stand against. you are free. live. live such that you would need no one to remind you of that.”
As we cried, he told us that disappearing is what he always meant to do that wanting his shadow around, seeking his approval, and following his words would undo everything he has done in this world. Yet our tears won’t stop.
We didn’t know if these tears were of desperation, of relief, of love, of being abandoned, of being left without directions or heads that could do the work of seeing and thinking for us, in return of our submission. He told us it is sometimes okay not to know. He said it is okay to hate him if it helps us to find a way that is our own.
It broke me to hear that because he spoke as if being okay with being hated for saving was an essential part of being good. It was sad that he had to smile when he said it as if he was not free to cry or complain for something like that. Or maybe I have not understood freedom yet.
When I have gathered enough courage the only piece of metal in me that can still cause harm are only the frustrations I have at my own cowardice. What do I have to lose today, that I couldn’t lose yesterday when I was busy resenting you. After seeing and accepting the wrong that you are, after uncovering every wound, every decaying part of me that I didn’t want to face, after deciding on an end that would still be fair and gentle to your heart, why do I only hold you tighter? Why do I make up lies that only make it easier to make up more lies, make up a world where my hate is just a delusion, where you are the only one worth saving, worth love, worth my misery. And even in that world, why does our love won’t feel like love? Why don’t you feel like mine? Why does my heart feel abandoned when I have chosen to walk into your hands even after knowing my fate.
The lights die out one by one. The dark streets come alive, I crush the melting remains of abandoned snowballs under my feet, as you sidestep once again to let the flower stuck in concrete grow a bit more. I remember how you called such things ” kindness for my own sake”. It always makes me laugh when I look back at my own understanding smile, as if really knew what it actually meant.
Another cold gust of wind touches me and reaches you few second later and I recall why I never liked to walked behind you, why my heart couldn’t bear to see you any more, why the excuse of love wasn’t enough for me. It all comes back to me – all my pathetic emotions, as you fold a bit more into yourself, your shoulders almost disappearing.
Stopping in your tracks, you let out another sigh, and just when it seems you might give up and decide to break. You don’t. You keep on walking as if nothing can phase you out.
So I don’t follow you, cause your strength has always broken me more than your tears. Always when you let me have the right to complain and cry, I looked at you and begged you not to make me another one of those who can’t live without your sacrifices, who can only speak of your love in terms of the wounds you were ready to accept by their hands.
As I see you walk towards a home I won’t ever know, a part of me imagined – you turning back, looking at me with those kind eyes of yours, holding my hand. I am relieved when you didn’t. I am fine like this, with this manageable sadness that I feel when you leave me cold in the same world I abandoned you in.
I didn’t think that I ever wanted to do such a thing. But then it has a sense of it’s own, a logic that keeps changing its shape-
it is wings of warmth, the fire in heart. It is the fire that you want to get away from, the endless trail of ashes that follows you. It is your thought and voice and life spent away only for the sake of a fire to burn even more of you. On some days the fire is too magnificent, too beautiful. On those days I feel it was right, may be the only right in the world, that everything of mine should belong to this light.
Is this how gods are made? Is this how loves are lost? Is this how I create a life that I can’t bear to look at? But can I abandon it all?
It was like magic running the highlighter, the bright crayon over the sepia hands of her. She didn’t complain or cry as we ruined another photograph of hers, as we tried to hide the evidence of her failed love, our failing life.
We cut her out, moved her away from the one who looked like us. We placed her side of story, her half of heart in the albums. Albums that felt lighter now that the responsibility to remember only the good, its difficulty was no longer our business.
We shredded few faces of his, few others we drowned in ink. His face was the reason we couldn’t look at ourselves, the reasons of all the hurting words we learned so fast.
After we ruined everything for good we stared at each other, and saw the tears we should’t be having in us. This wasn’t how magic is supposed to feel. Why? Why was there no thrill, no relief in what we had done? Isn’t it our turn to be free from the one who left?
DRAWING THE STARS WRONG all my hopes, now in your hands, feel like signs of trouble. i liked it on paper, the broken star in red ink, but not on my sky. can i undo my steps to you? will my heart break even if you leave my skin?
STRIPPING YOU OF FLESH before i turn away from you there are things that must be done. (only painful things are remaining no matter what i choose) everyday for a hour i must imagine being alone in this world. everyday i must imagine the relief you would feel at my absence. everyday i must imagine you with someone and being capable of caring. i must imagine in detail and color. i must put you on a window in clothes i don’t recognize. i must strip you of my love and hope you feel the warmth, even when my heart tells that you won’t. i must stand outside the shop i plan to leave you at and practice standing there without tears in my eyes. i must take your feelings out of picture to take even one step away from you. before i turn away from you i have to turn into the person who won’t be able to walk towards any happiness after leaving you broken.
MESSED UP SEARCH HISTORY in my room, on my phone, with another love, in the crowd that will never be mine, i feel my heart drunk on you again. and everywhere you are with me i need someone else to keep me from making another mess in your name, for my sake. in return, i love them the only way i can, the way only i can, by removing you from the search history of my mind every second i live. i love them by holding them back from running to the one, who like you, can only love in dark dripping red and swelling universe of purple.
THE EASY WAY TO LIVE speaking without fear, loving without abandon, sitting in sunshine, somehow loving the world, wanting to stay alive, getting comfortable with the concept of wanting, knowing the feeling of being considered and seen, (all this with you at the back of my mind). i told you, all this is my life now- the easiest life i have ever had. i hope you believe. it would be the happiest end, if you would accept this as the last scene of me in your life. i want to live so better, just so that you can forget the me who could do nothing but get hurt only because i didn’t want to live without love. i want to be better than that, even if it makes me sad.
His face lit up with the death of every colorful explosion in the sky. He hates this sky on other days (among other things). Today he loves it, this darkness, this crowd, even me. (Maybe not me, but it doesn’t mean anything to me now. But in moments like this I am reminded of the “me” who would have wanted his love or at least be part of the world that can be loved. The ‘past me’ shakes off my hand and stands there looking at him as if he is her sky, but only finds the signs of deaths that have nothing spectacular about them. I stand there looking at my sadness, his sadness breathing the air and living some sort of life for once.) He stands there looking at the sky through my silence, through my awe, awe at his simple happiness. (How long has it been since he has loved anything with his breaking heart.) He stands there looking at the sky even when curtain of stars resurface, even when the screams of children dissolve. He stands there abandoned by the world and yet happy. (I stand there abandoned by him, by myself and yet happy)