how i loved you
it was a love that i could keep
only if i was broken
maybe it was not love
but people like me can only hope
hope for “the almosts” and “the similar”
hope and be happy in our misunderstandings
i don’t remember
how you loved me, if you loved me
so maybe, even in hope
i was not as blind as i wanted to be
I drew her shadow on sand.
She stood still, her tiny shoulders
and ribs (that thankfully can no longer be seen)
moved gently with each breath.
Each tiny breath
like the wave that swept in,
like her laughter used to be.
She looks at me and asks if it is done.
I nod. I meant to say “almost”.
Just like I had meant to say “stop”,
or “please don’t” or “take me and spare her”.
She doesn’t wait for my answers anymore.
She skips over the boundaries of our shadows.
Her outline of me drawn in shaky fingers,
looks like a human being pulled apart
beside her own shadow – a child, complete and perfect.
But she looks at her shadow and calls it weird,
just like how she called the ocean weird.
the smiling children in the glossy magazine were weird,
a chocolate bar without an occasion. without a reason were weird,
the memories of home she wanted to forget were weird,
the days she walked to school with her friend
and the days the sun went down as she slept over the
struggles of homework were weird.
She sat down and tried to come up with an answer for my “why”.
“the ocean is so huge.
as huge as, all the things i can’t have
but once i had them. it is weird.
it is weird how this ocean is mine now,
the breeze is mine along with the sky
but i don’t want them.
you have memorized my shadow.
you keep bringing me back to life
but you tear up so easily as if even you don’t believe yourself.
as if you don’t believe in me .
sometimes i feel that this ocean is our gift to each other,
it is our heart free of our bodies.
sometimes i believe that i am here and you are here
and the world where my head can rest in your lap
i draw a white light
on another perfect window
with my broken hand
the clouds have gathered
my blue stream must be dying inside
i speak my softest tongue
i lift my wounds
to show my untainted heart
stay on the waves in my eyes
touch the only vein in my body
that knows how to hope, i beg
but they drift away
before i name my heart after them
they drift away not wanting to be mine
the sky is clear again
i try not to cry, as i draw the lightning
that no clouds can gift my heart.
I am happy. Almost.
I leave my bed to sit beside the window
that looks over the road.
I stare at everything that lives and dies beside me.
I will my brain to think of a rhyme
that I can gift this world.
I feel that my love for this ocean
of people far exceeds my loathing.
I am almost happy to be alive.
Though almost is a big word, a painful word.
It is is still smaller than the distance I have covered so far,
it is negligible to everything that has ever stood in my way.
‘Almost’ is something I can overlook,
as long as I have something to look forward to.
I cannot give up on this world even when I should.
when i stood
in front of the respected uncaring adults
who could never see me,
beside the fickle-minded fun-seeking friends
who smoked ‘idgaf attitude’ every night,
holding the hands
of the demanding demeaning frightening voice
of the one i wanted to love,
the one i almost loved,
i knew how to smile.
i knew how to let them off the hook.
i knew how to care for all those
who don’t have to care for such things.
and so i make it through another day,
another month, another year,
trying not to break anyone anymore,
trying not to abandon anyone,
making a list of all things that were once beautiful about them,
convinced that this imperfect me deserves only suffocating relationships,
careful not to see hope in any short-lived moment of affection.
The noise of the crumpled tissues walked upon
fills me up again.
Without the colors of reasons or pain
that once made it unbearable,
I envy that me who could be so passionately
sad for the someone else
or even for myself.
Now the the rivers of concern run beneath the surface of my heart
almost lost, in hiding.
(Or am I the one in hiding.)
And now I can finally be almost happy in life.
My pictures are not about me
they are just replacable frames
filled with the skin I have shed
filled with people who have left
and with my smile that has changed
So I can’t help but look at them
and picture the happy life
this person must have had
when I know it is otherwise.
I have lost track of my memories
I have lost track of the reasons
for why I lived my life like that.
I have a fading list of afflictions
and its pain that I have learned
to live with or ignore.
As I age, I find
I can almost forget,
I can leave behind
whoever I was out of frame.
There are nightmares
growing in me.
There are mirrors
where my reflection
is your face.
And they do not look at me
but through me.
In your eyes
I see the dream
that was almost mine.
Can we take a moment
and applaud ourselves
for being almost good,
for hiding what needs to be hidden,
for not abandoning what-we-are-not-proud-of,
for letting it live in a world of its own.
Some beautiful creatures cannot live
in the harshness of this world.
We are not locking it up in dark cells
but are setting it free in a world
where it can finally breathe.
A suitable compromise
when we cannot let go of this world
Sometimes you find me the words
that I am too tired to look for.
And place it in my hand
with such careful touch,
that I feel I could almost cry.
And that too will be added
to the list of other ‘almost’s
that my life has lived through.
These moments become a house
standing at the shore of my simple wants.
I find myself thinking,
“This could be my home.
I can bear life here.
I can even get used to it.”
I am glad that I have such a place
to think about,
to look back.
Even if my feets don’t agree
to what my heart wants.