I stand in the shadow
of the great palms
of the red tiles that grow out of its soul
I stand watching the world go cold.
The broad roads of this city made of dust,
the river made out the minds, out of dreams –
this is my home,
till I learn to break away from its spell.
My tongue feels heavy
with the growing names I am supposed to learn,
with all the things I must not be to be loved by them.
I am almost expecting new things.
“this is a good time to run away”, says my ghost-from-the-city-of-sea.
My ghost-from-the-mountains-green laughs
at how desperately I want to be understood, to be seen
and yet how furiously I try to erase everything of myself.
Everything in me seems to be made to be hidden.
I hide my trembling fingers.
I hide my desperation and the mess it leaves in its wake.
I prepare myself for another show.
The show of trying. My trying is so beautiful
in how it is always hoping to be disappointed.
I wait under the neon signs of misspelled words
and think about the storm that will never arrive.
I wait with hope.
I wait with arms fed up of trying.
I guess now I am the cruel one-
the one people fear to love.
This scenario was meant to be sad,
but it isn’t somehow.
(Why do the worst cases taste so bland to me
when finally they arrive?)
I guess it makes me relieved, if not happy,
to feel loneliness more often than feeling distance.
No one knocks at my door,
and I can’t help but smile
knowing it also means no would leave me.
No one would leave me in love, leave me in pieces,
leave me hating myself again.
(Why do my hopes sound like running away
even if I am facing life in every way I can,
the only way I am allowed to,
the only way forward that doesn’t require
sacrificing myself again?)
Amidst the clutter of her living room, I sat down with the last drink in her refrigerator- an extremely sour and almost suspicious orange juice.
I could look up the expiry date but it was already too late. I was almost down to my third sip. A thought that arrives a bit too late is probably a thought best forgotten. If I end up in ER for this, this might be my last orange drink. Sort of sad that the last orange drink in my life tasted like calculated foolishness rather than a bright sun and its shameless almost applaudable want of attention.
I walk around her apartment, looking at all the stuff she has accumulated over the years, things that I am rather too conscious to look at when she is awake. I do not know the face that I should make at the face of all that she can’t get rid of – the things she wants to throw away, the things that make her believe that she is an actual person with a life that was actually lived.
When I see her bleeding fingers, her grip, her intent to never fall from this precipice, her intent not to ever pull her self out of it; I end up finding all thing that I could have done, all that I could have been. I end up finding ways to have broken beautifully, to break in a way that wouldn’t endanger my will to live so much.
Which is weird because she is sadder than me. Which is weird cause I do not think the type of breaking matters that much.
They are just thoughts that have arrived a bit too late because now I have time to think, because now I have the heart to forgive, because I am that ideal age where I might opt to forget for the sake of my own heart.
If I end up in another heartache because of the things we can’t change anyway, if this turns out to by last love, then it is sort of sad that I can do only so little, that I can love this much.
twenty-six steps away from the cold end,
we stand together as if we are both looking
at a foe we must defeat together.
a child passes us by with a yellow balloon.
how misplaced it seems, this child
in this place made of storms.
this is something i don’t want to do.
our steps will fade into the deep end of this lake
while the mother in me would summon the face of this child
as a hope of what i could have had
if I could endure a little bit more.
an invisible small hand curls around my fingers
as your voice falters and you mess up our last song.
the ghost of your future, whatever face they may have, have also arrived.
so i put back the sweater on
and you check the calls you must return
as the ones who intend to live on only do.
“We are stronger than we think.”
I always avoid saying such nonsense.
I have always hated words
that have no meaning ,
no real sympathy,
words that almost sound like:
“shut up! stop crying! we have had enough.
don’t make the atmosphere so depressing.
we can’t help it.
you can’t either.
why bring up such topics.”
I never wanted to sound like that to anyone.
I don’t want to be one of those who
consider consoling someone
equal to convincing them
that what they considered precious,
what they considered life shattering
that what the grieving cares for is nothing.
But then, what are the right words?
“We are stronger than we think.”
To spew such nonsense.
Even when I said that to her,
I wondered why I said that.
Have I been surprised
by my strength ever in my life?
But I remember feeling
that my happiest days have walked past me,
when I realized the futility of life, of my life,
And how I somehow made it to the days
where I found something to look forward to,
where I found myself between people whom I could love.
that I could wait for such days
in spite of the misery that was once unbearable
must mean something.
To wait for something that may never arrive
must require some kind of strength.
To loose every paradise we stumble on,
to bleed every time it is lost
and to still believe in the concept of paradise
must require something more
than the strength we think we have.
There is no “my type of person”,
“my one and only friend”, or “my only hope”.
There is too much of you
that is not for me,
that I won’t take
even if you gave it away for free.
Because for every word of yours
that I find beautiful,
there are thousand other words
that I have not heard yet
that would hurt my ears,
hurt my notion of what you are
if I knew the complete truth.
That’s why I hate complete truth.
I detest it, in fact.
I do not want any part of it.
The lies – they hurt ultimately, I know.
But till that suffering arrives
at least there is a brief moment where
we are no longer preoccupied
with this hopeless business of finding a place to belong.
Sometimes a brief moment is all we need
to make sense of this life.
This life where
there is no complete understanding,
there is no complete love,
only this nameless feeling
that this is all we have got
and nothing will get much better.
That it will be easier,
maybe painful down the road,
but surely easier for now
to find our happiness
in everything that we don’t want.
To pretend that we are not lost
and pretend the best we can.
will be just like
Though I am a small human
who can never jump across the divisions of time
and reach to the you in the sadder future,
to comfort you and assure you of my love.
I know I am helpless like that.
I know there are many things that I am not capable of,
there are many things that my love cannot solve.
But I will keep you in my thoughts always.
I will keep it in my mind
that how easily you are hurt
and how it is not your fault.
I will become someone
who can love you without giving you pain
so that your sadder future never arrives.
Stay here with me.
Everyone else has forgotten you dear.
it is only me that carries you everywhere it rains,
everywhere the Sunday morning starts with empty table and aching heart,
everywhere the number blinking in my phone is not yours.
It’s only me
that wakes up in this nightmare of life
clutching what should have been your hand,
that walks into every shops that would have caught your eye.
It isn’t easy to walk into stores
and think of your absent giggles
as my only future that would never arrive.
It isn’t easy
but I can do it.
I can keep a space for you
everywhere I go,
I can keep aside an extra plate for you.
I can live as if you are here
if only you’d stay hidden with me.
They have forgotten you dear,
their thoughts are scared to linger around graves.
It is only me that calls out your name.
Leafing through the pages of my picture book of dreams,
he smiled to himself and said to me-
I can make all of them come true for sure,
you can fill more pages, you can dream more.
The mirror with my face
lost in the light,
lost in thought of love soon to arrive,
while I wait not knowing how to calm myself down.
Where I hold a hand that touches me
like a rare cloud he found on ground.
The roads all lighted,
the words all sweet.
Our heartfelt smiles
at the end of the reel.
Going through my picture book of dreams
I smile at him, for not knowing better.
Not knowing that all I want
are for these dreams to die on these pages.
Cause I see the drop of tear that
glistens in the mirror
when my love threatens to leave,
forces me again to change
asks me why I can’t get rid of this mess,
why can’t I be calm again.
Me, wondering how to act
like a gentle cloud that I am not
not wanting to be genuine,
when I get love only when I am not me.
The road all lighted
The words all sweet.
The world going silent
under my scream.
Why do we forget all the other reasons
before love arrived.