My mind that understands
is chained and crippled by its understanding.
It only tries to understand new words
by comparing it to
what has already written or read.
It only understands feelings in terms of
the pain it has given
or all it has suffered.
So when I stand in front of the doors of a poem
feeling the sting of December winds on my back.
When I ring the doorbell
and hear from other side “May I come inside?”
I immediately know that this not something
that I understand,
that there is a difference
in reading as if
sitting on the couch in a stranger’s house
waiting to be entertained
and reading as if
I have let the stranger in my own mind
and allowed him to change
the view I have of this world.
Some poems are not just poems.
They are voices that never die
because they have never been born.
They are ghosts that we have always wanted to haunt.
They are names we give to our own suffering,
a closure that only we can give to ourselves.
I scrolled through
and then scrolled back again.
I did this too many times
comparing each picture with another.
I knew I would not remember even one of them
and probably edit out
all uncomfortable and evident pain
but carry only the image I could see in all.
That all who were struck by lightning
carried that lightning on their skin
but the skin remembers only the darkness of that hour.
Sometimes it felt I am looking at an unlucky individual
picked out by nature to brand the helplessness of our species.
Sometimes I was in awe of the life that refused to leave the heart
even when it stopped,
even when the brightest death called for it.
But I knew that it was one beauty I do not envy
and I don’t want to be in their shoes.
I probably wanted to remember proofs
of when human and nature were
at their weakest and their worst
and how magnificent the scars of it are
to the eyes of a person like me
who was not there to suffer.
With marker I scribble on the mirror
the list of complains I have from you,
not caring if they mess up my own reflection.
Sometimes thankful that under that I can hide my own
obsession with what people will think of me,
how much will they value based on the value you give me.
An obsession I cannot really admit I have.
After all I am supposed to just ask for what I want
and not what everyone tells me I should want and I should have.
But are my wants really immune from the template of dreams
that world sets apart for people like us.
When I sit surrounded by chatter
I remember how I had to seal my lips,
had to come up with stories more acceptable than
the vague transitions of my life and my heart
from one state to another.
Even if I put on songs of love and think of you
I am just presented with all that I am waiting to receive from you.
(Does that make me greedy or calculating?)
But somehow I always bring myself around to the life I must live
that would be easy to live
if I didn’t compare myself to others,
if it was easy to turn your back to the the judging eyes
especially the one being judged is not only you
but also the object of your affection.