she traced the light on my chest
pulled out everything that stung-
the swings, my feet,
the shadow i decided no longer to play with.
the comparision table of veins and arteries
copied into my notebook.
the eraser and pencil that helped me document
in those tables my lackings compared to everyone else.
a page torn, and then another, and then another.
pages that learnt immortality by choosing my heart as home.
she stayed up nights trying to free me
as i stuggled and begged not to empty me.
she smiled and said the words she didn’t mean,
words that i wanted to hear from someone, anyone.
so i slept because she couldn’t be stopped.
“leave me alone” now hurt me more than her.
i opened my eyes and cried
for her work was done,
now i was no one, now nothing was mine,
not even my pain, not even her.
she dusted her cobweb skirt,
placed a kiss on my forehead
and told me to breathe,
breathe in everything
that i didn’t think i had the right to.
she told me to breathe
and to never forget what suffocation felt like.
it helps in becoming kind, she said.
as she wiped clean her traces from my life,
i felt better, again i was full.
i was full of her, of this love that won’t work out.
being full of her, i refused to breathe,
because i wanted to keep it that way.
Once I didn’t feel less
for wanting less.
But now my ambitions
are the measure of my capabilities.
Now as I try to get/buy/copy a new agreeable dream,
I am instructed to be ‘unapologetically me’,
apologising only to myself
every time I smile in a life
that I didn’t want
and can never love.
that I can’t read
is not abandoned on the shelves
has not been moved to the lowest rack
because it is bad.
But because so much of me
is filled in it.
So many words from my heart reside on those pages,
that I am bound to question
if this is the reason I felt so empty for years.
Someone sat up all night
looking into me,
taking away my pain and shame
to relieve me of this weight.
But ended up taking more than they should
and didn’t know any other way
than to send it back to me in a book.
I wish I could go out
and burn every copy of this book
in every bookstore on earth-
this book that I can’t read myself.
But I must keep it with me always
so that if I am silenced forever
even after I leave
at least someone
would see that I tried
when they open this book
and see the crossed out names
replaced with mine.
While you read my words
“How strange is this world!”
Sunlight rushed in,
to hold a strand of your hair,
fell on these pages
and cried out like a child,
hurt that it could not have you.
I smiled to myself knowing what you meant.
These words of mine reminded you of the confusing
and volatile shores of right and wrong
that often you found yourself standing on.
And never knew when the land shifted,
when the tide came in.
Never knew when you changed your heart.
You thought it was strange.
But I know what your words mean,
it is same for me.
The strange feeling in my words
is a mere attempt to copy your strangeness,
So that the defeated packets of sunlight
can finally rest on the curves of your words.
We found each other on an unfamiliar street,
lost in the vanishing promises and fickle feet,
on journeys of days
to all burnt down plays,
holding the copied out lines,
clutching the words we will never get to say.
I see this small image of me
in my mind’s eye.
In a world filled with black fog,
there in the center stands someone.
Who feels like
my life personified.
I feel I am copy of whoever
stands in that darkness.
I feel I only exist there.
I feel I am the darkness.