And across this street is my old home, the one I won’t ever visit. This year they have painted it yellow. How sad is that, isn’t it? My mother hated that color. She said that yellow kills happiness. She said such colors convinced even a happy person, that their smile is not enough. Her smile, as a rule, was mostly not enough for anyone and it made sense to me that she would hate to compete with her wallpapers, her furniture, her mirror, her curtains – for the sake of validating her existence and importance.
The woman who stole our lives years later – I heard her telling my mother that “she was an insecure woman, that she was bound to lose”. As if she, who paints this house now with horrible colors every year, knew what loss is. My mother – she liked browns and greys and greens. She grew life out of her blood. She loved dearly and irrationally- whenever she sat still and saw at us smiling and playing, she would break into tears. We loved her more dearly for that.
She loved that house and the man that owns it. She hated herself a bit too much. She tried not to but saving her was a work she had to do by herself -a tiring chore, no one wanted to be part of. She brought us the most beautiful yellow frocks one day and looked at us, trying to love something impossible through us. She looked at us hoping that her love for one thing could make her bear her hate for another. Like a fool, she believed that her trying would mean something to this world.
As my empty cup for tea came crashing on the floor, I heard another sigh escape me. I turned back from the counter and watched in resignation as the winds mercilessly pushed through the cushions, the magazines, the old discarded phones that made no noise as they came to find death second time.
The curtains and the window frames came apart. The sad smiles, barely visible through the annealed glass, cracked upon and my ancestors fled away, rejoicing for first time in the brokenness of this world. I recalled all the videos I had seen about the land of disasters and the restless hearts that live there. I recalled the reasons that cause such misfortunes, the incomplete distracted television reports. But I didn’t have to think of all that, to know what was happening to me.
The sky was clear and I could hear people walking to festivals and carnivals and towards to unbearable silence of funerals, trying to laugh as much as they can before they get there. I closed my eyes and waited with anxiousness, waited without hopes for love to appear again and make a mess of the life I had spent years to put together.
Across this glass, across the tired melting clouds of mist, on the other side there are trees and homes and forests that are just like places on this side that I rest.
The places where I am not look as sad as all the places I have been. Everywhere, on every road there is always a person who knows a way to break my heart, and I always end up thanking them for it.
There are rooms where I put up lights and posters and curtains and lovers and music, those are the rooms I want to die in- with some beauty, with some consolation of meaning .
But always I find the reason for my end outside these walls. Those reasons live under the brightest light on the darkest road. And because I was told that the light that I don’t know of is the one that saves all, even the hopeless ones like me. So my legs forget how to stop, my hands forget how to let go, and my blood glitters for a moment under the light of lost hopes before it turns black, before it invites in the cold that I always thought belonged to the inanimate world.
I think of the room I won’t reach, and the songs and the faces and this world that I will not be given a peace of, to keep.
As the sky fills me up, pats me down, and tucks me in the snow across the white, I feel someone stir from sleep. The wail that my throat cannot make, finds a home in that other world, in the other me that unlike me knows how to cry and how to be loved for it.
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)
Once the shade of the shutters are rolled down, once I am left on my own, reason and explanation rush in, try to cling and climb up the cracks of my heart, and the folds of my brain, trying desperately to stop me to reach out, to find me in the fog of fear.
But I am already far ahead, my hands reach for everything it could hold, everything it could break and hurl them at the window till it broke, till I could cry for the things that were robbed from me. I couldn’t stop. I couldn’t stop hurting myself even when I lay half-broken under dangling paper curtains, even when all that I broke pierced my skin and hurt me back. If I stopped, I would again hear the steps that always walks over my world and reduces me to dust.
Now the dark corners
are the only safe place remaining.
The loveless days
are the only memory where we can rest
where we can hide from
all the passion that we wished for,
all the feelings we couldn’t handle.
You once wrote to me about the night
that hung as a curtain over your window,
about how you can’t gather the courage to see the light
until I came along and tore away those curtains,
broke your shields
so that you could see what lay beyond.
I once took pride in being the one
who destroyed all dark cells within you.
But I realized too late that you were a flower
who could only bloom in dark,
that shields exist for a reason,
that each step you took towards your fear
thinking it would bring you closer to me
was just the beginning of sacrifices
you made to stay in my world.
As I lay beside you
trying to undo my harm
trying to teach you how to forget me,
what I regret most is that
when you struggled with what you are
I was only proud of my love that could make you do all that
instead of being seeing your love
that could do what I couldn’t.
She left the door ajar
and closed the curtains as she left,
like she did so many things
that I didn’t ask her to do.
Like so many things I didn’t notice.
Did I fear darkness of the room?
Did I fear drifting into sleep
no longer be sure
that this body would continue breathing?
I feared a lot.
I knew the names of imaginary insects
that crawled inside my mind.
But only she knew how to close my eyes
and close my heart
to the pain and paranoia
that only I could feel.
I woke up to curtains soaking the sunlight
and the sweet humming from next room.
And I didn’t want this humming
to go farther
My house on hills and its silence
are always occupied in a duel
with the wartime echoes from far away lands,
with the agonizing voices of reality.
Even if I surround my house
with the greenest trees,
place cool streams around.
Even if I cloud my windows
with curtains of smoke.
Even if I barter with life,
even if I am ready to embrace
loneliness for the sake of peace.
In my dreams, filled with whale songs,
there are sorrows
of lives I have cut off myself from.
But I am not someone
who can save people from themselves.
I have no choice but to burn
to keep myself warm and alive.