“Does rust affect plastic dreams?”
I ask my teacher in my sleep.
She takes out an axe and starts cutting down
the first mouth filled with wrong answers.
Two rows away
she wipes her brows and folds her sleeves,
she takes another deep breath
before she checks the attendance sheet
and finds the next dream to kill.
She tells me I should think more and ask more
and ask the questions that help me live.
She looks at the metal that grows out of my pores
and gives me another chance.
She says only if I would try to be better
than the people I am clinging to, I could grow up to be her.
I look away from the blood that flowing down her neck,
the parts of her that she intends to kill by holding other’s breath.
“What about my mother’s arms, weak weak exhausted arms?
Are those my telling signs?
Does that mean I don’t have to worry,
that I am just someone next in line?
What about you? Do you rust like me?
Would the color of my rust, would my weakened heart
make me worth protecting,
make me deserving of kinder words?
She told me “It will not get you respect or equality,
if that’s what you are looking for.
It can sure get you love, of some kind, for some time
but it is just a matter of time
before you see the end that only you can write.
And you would end up writing it
cause that painful end would be more truer and more yours
than any love that you find by compromise.”
As she walks past me, smiling lovingly,
as she spares my life, that now she owns.
As she dissolves my only way back,
I realize too late, that my chaos and my doubts
were more hopeful than an answer like this
that promises pain to everyone else but me.
There was that pile of paper
I could never keep safe.
The crossed out, always crossed out words,
words always out of order,
words turned beautiful
only because they dissolved
in my frustration.
Only because now I cannot read them
I must make something out of them
something that couldn’t possibly be mine.
The blue ink dripping,
forming planets on unexpected letters,
forming planets on my hands.
I would take them to class
and look at them as if now I meant something more,
now that I was suffering for something I want.
I raised my hands to answer a question
I have already answered hundred times.
I sat down and swallowed my teacher’s frown.
He didn’t have to teach me
that right answers matter
only when they come from right mouths.
(I once got an A only because I forgot to put my name.)
I knew there was nothing I could learn
by swallowing frowns everyday,
but still I dragged myself, my broken planets,
my half burnt poems in my half burnt hands
to the one who doesn’t think twice
before asking me
to hate myself better.
I want this sadness that dissolves in me,
that never goes away,
never stands apart from me,
never looks me in the face with questions
or even answers.
I am ready to take vow with this heartbreak
as long as it feels like you,
promises eventually to replace you,
as long as my love is greater than you.
I do nor have to miss you,
call you, beg you,
force myself to forgive you,
hate you silently,
or practice breaking with grace.
I do not have to do things
that have nothing to with love
as long my sadness is mine alone.
I can bear this and more
as long as I remember my genuine heart
and not you.
I drowned the flowers
one by one.
The poison of beauty
now runs through the rivers
on this land,
they fill his backyard
in every season of rain.
A child with his smile
drowns another boat of dreams,
the flood is a field of paper,
the flood is all that is left of me.
She stares into me,
waiting for a reflection to surface.
She walks into me
to see where I end.
She tells me about the boy
she can’t love and the boy
she can’t blame
as I dissolve and submerge
the red gates of her house,
the garden of forgiveness,
her school shoes, all roads to her friend
who doesn’t smile back anymore,
the spoons that remind her of hunger
for farthest worlds and people.
She asks me how deep will be this pain
of losing herself, how long she would have to smile
through this hate.
I flow into her heart,
wondering, if there
I could turn back to the flower I was,
if the end of my hate could be
the end of her pain.
If I could be her answer of hope.
Today I realized
what to call all that I have been reading for so long.
A person I didn’t mean to overhear called it ‘a sense of urgency’-
the desire to save this world as soon as possible.
It seems the enemies are too many.
I saw many names in the list of these enemies
that I silently agreed with-
pollution, dictatorship, bullying,
monetization of education, competing in a rigged world,
oppression of lives and loves of minority, hate crimes,…
I scoffed at some:
the collapse of society in the hands of socially withdrawn,
collapse of economy in the hands of those who want and do less,
the unfeeling and unapologetic generation that seems to love depression,
women whose learning and thinking too much only breaks families,…
“this is the cause worth dying for”-
I suddenly became afraid of that feeling.
As I read all the absurd causes I couldn’t agree with.
As I read and became exasperated at the words of those
who were convinced that they knew better
even as they killed and killed and killed
and got addicted to seeing blood dissolving in oceans.
how dangerous this feeling could be.
“this is what to means to change the world.
to change the world
is to walk over everything I don’t want to see”
My sense of urgency hated me for thinking this.
It recited every quote about silence of good men.
But all I could now see was the line that I must not cross,
the words I must not say, the knife that I must never hold-
no matter the cause.
Do you remember the day
when we sat on the edge
of our own growing hills of delusions
and reached out our hands
to feel something real.
But even when you dissolved as I dissolved,
for a minute my hands were not empty.
So even if we can’t offer anything real to each other
remember that you are here in this same world as me.
I see you, even when you think no one does.
You are here, don’t forget.
I dreamt of a cold day,
of a gray sky,
of your warmth dissolving in air,
of your smile being erased.
I lay on your bed
surrounded by, covered in
all the clothes
you won’t ever wear.
I saw myself crying,
refusing to eat or sleep
waiting for a new world to be created
or to leave the world that I am in.
I woke up,
I cleaned up my room,
I threw out everything
that mattered to me.
I went to shop
for a stomach that knows hunger
a heart that can forget,
a dream, a life without you.
I thought I loved you more than this.
I want to ask,
“Does my love matter to you,
when your love is all that matters to me?”
But I don’t.
What good is it,
to hold onto such hope.
How much could you love me?
Already I dissolve in air
the moment your eyes leave me,
how can I let your lips touch my name?
What will I do if I lose myself
when I lose you one day?
But day by day,
my fear to come closer to you
and your unawareness of my wavering heart
are becoming insignificant to me.
It won’t be long
before I forget the reasons I hesitated.
It won’t be long
before I get drunk on the future that I has not even started,
before I realize that my biggest fear was not
that I would be broken in your hands
but that I would change even when I don’t want to,
that I would forget how to love you
and that you would be the one
who ends up broken.
The lines that you drew to my heart
all of them are dissolving,
is leaving that easy?
I look at you
and try to find somewhere in you
some feelings for me,
an attachment that could mirror
the state of my heart.
I am sorry that I am disappointed
when I told you I won’t be.
I am sorry that I cannot rise above
this weakness that love brings back in me.
But what is the alternative?
-the lonely days
-the days spent hating the world
-days spent hating the one I love
-days spent in regret
-days spent breaking those whom I can touch but never love
-days spent waiting for you to come back
and meanwhile converting every hour of my suffering
into an life of anger
that you must bear
even if you return
I hate them.
I hate all these alternative.
I have no option but to hold you
and hope that after all this time
maybe a little part of you would stay,
if only for the sake of stopping my tears.
I thought I am getting better
when I found a little more space in me for life
than what I thought I had.
When I stopped trying to hide it from my own eyes
and let small birds perch on its rusted edges
all long as they please.
But when they fly away, their voices
slowly disappears and reappears
disperses and dissolves in the air,
reminding me of days I existed
in pieces so fine and minute
I found myself
lacking voice, wants, or ambition.
Slowly becoming the air and food for
someone else’s need.
I find that the pain never passes.
It only forgets itself until it touches
the edges that once cut through it.
But not everything it touches has that same edge
and between the sudden encounters
with the lookalikes of what I was,
I can rest, I can breathe.