I have a thing about ends-
I cannot do it,
it has to be done to me.
It must happen.
Things must continue
till they rot and bleed.
First in places where no one can see
and then in places where no one can look away from.
And words must be said – cruel words.
They must be said by someone, but it won’t be me.
I rush up to the jar of those colorful wrong words
and choose first, all the words
that seem like hope but they aren’t,
while purposefully leaving behind
in the hand of others only those words
that seem like rage, but it is not,
it is more of helplessness,
but I do not tell them that.
So now, in my tears they see
the new monsters that they are made of,
the monster I can’t bear to be.
Even as they become problems
that they never wanted to be,
I must remain good, I must remain kind.
I must remain the one that held on.
I must save my illusions at any cost.
I won’t give the excuse of my weakness, of my broken heart,
of the fragile thread from which my existence is suspended,
of how I am already clawed open and torn apart by life,
or how I would rather at the end of it
want someone to hate than to mourn things that died
with all the good parts of me.
Or how I have always loved everything a bit too much.
I won’t give the excuses even I cannot believe in.
I refuse to give up
with spite and with malice even
because how can I ever walk towards any goodness in world again
knowing the feeling of the dying pulse of a miracle under my hands.
I am ready to suffer. I am ready to break every heart including mine.
I am ready to paint this world with monsters and be the evil one
but I refuse to do that killing.
The “sweet escape” is now more expensive
and better hidden in a packaging devoid of bubble wrap
and crumpled newspaper (how does that even work?)
I can no longer remember why it caught my eyes.
But such things normally do, so I don’t question it much.
“Such things” almost always refers
to things that I will always see and be drawn to, but never get near.
And I am not talking about the bare minimum semblance of love,
or the friend who must eat food without me to feel accepted in this world.
Now that is out of the way,
we can all imagine with utmost accuracy and pity
everything that is definitely on this list of mine.
Things I know the price of
because my pockets are empty.
The kind of empty a drop of dew feels
in front of a desert(even the smallest one).
This is not even a smallness fueled by insecurity or class consciousness.
This is the lens of pure objectivity at work,
which I sort of stupidly relied on to cure me, stop me
from showering my attention
to something that challenges my place in world
in the wake of release of a random new replaceable product in market.
which is sort of weird because
I do not know the price of the meal I eat
or the clothes I wear –
I feel them.
So I know better. I really do.
But the billboards that fly over the cities
-abducting cows, and UFOs, and fixed deposits, and basic sanity-
make me want to dial the number to someone, anyone
who can get me a card
that, I am told, can get me every luxury I do not yet deserve.
To my credit, I never dialed that number
simply because wanting something that was designed to be wanted
poking a hole into the balloon of my existence for it
In the list of more stupid things I can now “not want”
are grand expectations of a basic acceptable life, minimum respect,
of love, of family, of wanting a fair chance at a dream,
of food that tastes like food,
and air that doesn’t clog my lungs.
I am told that at a price one can have them all
but to the one who is barely afloat it sure is a stupid thing to want.
The ends get broken here.
The land gives away.
I walk forward, asking the sea
what it wants to take from me.
Where should I cut myself,
what part should remove of me
that you would feel like home in me.
How should I hold you
so that you may sleep in peace.
What name shall I call you by?
What sound do you want to answer to?
Ask for whatever can keep you alive
and I will find it for you. I will make myself
into your wishing tree.
The ends break here. The ends cannot exist,
cannot breathe in me.
From my broken land you are born
and from my broken love you shall grow
and find places to breathe in every crack of this world.
Hold out your soft hands
and bless me my-center-of-universe,
smile at me my little god.
I need only that, only your existence
to know of peace.
You remain as the trace of green
under my dead fingernails.
even when I don’t.
And so it means I am also alive
in a heart
or maybe someone else’s,
someone whom I won’t ever love,
or someone whom I can’t love again.
Someone whose existence and heart
I probably won’t ever know.
We all share the same fate, don’t we?
There is a forest of feelings that will never be returned,
there are flowers that could never bloom in love,
here are the words that are uttered only in that space.
Here is me – holding onto these words.
Here is me – looking at you.
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.
Ghost of fireflies
in the forest of reality-
that is me,
that is you,
that is so much of what we don’t want to be.
But if it has to stay beautiful,
if it has to stay clean,
it must be this.
We must meet without meeting.
We must love without loving.
We must walk this path that we believe in
more than we believe in any love.
I close my eyes and tell myself,
“I don’t believe, I won’t believe”
even as the storms of despair
and the clear sky of your existence
are the only thing I know to be true.
You tell me,
“We must breathe the reality
and worship the fleeting.”
So I hold my hands together
again without a prayer on my lips.
I am afraid of prayers.
Unlike you (or maybe just like you)
I am always at the verge of wishing
for some real crumbs of you,
of wanting to stray from the “right”.
She let go of me
and took a step back,
as I ran around all the space
that would be me,
all the life that would be ours.
From far away – the closest far away,
she looked at my childish smile.
She smiled a bit more, and I felt that,
the lovely curves of her lips on my heart.
Her smile always miraculously
makes me breathe more easily.
In this room, in this warmest freedom
that she has weaved from the most colorful threads
of her spirit,
here, I see her for all she tries to be,
for all she is thereby.
Here, I want to be seen by her.
Here, I want to be something more than my wants,
something more meaningful than just free.
I move back into her embrace and ask her to take anything,
anything beautiful she finds in me,
to keep all my goodness, however few, in her care.
I wanted her to grace a part of me with her identity,
I wanted my existence to be inseparable from hers.
But her will, her love turned out to be greater than mine.
Even when I left a part of me in hers, she refused to call it hers,
the world punished me, for my greed, by calling her mine.
The evidence of your existence –
they sometimes sound like trapped bubbles in ice,
a song no one wants to remembers,
a song that wants to burn itself down
on the steps of justice gone wrong,
wanting to stain the white marble of temples
that do not deserve worship.
They sound like dying ambition amidst flying hopes,
a revolution coming apart,
a future with limping walk and kind careful words,
a future fleshed out with beautiful breaking and selfish hands.
You told me “selfish” is a beautiful word,
told me that in the opening sentence to the goodbye,
that I am supposed to shout after your vanishing back,
to make the word “selfish” the first word,
to speak of that word with a smile.
And let the world wonder why you wanted to burn the world
for what you have never known, what you couldn’t have;
to never explain your heart, to never let their magnifying glass
and their dear sun around your tearful smile.
With his cold shoulder
melting into mine,
with his metal teeth and lips
soldered to the my mortal butter paper skin,
I trade his heavy existence
with my slowing heart.
He becomes a little more human, little more weak.
as I become a little less cold, little less teary eyed.
We both become a little bit of everything –
a mess of feelings and colors sitting out in cold storms
pretending to dig for ancient meaning on each other’s skin,
pretending to be furnaces and burning lighthouses.
love, for me at least,
was (is) not something
that can ever be abandoned
but it turns out
it is also not a flame
that i can preserve (save) by myself
as the fireflies
in my heart fade (die) silently,
i try not to let my existence fade in my own eyes
it is so unfair (sad) that the “me” who loved
should make excuses to the “me” who is suffering now
it is unfair (sadder)
that i have to give up on love
just because someone gave up on me