i would wake up
and find myself again in another room
with another stranger (obviously broken)
and i would try to remember the night before,
the season before, the feelings before
i ended up here. i fail to recall the pain that drew me here,
i fail to remove this person from the mess of all the words
that has been said to me before. before is now a continuum.
and “you”, “me”, and “us” and “we”
are just terms that point nowhere, to nothing
but they carry too many people inside, the seams of these words
are always coming apart, there is too much weight to these light words,
they leave our shoulders and heart broken.
how lovely it would be to be singular again.
how simple everything could be.
but everything tends to flow, tends to merge,
tends to find roots every time it taste defeat, it finds ground.
it is still somehow good. though good is maybe a relative term.
but then everything is relative, even us. me and you are different
only when we are placed far apart in time and space.
as i drown diaries and memories in the waters
of the forests that you used to visit, i find myself
walking as you, sharing your skin of fear,
speaking the broken language of your dreams.
as you, i end up drowning a lot more, losing a lot many
things than i had planned to. it doesn’t hurt, honestly,
when that happens. a lot of things should hurt
but they don’t. and i feel that is my tragedy. i used to feel every loss
even of others and i loved it. and now because i feel nothing
i have taken up jobs on the excavation sites of pain of strangers
that are dying from numbness. my presence seems to help,
at least diverts attention. the “too much” about me helps everyone but me.
i have an excess of blood, an excess of heart
however implausible that might seem. but it is so. i have learnt that
after numerous burnings and denial. all that breathes,
all that seems to be made of magic and speaks in voice of thunder,
anything that we don’t understand
we have burned them enough. we are burning too much of ourselves.
but that is not my problem. at least not my only problem.
i have never had a definable problem. but we can talk as if they are,
as if everyone can be broken down into components
of their loss and yearnings and lacks,
their playlist and bookshelves and friend list,
the people we hate and love and can’t stop to obsess about-
the people we are dying to forget and living in remembrance of.
we sound so noble tonight when we talk like this .
as if we are above the shallow plains of life.
i will forget your name though, and you will also forget
or at least would want to forget a lot about me
that is a totally different type of shallow, isn’t it.
we have shared so much and we will hate ourselves for it.
Of all that I miss,
out of every
“I had it when I didn’t need it,
when I wasn’t ready to face my own needing, cause
my feelings for the delicate and genuine seemed hateful to me”,
out of everything that I tried not to know,
you are the one most precious to me.
Mostly it is because I didn’t really look at you
so I have only these regrets
to measure what you were.
And my regrets grow heavier
with every encounter I have with this world
that is filled with people like me.
My regrets grow heavier
even though I was so well suited, so ready
to live and thrive in this real world, where you were destined
to fail and wither and lose all that false light your prized.
My regrets grow heavier,
the more I realize how much this world needs
you and your friends,
with your false beautiful ideals sewed on your skins.
You would laugh if I told you
about the people I meet everyday,
people like me who can’t come in terms
with the world they have chosen.
I face their expecting eyes,
I feel their hands searching in me
for a glimpse of the world they have burnt.
But maybe because it is you, you won’t laugh at it.
Maybe you’d cry, cry in our stead,
cry for all that we cannot cry for.
When they search for miracles in me
I feel like a house with hidden doors and floors
with bodies holding goodness lying breathless within.
I fear when they find you behind every door-
a miracle with your face, an end with your smile-
then even these regrets won’t be mine.
So I try to be of use to them
all the time hoping
that they find the face of kindness only they know of,
only they miss, the one only they want back.
So that at least our mad hopes, will remain our own till the end.
So that we gain nothing but remember everything
and that remembering makes our hands, our hearts soft and breakable
and beautiful like yours, like everyone else like you
who did a world a favor by just existing.
Today I am a bit out of luck.
Today the sun shines bright
on the stairs to your home.
Today I am forced to see.
But it’s only for today though.
On days ruled by fog, I will again get to hope
that you might be sitting there,
till I reach the first cold step.
I can smile for the few minutes – the time it takes
before I realize everything else
in this world, that is not you,
can make more beautiful shadows of you.
Just like how, sometimes, even i don’t need you.
I don’t need you to cling to you, to beg you,
to feel your love, to be in love, to waste away like this.
Even when I wait though, I hope to quit on you soon.
Even in waiting I actually do not need you.
I imagine the days when I will not need this routine.
As people change and leave, I start hoping
that maybe I will also change and maybe I will also leave,
maybe one day I will forget the way to this place,
and these stairs will be just stairs
and not a place you couldn’t be,
and maybe life could be just life
not a story you are missing from.
And maybe when I also leave
there would be two shadows, not one
on these stairs.
Everything that makes me ache now
will be just what they should be-
things that will never give anyone any grief.
The white curtain, the whistling wind
no matter how many times
I close my eyes.
The chill under my feet
slowly turns into the ice within my bones.
The hope within my heart
blinds me a bit more.
For every step I take
another cold molecule of my sense of self
breaks away from me.
Every step is an unavoidable mistake.
All warm things are now resting
in the rooms of past-
the melting summer and the stickiness left by
the kiss of ice cream at the corner of my lips,
the one tree that I burnt for three winters,
the big windows, the big dreams
that almost burnt a hole in my heart
as I wrote down hollow words recited by my teachers,
the warmth on my skin
as your eyes fell on me,
that whole minute for which you were
the closest star to earth, my new sun.
But every step is an unavoidable mistake.
Every step is a goodbye.
Every sun that my eyes create, falls
too easily from its branch.
No matter how many times
I close my eyes.
it doesn’t vanish-
this world that now I can no longer love.
The light that will never fall on you
is the light I will never see.
Isn’t it beautiful – this cold
that takes me a bit closer to you, even if like this.
I heard you got sick of your life.
I heard I am not the only thing you are leaving behind.
I am getting to know you more when you are not here.
I am getting to know in ways, I didn’t want to and shouldn’t have to.
But I am still hearing things,
so I am still changing my mind.
Sometimes I want to tell them that they are wrong.
Sometimes I almost stand up for you,
but I don’t.
What I know, whom I knew, the you I knew
seems to be one more rumour on restless mouths.
Anything I can say about you now
seems as ridiculous and as probable
as what is being said about you
by those whom I don’t want to believe.
But what do I want to believe?
The ones with melting mind like me, are probably
not the ideal people to hold any beliefs about you
or about anything, actually.
Someone like me should have had
nothing to with you.
I shouldn’t have to learn my ways
about living a world without you.
Or worse a world where you are everywhere.
Just not the way I remember.
Just not the way I want.
I fell into the void.
I have been kindly left alone.
I was allowed to walk in light,
in the world I clearly didn’t belong.
they took my name and handed it back to me
without poison, without hatred, without tearing it into pieces.
That’s all I have to be happy about.
That is the closest I have felt to love.
You look at me
and I look at you
the way broken things look at the hands of an angry god,
the way complete beings look down
at things that can never be their equal.
You and me, we take turns,
learning to feel pain, to give pain
reaching for the light in each other’s eyes,
making copies of each other’s memories
and spilling the ink on the originals.
You and me –
we are children left alone unsupervised with this steel instrument of love.
We now know of the blood and bone within our skin, thanks to this blade.
We now know how to keep distance when nothing keeps us apart.
When we lose our color, our teeth of milk and cruelty,
when the blade loses its shine
and looks like any other rust of this world,
only then we know the pain
of having walked past a life we could have had,
the journeys we could have walked,
the meaning we carried in ourselves for each other sake,
the meaning we never looked up, never cared for.
When I try to imagine,
to recall the face of another human being.
I always see them standing opposite me
with an expressionless face, holding out their hand.
When they are ghosts of pasts,
they are breathing cities of peculiarities and possibilities.
I feel they were waiting for my hand to touch theirs.
I feel as if they have saved up their last smile for that moment.
The steps I couldn’t take, can now never take,
they look so easy, so worth it, so worth keeping as regrets.
But I never learn
when they are reflections of present,
they are breathing statues
and frozen hearts that couldn’t possibly beat.
I know that this hand is not for me,
that I have extinguished the smile on that face
just by being myself, just by existing.
Only the warm breath of passing time
can make me miss the world that could have been.
Only on the streets I cannot walk
grow my trees of faith.
But even then, even for the past
I barely feel any love.
What I feel is something similar to
the relief in the things that won’t change.
The pull I feel is for the trust that can never be broken,
my heart that I never had to give out,
the hand of every stranger that remained innocent thereby.
A face looks out of me-
that damned face of love that never gives up.
It writes down histories, and diaries,
and fears of people it wants to heal.
It never speaks aloud the hopes of gentle gaze
it secretly wants out of them.
It wants a lot many things out of them to name a few, I guess.
Just how it wants a bit too much out of me.
It wants me to learn new tricks to entertain, new specs to list out
just in case my heart isn’t enough.
It wants me to stay close, and speak sweeter
and hold people more dearer.
It wants me to walk back to offer smile
to the ones who didn’t want to be held dearer, at least not by me.
It wants them to know how they will always dazzle
even if they fall short of their own expectation,
even if they find a love whose meaning won’t have a place for me.
I hate being the one losing sleep and respect and my ability to
function like a person with one heart
or have even one complete part of me left for myself.
But I love that love hungry being in me.
I love the intense truth it knows about itself.
I love how, when I cannot fall asleep,
it crawls out of me and sits by my side
to tell me about the another stranger who once made me smile
just by existing, even if their existence was not for me,
even when I exist just fine without them.
As my teacher with broken voice
dictated another question on radius and heights
and the mountains where no snow, no season, no name sticks;
I turned another page and wrote the name of an emperor
who died even though he believed he won’t.
I smiled and tried to correct the very very wrong spelling
of a national political party that my friend wrote. It doesn’t matter she said,
when I couldn’t figure out what was exactly wrong with it.
At lunch, she leaned against the wrong window,
the one with fresh coat of blue paint,
and told me a joke which she memorized
only to remember it wrong.
I again gave her the laugh that meant nothing in particular.
But I knew she loved it when I reacted like this-
as if she is forcing a laughter out of my silent somber heart,
as if she is winning over me all my resistance.
But I was nothing like that.
I was nothing like she thought me to be.
My heart was already open. She was already inside me-
writing melodies with her soft steps beside me,
painting summer sun over every window I looked out of.
But these are things that need no telling,
there are my treasures I won’t allow her to take back,
these are the answer she will never realize.
I hand in another assignment, another answer sheet
that looks too little like me, that raises the eyebrows of people
who realize they couldn’t teach me a thing right.
I walk back to my seat wondering
if my shirt is tainted red with my love
like her back is filled with butterflies of blue.