The glass window creaks under the weight of my head. I wonder if I should sleep. Not that it is in my hands. I wish it was . But then I am afraid of wishing for anything that I might not be able to bear-
like her face alive in my dreams,
like seeing myself with a smile that I can never wear again,
like wanting to smile again even when I do not want to want such things.
Even when I stay awake, stay alert to the turning and tossing of my heart even when I stay glued to the place I had in her heart, I feel that time is dragging me away from everything that is painfully comfortable and familiar and lost.
I feel the world trying to rush back into me. I feel I might lose her too soon, too easily. I fear there is only so much that my heart can take. I fear that I will find the peace that I do not want to feel at the other end of this suffering.
After all this, all this that I am supposed to lose again, again with a smile I don’t mean. I am confused what it means to let go. I am confused why only I am not able to do it? Why letting go comes so easy to everyone I love? Why do only I look selfish if i don’t?
I have seen snails and snakes from a distance of two feet. They were scary and I was scared. Even when they vanished, I remained scared. I remained scared of everything that stood two feet away from me, asking me, “Now what?”, “Is it now, that you run and not look back?”
I have seen friendship from the distance of words I could never type. I sent them new year, friendship day, diwali, doomsday celebration greetings but I never sent them my heart. They too figured with time that they could live without me, without this heart of mine they have only heard about.
When I see them smile for me across the street that we both won’t cross I wonder if I should smile back and extend this period of pain, this pretense
or should I see through them, to set them free
or should I walk closer, to fill their heart with the horrid images of the real me, to let them see the dying me, to let them see the things they can’t do anything about. Would they love me for real if I did that or would they look me from the distance of two feet as I ask “Now what?” “Is it now, that you run and not look back?”
At a bus stand in front of mall (that I have never been to) I learnt how to wait and how to live with disappointments without making a big deal of it.
In the bracket of an hour, I grew smaller than I ever thought I could be. “this is what love does to you, this is what love does to all of us”, all the voices in me lied. I was again weary of the love that I had chosen and the person I had trusted (“again” – the word that showed me the real reason why it would never work out).
I stood beside strangers on the crowded bus stand, awkwardly crying. I counted these not-so-scary strangers who were trying to become one skin. I pretended that I hated to be rained on as much as they did. I pretended that I didn’t mind their warmth, that my suspicious mind was not at work again.
Hours went by, empty roads faithfully stayed empty. I became more aware of the boundaries of my body I became aware of the person who would never come looking for me, who would look at the three hour long rain and still won’t wonder what happened to me.
We all stood there, pretending to be the only human in the group of zombies who had taken over a bus stand out of boredom, who stared at the wide road, the darkness beyond, and the emptiness behind as if their eyes were made to witness only this moment. I closed my eyes and hummed something, anything that could drown the presence of everyone who knew the sound of my breaking heart now.
At a bus stand, that could protect no one, we all dreamt of the worst- of the submerged road, a rain that will never stop, the cold that would take us down for days, children forever waiting, of the lightning we could hear but not see
of a love painlessly ending and a heart that shamelessly survived.
You held me as I broke again and again. Your warm chest tried to hold me, to keep me alive. I couldn’t cry anymore I felt indebted to you I loved you.
You left me again in the crowd that you promised to protect me from. I called you, your number and you name- becoming useless to me with each passing day. I cried because I felt cheated I loved you.
As my heart filled again, as it emptied itself out you stayed in front of my eyes in flesh or in glowing illusions, telling me, nothing is wrong with me. So I slept peacefully because you made me forget my incompleteness I loved you.
You told me love is supposed to be a pain anyway. That this smile of mine that shined in spite of your mistakes, in spite of your cruelty on my weary hopeful heart was the only thing that made you believe in my love. And again I smiled back so that you continue to believe me because I loved you.
There were moments, glorious ones, when you were the most the beautiful human, when you cried for me, when you cried for the world, when you tried to do something right. I wanted to stand beside you so that I could protect you somehow because I loved you more for it.
But now I must face the world and myself alone, without having to become something right in your eyes. Now I don’t have to round up my every feeling to a variant of love. Now I can care for you, hate you and see it as care and hate and a frustration without an end. Now I can see you as the miracle and as the failure that you are. Now I can be a failure myself.
I am not good at loving in the past. I can only be honest. Now I cannot look back at you and call you my heart. You were so much to me that I badly wanted to be something that you want. I kept on sleeping to keep your dream intact and calling this love, when it clearly was not. Even though it was probably something better than that.
a library of all my roles stands in the middle of my heart. i have placed your face as the title of this poem that i am going to drown. i lie on the beautiful lake of love and press my ears, waiting to hear your last breath in my world.
In her loudest, happiest voice she told me about one of her near-death loves, how she wished her skin would stop keeping her alive. She laughed at how we both always find something awfully painful or ugly in common, how we should probably never call each other just to remind each other of the spite that lives in our blood.
I moved her lackluster glass of fake green mojito by an inch towards her and looked past her at the couple who sat closest to the sky. The wind that touched them called out to me again, reminded me about my trembling legs and my heart that didn’t want to give up yesterday.
I told her about the fall – my bad decision, my backing out again at the last minute- another really bad decision. I told her someone needs to lock me up before I take any more decision as I showed her my new skinned knee and told her in detail about all parts of me that were filled with pain even now only because of that one moment in which I wanted to live more than anything.
She walked towards the the railing decorated with hearts that won’t light and found herself a seat, placing her elbow carefully away from the mess that the ones in love left behind. She waited for me to follow her as I always do.
I stood behind her and felt a fear very similar to mine swimming in her mind. I wanted to tell her, it will get better. but I couldn’t. I wanted to believe in this, in this hope for better; if not for me, at least for her. And I knew she had nothing to say now because her throat was also crowded by the words she doesn’t believe. We are painfully alike even in our search for hope, even when we are searching it for each other.
the broken-hearted know no love for anything or anyone that is not the one breaking their heart. they see through you. even when they say hello they almost get your name wrong, you can tell it from the look in their eyes. they drink and fill every room with songs that were not so hard to bear when they were just noises that radio made. they tell you in their drunken stupor that no one cares.
they say no one cares even when you call the cab, drag them home, hurt your hand in the struggle, scrape more than skin, lose more than patience, leave them on a bed not made for weeks probably, you don’t want to guess or know. so you close the door, climb down the stairs shut down the part of mind reserved for them, but remember how they have been liking and sharing too many dark poems, how those poems speak in their voice in your mind. so you climb back, remove every blade and knife and realize it is just the beginning. you feel exhausted by the inexhaustible list of things that can help end a life, that can serve as a full stop.
so you sleep on the couch or pretend to, till your head hurts from pretending. now that you want something true you call your love and tell him that you don’t know how to handle this, how to sleep and yet keep an eye on the one whom you suspect is waiting, waiting for you to close your eyes for a second to make an exit that doesn’t exist. he tells you that they are beyond hope at the same time he forwards articles that could give you hope. he tells you to sleep tight knowing you won’t.
when you wake up at the sound of tears being microwaved for breakfast, you see another day that won’t be right. you see them trying not to break yet breaking and abandoning everything around them so that their hurt can be felt by the world. they look at you and smile while they pour another glass toasting “another drink for the world that doesn’t care, another drink for the loveless me.”
the broken-hearted know no love for anything or anyone that is not the one breaking their heart.
i try to sleep, to forget the pain near my spine, to forget all the hours in front of me that i have no use of. i look at my palm from near and from as far as my hands can extend. i notice how my hands have changed. do i like it better now? i wonder if it possible to like anything about my body now. i remember once deciding not to at least hate this skin that has use for everyone but not to me. i remember saying “as long as it makes you happy” at the same time thinking “i don’t think you care for my happiness”. i stop myself from finding more things that make me confused or miserable. i unlock my phone. it’s 8 already- more and more notifications, …5GB extra..Alert:You have spent… …has added a new post…added a new story airplane mode, the notifications continue to pile up in my head- all the words that i will never get to see that i always expected even when i knew i shouldn’t, it has been long……sorry, for making you feel alone… today i saw something and was reminded of you. even though we are not together, it is not your fault… thank you for being there for me……it must have been tough… don’t hurt yourself i feel smaller knowing that even the words i want are only words of consolation, just confirmation that i am not the worst. i look at my hands again and wonder if my hatred for myself colors my skin. is that how everyone gets know that i don’t have the courage to ask for fair, for loyalty, for answers? is that how i look? someone who doesn’t have the voice to ask anything anymore.
i sat on the sofa with my feet curled under the warmth of my wings while next to me, my sadness surfed channels and forced me to watch things that could make me cry but they didn’t.
someone has left the door open again but i can’t be bothered today with calling out to anyone. i hear someone talking about “…deserving to be lonely…” and my world, for a change, doesn’t budge, doesn’t break.
when the questions try to make a story from my wounds, i shed a feather or two and pretend that it hurts to speak of my loss. but it doesn’t really.
i have dreaded reaching this point, where being left becomes just a change in schedule. but now that i am here, now that i have nothing else to wait for, all that i am allowed to do is forget all my excuses, all my reasons, forget all the names. because unlike me this world has a bright future to dream of.