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.
I am happy. Almost.
I leave my bed to sit beside the window
that looks over the road.
I stare at everything that lives and dies beside me.
I will my brain to think of a rhyme
that I can gift this world.
I feel that my love for this ocean
of people far exceeds my loathing.
I am almost happy to be alive.
Though almost is a big word, a painful word.
It is is still smaller than the distance I have covered so far,
it is negligible to everything that has ever stood in my way.
‘Almost’ is something I can overlook,
as long as I have something to look forward to.
I cannot give up on this world even when I should.
you utter this word so often
with a sadness that sounds bigger than this word,
bigger that whatever it may have given you at one time.
is this the sadness that you are trying to burn away?
does it hurt when it also burns a part of you as well,
turning whatever is left into charred surface?
is it convenient ?
to have a heart that looks nothing like it.
to mute her voice just to keep her face in your mind.
to feel her lips, her words in your every kiss.
to freeze yourself with a love that won’t breathe anymore.
I bask in the sunlight
of borrowed memory.
I grieve in the arms
of your dying words.
I find another piece of myself
to send you away with
and I wonder why I feel empty
even though you have given me your all.
As you smile
and tell me all the words
that make you look happy,
I can only wait for you.
I can only wait till you decide to
you let me know your tears,
like you have let me know your love.
But meanwhile, I won’t knock incessantly
on the doors of your heart,
I won’t try to knock down your walls
because there are things that I am struggling
to share with you as well.
I know the pain of hiding.
and I won’t add to this pain
that is wearing you out.
do not feel guilty,
do not try too hard.
I will follow you for this life,
even if you give me only half of your heart.
Why does your lie hurt me so
when I know it is a lie?
Why are we ready to act as if
things have gone wrong between us,
when you still love me like you used to,
when I still feel like it was only yesterday
that you changed my life merely by existing.
I want to love you and protect you all my life.
Why are you giving up this life we have together.
I am not so strong that I will tell you-
“don’t worry, i’ll be fine”.
I don’t want to say that.
I will break down if you are not here.
For it’s not only my heart that you have
you have everything of me.
If you turn away from me in spite of loving me,
how do you expect me to carry on living with ease?
I do not want ease.
I am ready to loose my sleep over you.
I know what I am promising
believe me as you have done till now,
I have never given you a reason not to.
Stay with me
even if our love becomes my ruin.
Stay with me
even if it pains you to see me like this.
Stay with me
for all the pains I take for you
and for all the care you have for me-
we can only have so many seconds to be happy
and every portion of my happiness
I want to give it to you.
Stay with me
and let me the only one
who has to carry the burdens of tomorrow.
The one who hold my hand
it has to be you,
no one else.
Once we are done with the ritual of tea,
as I leave the room with his cup and mine,
I leave behind my shadow with him.
That is his favorite part of his evening
and he is all too happy to talk to a quieter me.
He feels my shadow is somehow better than me.
He finds it more understanding
and more similar to the feminine company
he always wanted in his life.
Someone who knows how to listen,
and who knows when not to think.
Someone who would look up to his words
with the certainty of truth
and would be the first one to realize his specialness.
I can understand where he comes from,
it is tiring to impress everyone all the time
fearing when we will falter, when we will fall in their eyes.
I can understand, even when I don’t want to,
for even I have wished for the same things
that only an imbalance of power or naivety of a lover
can give me.
There is so much to forget.
To get along, to make peace with.
To give up.
Only so that I can continue
to be entertained by the little happiness
I have been given.
There are so many egdes I must invent everyday
so that I do not find this earth round,
so that I do not find my way back
to my own voice.
Sometimes the hatred, the bias that
people around him smoked
sticks to his clothes, his skin, his tongue
when I come near him.
He can wash it from himself with a sleep.
He can leave it at the door, when he steps in.
But I can’t wash it out of my mind.
In my mind
I mix up the person he is and the person he has to be.
But I realise that I do not know the person he is,
I only know the person he has to be for me,
I only resent the person he has to be for others.
The person he is, looks at me from his corner of eyes
and this stranger looks at me
not across oceans, not across roads of fate,
but across the versions of us filling up the space between us,
the versions we can never throw away.
This stranger looks at me and gives me the smile
that he has to wear for me.
For me to realise the love I have for the the days
I share with this person who spends his days with me,
loses his ways with me and grows old with me.
I smile back becoming the person I have to be for him,
becoming the version I love the most.
Let me show you around.
This place that you think as mine
will soon be yours one day.
Especially because you will want to own this mess
more than you want to own my heart.
And though my eyes might roll
at the sound of the word “own”
but that’s just how things are.
One day we might yearn for each other’s glance.
And slowly with unsure lips we pray for more-
for some sweet words, for a secret to keep
for happiness of a day, for hands that don’t let go.
And soon with love drunk lips we demand more-
for reasons, for time we never seem to have,
for guarantees, for becoming better than what we are.
And that day when you will have all that you demand
and still feel like I have not given it all.
Come to this room, and see this mess.
These old clothes, old words;
these unwashed plates with leftover moldy attention.
And realize why I don’t want you here-
in this museum of what I was.
This is not the world I want to share with you.
Can’t we build a better one.