The red birds and blue flowers are back in our world, it seems. Again I have become part cloud and part smile and grief. I wonder if you woke up as the light that only knows to cry, as the indifferent sun again. A day like this wasn’t supposed to happen, not now, when we are almost complete by ourselves. A day on which small impossible love like ours sings out from nameless graves buried in meters of snow.
I go back to sleep wanting to forget things that must be done today, dreading to walk into you, hoping to walk into you, knowing that I would love you again, especially on a day like this where I am too broken, when I am too much myself.
Days like this make me belief that I would end up with you no matter what. That even when I run away, even when I cry because of love, even then maybe I want only one thing- to be with you.
The last stranger at the funeral home brought in the worst rain of the season, the coldest wind of the night along with your last letter. He leaned against the window and called up everyone he won’t be able to meet today looking at me all the while. As if he knew every word that I was reading. Probably waiting to see whether I cry at the same lines that he did. His eyes look like the ones who have got used to crying for things that cannot be undone, for a life that cannot be. I wondered if he loved you. Maybe he did. Maybe you knew. I hope you did. He sat beside me trying not to grieve more than a mother, trying not mourn like a lover, making himself invisible with every word i read under my tearful breath
“…even when I sat at the dinner table with my brightest smile and deepest hunger, i couldn’t convince me that i needed to exist here. even the warmest embrace of this world could do nothing but break me. i knew opening my heart could only bring floods and all ends of all kind. i knew all along of this end. forgive me for pretending otherwise….”
He was somewhere upstairs running barefoot on the dusty floors of the broken house. I could hear him even when I stood waiting in the backyard staring at all the rusty memories, feeling the stare of people who will never leave this place, who may never leave me again now that I fear them for never actually dying. I tried not to love him as I stood alone waiting for him to get bored of all this.
I was too afraid to be with him when he was like that. when he read aloud poems about death out of the blue, and read them as if they were the only true declaration he could make to the world, the only true word that he could say to his life. I would only later find out that they were written by someone else – someone who lived in a difficult to pronounce country. He loved things like that – taking up the clothes of emotions of others and wrapping himself up in them as he walked into all the unknown lives that oddly had a room reserved just for him.
And always, I would be outside waiting for the sun to set, for his heart to ease, to be there when he decides to come back to reality for good. I didn’t realize that footsteps had ceased long ago, and so had his breath. So I stood there letting my heart run barefoot on the floor of delusion, in the world where he exists. I waited for my love to give up on him. I was afraid of being me when my love stop, won’t look back at me.
I find myself amidst the flowers that continue to bloom even without her. I find myself smiling, blooming, even dreaming, . trying to hold a bit more life in my hands in spite of the holes that are now three-fourth of my identity, that won’t let me keep anything. As I continue to pass through everything everything I run towards I think maybe this is the only correct for me to live, this is probably the only fate I could accept anyway.
In the rubble with nerves hiding sparks, in the nest of sleeping explosives, again it is you. Again you are here to prove something by doing something unasked for.
You build a place for warm tea, for all our shivering ghosts to haunt. You place the chairs that are not chairs but buckets that cannot hold anything now. There are chairs that are lying around just fine but you want don’t them. You don’t want the old purposes eating away the beauty of all that is left behind.
You console the ones holding onto what is no longer there but you don’t want the ones who want way back to what it was. You ask us questions with your bleeding lips you want us to answer with something real, not just words. “You are cruel”, you laugh when we say that. You make us leave everything we are just so that we can finally sit on empty buckets thinking about the hands we cannot hold, thinking about hands that are no longer hands.
“The city is no longer burning”, you tell us as you place our empty glasses in front of our empty eyes and tell us it is fine if we don’t believe it now. “Sleep. Dream and stay for a while with the molten and bombed, the lost and the dead that still have your heart. Take your time.”
As we lay awake in our heart-wrenching grief, as we lose ourselves to your favorite world of sleep, you stand beside the fire that keeps us alive. You stand beside the fire that is not actually fire but your heart that burns like sun.
We wanted to tell you, “You are kind. You are too beautiful for this world. Have our heart and burn it instead.” But we couldn’t . We knew these things were easy only in words, that these were things we couldn’t do, yet. That we have not smiled and laughed with bleeding lips, helping while being hated. That we were too selfish to be you.
Her floor had always been the color of the season I remember this, only when I step into the mess of her life. The spring issues lay scattered like the flowers The pink, red, yellows, and greens, women who only know youth, women who only grow younger the kind of woman she wanted to be (what a small impossible dream) and she almost is. And now that she can never change would she be happy? When/if she comes across her own lifeless eyes in the missing posters would she be glad to be one of the “sad popular”? I shatter the home of her missing goldfish in my haste efforts to pick them up and put them out of sight- the bundles of glossy paper that my eyes can’t handle. I try to put them away, wanting to throw them away now that she wouldn’t mind, now that she won’t yell at me or anyone for taking away too much of her. I want to try it. i want to try, so she has no option but to stop me. “let’s leave her in peace” tells me my moral compass and my grief. “i don’t want to show her the kind of respect that only dead deserve” shouts back my anger and my love. I drop the heaviest bag in this world on her rain soaked bed. Her last dress, her last chocolate wrapper, her last bus ticket, her last mistake, her last breath everything spilling out, everything ruining the spring that I dreamed for her along with her.
you are now just a butterfly in the unruly garden of my life.
you were once the laughter in our home. your hands were once as warm as mine. you were so many things, the one who knew how to make everyone smile, the one who could soothe my heart with a kind understanding glance, the one who never cried (now I guess you must have cried, knowing how you left us here like this).
they told me you were too weak to live. i gulped down their answer even when i knew they were lying. i was afraid of knowing the real reasons, i was afraid of knowing what I had overlooked.
the soil was so soft in my hand, the day they buried you. i cried through my meals for days. no one consoled me. no one told me things will get better. no one told me to grow up. and something told me i would never grow up.
“We are stronger than we think.” I always avoid saying such nonsense. I have always hated words that have no meaning , no real sympathy, words that almost sound like: “shut up! stop crying! we have had enough. don’t make the atmosphere so depressing. we can’t help it. you can’t either. why bring up such topics.” I never wanted to sound like that to anyone. I don’t want to be one of those who consider consoling someone equal to convincing them that what they considered precious, what they considered life shattering was nothing, that what the grieving cares for is nothing.
But then, what are the right words?
“We are stronger than we think.” To spew such nonsense. Even when I said that to her, I wondered why I said that. Have I been surprised by my strength ever in my life? Probably not.
But I remember feeling that my happiest days have walked past me, when I realized the futility of life, of my life, my insignificance. And how I somehow made it to the days where I found something to look forward to, where I found myself between people whom I could love. The fact that I could wait for such days in spite of the misery that was once unbearable must mean something. To wait for something that may never arrive must require some kind of strength. To loose every paradise we stumble on, to bleed every time it is lost and to still believe in the concept of paradise must require something more than the strength we think we have.