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….”
The river is finally running dry. I heard someone rejoicing to hear this. What is a river without it’s water? I am told it is money, it is development, it is more money.
Another colony, dozens of businesses springs up. There is nothing to be sad anymore. I walk on the roads trying to trace the skeleton of what is lost.
Now, I know the names of few more rivers that are nowhere to be seen on maps.
The numbers of such ghost keep increasing.
There is a language that no one cares for. There is a city that forces everyone to leave. There are words that don’t sound fancy anymore. There is an accent that needs to be exorcised from tongues- the identity of what we are is a secret, something we can be killed for.
But it is the season, the world where rivers dry out beautifully, where aches turn into anger, into revenge, into art, into denials, into search for something new. But rarely does it turns into tears.
How is it we have so much to lose, so much that is already lost and yet have so little to grieve about.
In every country, in every city, on every street stands a home that could have been ours. I am a daydreamer like that As I passed the house with an always crying child, as I passed the house with the overwhelming smell of incense, as I passed the house with singing reality shows played on repeat I only thought of the life we could have there. In my mind, we fit every house, we fit every role. Even if our body was stripped of every muscles and every bone even if we put back together the wrong way, even if we our heart were to be rearranged, in my mind we would still fall in love. That is how we had molded the spirit of our love- to be stubborn (if not right or just). But now there are years when I don’t remember you, and yet there is no sadness in me that is capable of ruining me. You are gone and I am trying to grieve for something I don’t particularly miss. As I pass the houses where our stories used to be staged I realize they are again the buildings of strangers that I am supposed to keep my mind away from. My sadness selfishly keeps uttering, “I need to love someone, someone who won’t do this to me. I need to love someone, to believe in love again.” I reach home with bloody nails and bruised fingers leaving behind bricks with our names scratched out.
As I sing your praise I end up recalling how I used to look at you as if you could save me. But now we stare at each other while my life remains what it is. I don’t call it a mess now, to get some sympathy out of you, to get a miracle out of you. I don’t call it a blessing just so that you would know that I appreciate what you gave me and hope to get a little bit more.
One song, one hymn after another. I play at the seams of my skirt. I pick at the skin that I once was. “is this how we lose ourselves?”, I want to ask you. “is this we become who we are, by cracking and crumbling invisibly, the moment to mourn-lost forever, the innumerable funerals no one grieved at, is this why growing up is painful for all?”.
Instead of prayers I come to you with only questions. Instead of your forgiveness I end up asking your understanding for what I have done and what I have become.
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.