Somehow, it was understood by everyone in that room
that our expectation of happiness will never be met.
Even as we smiled and exchanged pleasantries
and got each others name right (if not each others lives),
we could see the powdered snow of truth on each others shoulder.
We looked at each other stumbling through the halls,
stubbing our toes and losing our limbs
to something as simple as a heartache,
to something as trivial as a phone call not made.
We would drink each other’s suggestion
and make visits to tables where greatness lived
yet all the time barely holding ourselves back
from asking the obvious – “do you know it too?”
or sometimes from even asking the absurd – “can you love away
this realization, exorcise this pain from me? look at me
so that I stop breaking. look at me and make me feel true.
look at me, so my hands can stop clawing at your throat for attention.
I hate being reduced to this, don’t you”
Too tired to pretend, too dejected to accept,
stupidly, recklessly we hoped, even as we tried not to.
I would be busy scanning the shelves,
my hands clutching
a carelessly torn paper
that mentions in your clear writing
all that is essential
to nurture tiny special things
like childish loves and high-flying songs.
I would walk down the aisle
to the music of wedding march,
to the noise of tiny wheels ready to dismantle,
unable to find anything to save anyone.
The remedies for a body
that has known the laws of gravity too closely,
the bottles that can hold happiness gifted by visiting dreams,
the stickers of cracks to be pasted on the dams holding us back-
they are no longer sold here.
Like a typical maid running out of a ball,
with no prince, no magic, no new fate tailing her shadow
with my back adorned by lights of structures
that now only sell numbness
and the promise of easy breaking down,
I face the streets that are oblivious to their own dissolving.
I face your absence once more
to remind myself why nothing works anymore.
I cried only because
I knew I can be easily loved
if I gave what was asked of me.
And everything asked of me was simple.
I was, after all, made to love like this,
made of love like this.
It was an easy game, that I was designed to win.
And yet tears didn’t cease to dance on my lashes.
All the easy reasonable ways of living with others
were a wound to my ideals.
I couldn’t get over the dealings and the transactions,
the sick rotten give and take.
I couldn’t get over the conditions,
the changing shallow terms of affection.
But in all my loathing
even as I held back things that hungry eyes sought from me,
I couldn’t stop my own hunger from showing.
I also tugged shamelessly at the sleeves of another’s heart
asking for something simple,
a minor sacrifice, a cheap gesture of love,
only to forget it all in the next attack of doubt,
the next demand for more.
I waited for someone’s endless sea of virtues
to change my shabby heart that refused to believe.
My heart meanwhile
counted for, waited desperately,
for all the seas to dry up
rather than giving up
the ideals it didn’t even deserve to hold.
This is how I stand guard to the happiness that
I won’t let anyone, not even myself have.
The metal bubbles.
The knives and the rust reach
our softest tissue, our dearest happiness.
My skin, like his, is torn and sewed up.
A new design forced into our veins.
A new love written.
Something old and precious bleeds.
Something soft leaves our hold,
leaves our hands, our dreams cold.
The blessings, the gentle shade,
the sun showers –
all a memory too unreal to be trusted now.
Soon we will speak of love
and not mean each other.
I looked at the beautiful beautiful plate,
the rice lit like pieces of paradise,
the spice, the salt,
a garden, a farm,
a forest fit into morsels.
I wanted to write about food
and realized how it no longer fills me
but what feeds me are the hands that make them.
Carefully they serve the empty cold plate,
fill it with love and color and texture
and sprinkle “i love you” and “hope you are always happy”
and “hope you are always full” without restrain,
always, always in excess.
But I am never full,
and I am often not happy.
I eat this world and their love
always with half my heart heavy
with ugly yearning for things that cannot be.
But whatever good remains of my heart
remains because they love, they care
for me like this,
the woman with red lips ,
with her body
flattened on the thickest
stands dead, stands tall,
as big as the most reflective bone,
the most visible
and most sought assembly of bricks,
grown on the most affluent dreams.
she wobbles like a rootless tooth
when the wind blows.
inside the low blood walls,
across the road
that have never been stepped on,
she stands, she towers
and never dares to look down
on anyone but herself.
she smiles the smile that would have been
if only it was really meant.
if only it was all true
it wouldn’t have been
heart breaking to be looked at.
The ripples spread out and march
towards the far end of happiness.
They die and are born again
under the wish of my yet-to-break mind.
I am carried to the place that was never made for my sake
but yet seems to be made out of a piece of me, of my own heart.
The far end of everything
has this one branch and this one bird.
This one song that seems
to be something sent by the heavens,
something that can’t be given in my hands,
something too precious, too beautiful to be bestowed to me.
Maybe for a reason, that I will realize too late.
But how do I stop before that.
I am always at the far end of wanting.
The perfect distance to always be aware,
to know what could be and yet know what isn’t.
At this end also, inside me, inside this hollow haunting,
is also a tree, a bird, a song.
Even if made of dust
it is my own drowning lighthouse-
my only spring that tries to breathe, retain its humble peace
before I reach my ruin. Before I learn why I must give up
what I always knew I can’t have.
your hair coils into a nest,
into a snake, into a rope
that has not decided yet what to do
with its life and with the life of the one
who holds it…what to do with me.
let me hold you.
let me find your soul.
let me see your love
whatever it looks like.
of all the things you could do,
of all the miracles you are capable of,
gift me the tiniest speck of sunshine
that is about to die, give me that little island
of light that floats in your eyes.
i want you to live.
i want to hope.
i want to be a part
of your most tender happiness.
i want to know what it means
to be closest to your heart,
closest to your breath.
come here, let your hair down,
let it flow towards me.
Somehow I feel that
the ropes that we walked on
for each others sake
were never really ropes
but figment of our imagination
stretching from your mind to mine
connecting centers of chaos
and wanting and hatred without direction.
Once I thought we stood together
against everything else,
against every force of reality.
But now that my sockets have grown eyes
and now that we have moved so far away from
our self-indulgent blindness
that we could never separate ourself from.
Now every glimpse of past is sad and pitiful.
Looking back why does it seem
we were just clinging to each other
as if we were each other’s last hope.
As if we let go, we would never know happiness of any kind.
As if we held on, we could change each other
and find in each others changing a reason to smile.
But thankfully or regrettably, I have not grown much
cause sometimes I feel thankful to you
for sharing all the dark moments with me
even if you caused half of them.
I feel oddly grateful to you
for sharing my pitiful fate, my mundane days,
my cycles of planned and impulsive destruction,
for walking with me to our day of separation.
I hope that we find happiness in future
without pinning our hopes on the ruin of another.
I hope we see the ruin when our hands begin to create one.
It was not all bad. Or maybe it was worse than I remember.
Oddly enough I wouldn’t change our fates.
But I will never wish for it again.
There are so many things that I wait to see again
and none of them will do my heart any good.
There are mountains and flags and footsteps
all settled into the sleep, lost in this busy blue.
Some call it drowning. Some call it the end of things.
Some wait for it to rise and become the lonely peak once again.
Some like me float my boat on this ocean
all dressed in sad flashy optimism
with my poor eyesight and a grainy foresight
ready to cry.
Some like me wait for the things they fear,
wait for the things that break, that tear.
All beautiful things of past are now buried
under a common grave with no stone, no epitaph.
I can’t tell apart my love from theirs.
My growing years, my diminishing heart,
the roads that I promised never to walk on,
the hands I promised never to leave-
they call it theirs.
They hold it in their arms
whenever after years of aimless floating
their boat gets caught by a shadow
that wants them.
Meanwhile I am afraid of holding back anything
that tries to stop me. Every pull frightens me
that I might love something that is not mine
that I will never know if this happiness is just
my sickness of water, sickness of search and waiting.
I can never look anyone in the eye
in the fear of seeing someone else’s tears,
in the fear of seeing my own corruptibility reflected.
And yet I can’t seem to end this search
for there are so many things I fear I will never feel again
if I end it all here.
Though they happen to be the same things
that I am incapable of believing in ever again.