The monsters brought their shadows
as they climbed into my bed
and I gave them stories
that promised to make them human again.
I had talked them into the idea
of change and love and the broken petal
that became a flower overnight
in the embrace of a care so fierce it
that nothing in the world could stay broken
once they knew its warmth;
just liked they talked me into
the ideas of strength and hiding and the stones
that teach the skin of blood, bruise and eventually a strength
so stubborn that it can never be separated
from our bodies, our sorrows, and our will to fight.
But many hours and a sleep and a love later
we still found ourselves staring at the
broken windows of hope,
and the stone of disappointments
melting in the morning light like snow.
Each half of our heart now wouldn’t stop crying
and begging for the other half to change.
Every part of us was now contending with each other
on the monopoly of truth, the right way to love,
and the safe ways to die. Our surety of self was evaporating
faster than ever. We were being broken from inside,
scattered for good, while our skins now knew the same battles
of keep up a form, keeping our reality hidden.
But now we could at least now sit in a room
and look each other in eye and smile,
knowing we could never be separate from each other.
Knowing there is no hell or heaven we would go to alone,
no forgiveness only granted to one.
There was no sin or or grace in this kingdom of cries,
there is no beautiful escape from this knowledge of life.
Even if this moment casts me to hell*,
even if this is a seed of hurt
that will soon be my new skin,
as long as your spirit embraces me
there would be only spring,
there would only be morning birds,
and silent roads filled with your sweet footsteps.
They are beautiful people
with beautiful heart
and they really want to mend me
and that’s scary.
It is scary
because I can’t seem to feel
love or gratitude
for anyone who affirms
that I am as bad as I imagined myself to be.
It is scary
because my disease knows me
and my cure doesn’t.
And the better life sounds like hell
to my broken hearing.
It is scary
because when you hold me from breaking
I can barely stop myself from saying,
“leave me alone,
before i learn how to break you too”.
as you melt your heart into oceans
i fear my arms betray me sometimes,
sometimes they go numb,
they surrender at the thought of your warmth.
when you tell me of your love
as i ache for another,
i want a part of me to ache for you as well.
when you settle for being my comfort rather than my love,
i wish i had loved you instead.
but we are selfish dear
i cannot give up
just as you can’t.
we wait to be seen by the one we can’t seem to reach.
we wait because that’s the only answer we have.
we try to forget the love that we can have but don’t want.
i am fond of you,
so forget me if you can.
i can’t bear to see my pitiful self
in you, i can’t bear to drag you down to my hell
only to leave you alone.
There is another in your heart.
In your mind there is always a new another-
someone you could have had.
“Anything is better than this”, as you so often say.
I wonder if the hell of your imagination has my face.
For long my hell has been – you, keeping your options open.
My hell has been – wondering if it is all in my head.
To smile and love you better, every time you treat me bad.
To measure the worth of love in tears,
only my tears.
My hell has been going towards you.
You, who has always been going away.
Excuses are futile, reasons unnecessary.
You may have sad story
but who doesn’t.
I don’t want to know what you went through.
I don’t want to melt my indifference and disregard
and become the only character who suffers for their understanding.
I don’t want to be that lone person
who considers even small actions
so that the ones who are already hurt,
don’t break on their watch,
don’t die on them.
But it is difficult to be kind
to the ones who end up living for their pain,
who think their pain makes them special,
who would do anything to keep their status of
the ones needing protection.
It is tiring to continuously ache for others.
It is tiring to see everyone walking back to their mistake
in the name of love, in the name of passion.
Don’t tell me about your sadness and worries.
Don’t ask me for support and advice.
I cannot forgive those who return to the normality of their hell
leaving me as the only one
who should have known better than to help those
who can’t make up their mind.
My every action feels like a potential trigger
for my all-seeing god and his all-criticizing followers
to throw me into the hell that is still under construction.
They are always changing the furniture,
always tearing down new wallpapers,
to suit to life I fear most.
But I can never make up my mind.
Maybe knowing, that the only way to evade their sentence
is to live my own hell.
As the light and the life of the streets
are switched on,
I wait for your knock on my door,
my heart going on imaginative trips
to the hell of not knowing.
with whom you might fall in love,
where you might find another broken human to pet,
in what form will that person appear
who would hold your rain for a moment
while you fix your smile.
This interesting world scares me,
where everyone and everything is better than me.
An ornament blue that reminded me of your eyes.
The sleeve of silk that had finally felt like mine.
The black of my eyes, the blood of my lips.
They took it away one by one.
While you looked on
almost happy to have avoided my fate.
My life became colored with
a dazzling red of sun
being devoured by sky and sea alike.
And no flowery word you use
to soften the memory- of what I felt
and what I suffered,
could remove me from the hell that I was thrown
only for you to climb out.
Maybe you never considered
how I had to pay the price for your dream.
Maybe you never thought of me
when you walked the evening roads
lit with the warm light of possibilities.
Maybe that’s why you stand in front of me
asking why I am bitter.
I was running from myself, trying to be someone different for each person of importance in my life, tailoring myself to their needs, choosing personas to inhabit and abandon, wearing masks that only obscured my own desires and the gravity of my choices. I was code-switching for the hell of it, without much purpose but with plenty of precision.
-Brandon Harris, “The lies we tell ourselves about gentrification“