I crawled to the window in my dress torn by the claws and cries of people who live in my nightmares. They like clean living rooms, dark courtyards, and cars with slashed tires sitting in their garage. They have “broken hearts” written down in forms as their identity and broken chandeliers swept under their bed. They crouch down and look at me as the broken lights shine red, as I see myself bleed beautiful rivers, as my silent scream become winds, become ripples, becomes the face that will forever make me cry. They smile and ask me “What do you wish? How do you want to be saved?” while someone else burns the bed that I am crushed under and asks me “Is this the what the warmth felt like in your mind?” They drag me out into a forest, where under the brightest tree of hope, they stuff darkness into my throat, into my mind and ask me “Do you still feel empty?” They are unreal and of unsound mind. They tell me living in me makes them so. They wave goodbye to me with a smile, offering me a sweet candy for my silence and understanding It is raining when I open my eyes. I breathe in the world where bleeding and burning is irreversible, where it would lead to an end of some kind. I crawl to the window in my torn dress and my exhausted skin and find myself staring at people who used live in my nightmares, people who look more real that the living me. People who now own more than just my dreams.
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.
this person with dreams and purpose, this person with heartful of love and tears as a proof of its painful blooming, this person with a lot say and a lot to see with an agreeable “to-do” and hidden “what-if-I-never” list, this person good enough to be included in your plans, in your friendly banter, in your group chats, in your betrayals, in your short-lived love, in your museums of wax, in your corrupting memory, in your unreliable heart
this person – this image, is merely an excuse I give to world, an excuse I give to myself. So that I can continue to exist even when I don’t know why I must.
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.
And every morning I hear wind, I hear birds, I hear children play around in me. I am filling myself with everything that reminds me of what I really am. I let my heart do what it wants, my heart wants no part in this remaking of me. It starts it’s days praying for your return and goes to sleep, thankful that you won’t.
Now that we have buried all the clocks, a day passes only when our eyes meet again, night comes only when we say goodbye. And when I walk away from the shade of her smile, I think that I am forgetting something, something that would have made me sad. But her name, her words have grown ferociously, violently on whatever I once was. So it doesn’t matter I guess what kind of person I was till I can continue to be the person she loves.
With each day crossed out. With each dresses, each mask added to the my wardrobe. With each hand that passed into mine, with each hand that moved onto the next too easily, I realized I knew how to dance to this tune that used to frighten me once.
Another stranger, another potential lover, another sun that has already grown cold, whispers in my ears – words I do understand.
I search for a harmless smile in my bag. I hang it carefully on my face. I turn myself into a gift, into a substitute of love for this person – who is dying like me, waiting like me, for something, anything to fill the time left.
You’ve taught me that I need not be only one thing and suffer because of it. That my identity need not be something that traps me and stops me from doing what I want or change my mind about what I want. That I could melt in love and still be as strong as I wanted to be if not for myself, then at least for the sake of the ones that I love. That I can choose even failures if that’s what I really wanted that I could give up, and by giving up, by stopping to tend to my wounds I was not letting anyone down, especially not myself.
They forgot to teach me
the most basic thing-
to know which side I should take
to keep a check on papers, to see sense
when someone tells me what is politically right
and to agree when they tell me that identity is everything
not only mine, but of all those who live on same piece of land as me.
They forgot to tell me to fight and argue
in the name of and for the sake of people
who didn’t care about the fight,
who were fine living the way they did.
I ended up believing
that I could just exist without belonging to any shore
and maybe make my own
and pray that no one joins me
and turn my life into something to live by.
How could they have overlooked this ,
didn’t they foresee how I would sit awkwardly
midst strangers and have nothing to say
about how the world was run.
Would they consider me silly,
would they think that I am shallow
if I was thinking about the fictional character from a story
and his conflicts?
Would they judge me if the story in question was not about
wars, rivalry or mid-life crisis
but one of romantic ones with cheesy lines
that everyone seems to detest?
They should have told me to memorize lines from papers
and opinion columns
and pass it as my own,
when I was not interested to form opinions
on topics that seemed to be of grave importance to others.
I should know better than to write poems on love and sadness
when people are dying around me.
But I don’t.
I think I may have been brought up the wrong way
and there is nothing I can do about it now.
But I am not even sure whether
I want to fix the things
that I asked to feel ashamed of.