And across this street is my old home,
the one I won’t ever visit.
This year they have painted it yellow.
How sad is that, isn’t it?
My mother hated that color.
She said that yellow kills happiness.
She said such colors convinced even a happy person,
that their smile is not enough.
Her smile, as a rule, was mostly not enough for anyone
and it made sense to me that she would hate
to compete with her wallpapers, her furniture,
her mirror, her curtains – for the sake of validating
her existence and importance.
The woman who stole our lives years later – I heard her
telling my mother
that “she was an insecure woman, that she was bound to lose”.
As if she, who paints this house now
with horrible colors every year, knew what loss is.
My mother – she liked browns and greys and greens.
She grew life out of her blood.
She loved dearly and irrationally-
whenever she sat still
and saw at us smiling and playing,
she would break into tears.
We loved her more dearly for that.
She loved that house
and the man that owns it.
She hated herself a bit too much.
She tried not to
but saving her was a work she had to do by herself
-a tiring chore, no one wanted to be part of.
She brought us the most beautiful yellow frocks one day
and looked at us, trying to love something impossible through us.
She looked at us hoping that her love for one thing
could make her bear her hate for another.
Like a fool, she believed
that her trying would mean something to this world.
i can’t…i just can’t bring myself to remove all the ellipsis…that i leave behind in my sentences. i know they look shabby… as if i don’t know how to create proper sentences…as if i have never heard of a comma. i am told it is something similar to ending and pausing sentences with “you know”.
“so juvenile”…my friend had commented. i remember saying the same words to my friends as well (but i don’t think my tone was the same, but i could be mistaken…or self righteous)…so it seems i am not allowed to take it to heart. i am supposed to erase the ellipsis…till they smile again and lie that “i will do better”…or that “it’s time i grow up”…or “gotta become a real poet”.
it seems it is okay to store my ellipses in my mind
to place it on an empty sky,
on the face of my teacher sprinkled with a hatred that i can’t understand,
on the hands that never reach out to me in daylight,
on the future i can’t seem to dream about,
on every minute that i walk alone on the streets
where i thought i would never have to be alone,
on the days when i know the answer but won’t speak up
for the fear of being right.
i don’t know how to live a life
where what i think has importance or the acceptance of others.
need to find a better home for my pauses
than pages that are mine
but only with conditions.
Though the sky is filled with lights
the nights on this land are lonely as ever.
Again I am in love
with a part of sky,
with things that we call heavenly
only because they are out of our reach,
only because they are not ours to keep,
because every god seems to love them more.
I end up on websites or with books that say
“this is how the universe looks”
“this how the stars are born”
“this is the most beautiful cloud you will ever know”
“this is something your tearful eyes can never see”.
That for every drop of light
there are an expanse of emptiness
which we cannot imagine.
That we are small and we are insignificant.
Funny how the love for things
that I thought couldn’t possibly hurt me
also takes me down the same path.
The path that I walked once
holding the hands of someone
made of flesh plastered with signs
of caution and warnings.
But it is different now.
I guess the difference lies in who tells this news to me.
If I am nothing, if this hurt that I feel because of you
is of minor importance,
if I have a life that will be easily forgotten,
then I do not have to kill myself only to be remembered well.
I can forgive you for being human
and myself for not being humane enough.
I tell myself again and again
what it is that I really want
as I force myself to sit there and listen to every word
that diminishes the efforts I have put in my dream.
It makes me feel strong and pathetic at the same time,
that my wanting too little
could also be something that I must be criticized for,
something I must apologize for.
They force in their way into my mind
and take away every picture, every memory that exists
not for my happiness, not as a proof of my life
but a reminder, a reason for me to forgive and let go
of all the hurtful words that my dear ones
speak at me casually in the name of care.
I beg and cry inside,
outside I look unbothered.
I resort to everything,
anything to postpone this dismantling and rating of my life
even by a day.
I tell myself again and again
I can bear this
but I don’t think I can.
Every morning I convince myself
that all I do will make sense to them someday.
But will it really?
I do not have one person who believes in me,
in what I am capable of.
How long, how far can I walk
only by the strength of a delusional value and importance
that only I can attribute to myself.
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“