As my teacher with broken voice
dictated another question on radius and heights
and the mountains where no snow, no season, no name sticks;
I turned another page and wrote the name of an emperor
who died even though he believed he won’t.
I smiled and tried to correct the very very wrong spelling
of a national political party that my friend wrote. It doesn’t matter she said,
when I couldn’t figure out what was exactly wrong with it.
At lunch, she leaned against the wrong window,
the one with fresh coat of blue paint,
and told me a joke which she memorized
only to remember it wrong.
I again gave her the laugh that meant nothing in particular.
But I knew she loved it when I reacted like this-
as if she is forcing a laughter out of my silent sombre heart,
as if she is wining over me all my resistance.
But I was nothing like that.
I was nothing like she thought me to be.
My heart was already open. She was already inside me-
writing melodies with her soft steps beside me,
painting summer sun over every window I looked out of.
But these are things that need no telling,
there are my treasures I won’t allow her to take back,
these are the answer she will never realize.
I hand in another assignment, another answer sheet
that looks too little like me, that raises the eyebrows of people
who realize they couldn’t teach me a thing right.
I walk back to my seat wondering
if my shirt is tainted red with my love
like her back is filled with butterflies of blue.
The brightest star of my childhood dreams
sits on the set of a sitcom
and tells jokes about me.
He wins few hearts and breaks few guitars-
becomes an artist of some kind.
He fills the screens with the love he only spoke about.
I become a bit more irrational in his stories
sometimes so much, that I feel no wonder
when he forgets who I really am.
It feels natural when I don’t look at him
when I talk of love, or when I don’t talk about myself.
I trace the distance between the dreams that he had
and the person he has become
and find myself stuck between choosing and abandoning
the same person with different heart.
How helplessly we have drifted to a life
where our best doesn’t do much,
where my undying love only causes me pain,
where your eyes filled with dream only makes you blind,
where the death of our love and the tear from my eyes
are the only thing that gets you closer to what you want.
As I grew up, whom I hate changed constantly, it changed more frequently than my dream for future roles.
Maybe that’s why I was so particular about what I hate and I did it with fervor for the first few years.
But as time went on that hatred turned into just another silence – my refusal to speak with anyone who I wanted to hate.
And now it has transformed to hating people while I pretend to get along with them. Curling inside with anger at the same jokes that I
feel compelled to laugh on.
It is not an easy thing to do but it is still easier than all the alternatives. (The alternatives are my nightmare.)
Because even though my hatred has grown over time, I also find it in me that space to accept people at their ugliest, not loving them, just accepting that they too can live here, be here and do what I hate, and telling myself that I have to be fine with that.
I have come to hate this side of me the most – this cowardice dressed as generosity and understanding, where I do nothing but smile as my blood, my ideals burn and collapse.
Maybe that’s why I have hated myself most, with constant determination, without doubt. This hatred is my only light – my anger at myself, for not doing enough, for taking up fearing my uncertain volatile feelings and views, my own voice, more than I fear this world.
As I wait for you
in the back seat of your car
almost losing sense of my limbs and my scars
I smile – the sad smile I would never use when I am sober.
I smile thinking,
at least I am not crying and waiting
in the trunk of some stranger’s car.
I don’t necessarily love you
but I guess I love your pattern, the predictability of your anger,
the time I have to prepare my skin to shatter.
I think about the times I have been broken
and abandoned by the loves and by the men before you
I think about your anger that I never forget this past.
I think about your hands that I can count on
even when your hands love my pain the most.
I think of your funny jokes, the food you cook in your good mood,
the songs that you hum as you move around the house,
your bluish white wings and your flickering halo
when you are asleep by my side.
I think I can love you a bit after all.
that’s what i remember.
when the stones fell
onto the already breaking roofs of our class,
the girl who sat three rows ahead
everyone who was busy day dreaming,
who had shut their ears to every useless fact that we come to learn,
knew how to listen to this,
to this violence that could hurt but won’t.
i sat there listening,
wondering if my skin would also be able bear
what this tin sheet roof can,
if my classmates would look at me
understand their violence that could break me but hasn’t yet.
maybe it was our silence,
maybe it was the teachers glare
that made it stop,
made the loud shrieking rain to end.
and when she left
the stones had already turned into dripping water.
the kids wanting to forget
the trauma of being silenced,
of having their dreams interrupted,
of being reminded of their helplessness
recited incidents that didn’t happen,
tried to laugh a little louder than usual,
made another joke at the expense of someone like me
and so my only memory of hailstone
was also reduced to the din of students (who never liked me).
i closed my books and pretended to be asleep
while everyone ate and talked to their friends.
i waited for everyone to leave
so I could eat alone
without being ashamed for being left alone.
i said the word aloud in that empty classroom.
i had one more words now
to describe these kids who scared me by their meanness,
who made me like the prospect of loneliness.
I jokingly said that I would hate it
to be someone else-
someone who would have to suffer me.
But before my face realizes what my heart meant,
where it becomes apparent in my eyes
that I am nowhere near recovery,
before I panic at being taken seriously,
someone cuts me off
with proofs supporting my observation,
with a list of my faults I may have missed,
with an funny anecdote about
about the time I was too broken to think straight.
I wish I had not broken into laughter when I put myself down.
I wish ‘laughing it away’ was a trick that worked in my life.
I was never mistaken that ‘tricks’
changes reality, builds back and heals
all that is in pieces and all that is in pain.
It’s just a way to turn blind to what I cannot change.
But walking blind is worse than I had thought.
I keep colliding with harmless words, bruise myself,
and recoil back in the fear of what I may find
if I took a step forward.
Yesterday I sat myself through a video of jokes
then another and then another,
till I found nothing funny,
till I had to stop
because I was almost at the verge
of taking things too seriously,
at the risk of being offended
on behalf of someone else.
And no, being offended is not cool anymore.
I don’t want to be disliked
even a bit more that I already am
or of proving their list of stereotype correct.
So now I must find something else to waste my time on,
that doesn’t hit me so hard, that doesn’t make my headache.
That doesn’t force me to to be a better person
to people who expect the world to tolerate them
while they mock the misery and blame the victims.
But I guess it is just a matter of time
before my feelings fade forever
before a bit more numbness sets in my heart
before I see myself laugh at all that is wrong.
I wanted too little
and yet you who speaks of all the riches of this world
you could not give me the little that I wanted.
Not because you can’t
but because you would rather not.
I am poisonous.
I am the worst,
the one people should avoid.
All my sorrows are my punishment for not being what you wanted.
All my weakness is something to be ridiculed.
I should be okay
or even rejoice when you question my mental stability
everyday as a joke.
This is what your love has taught me.
Can it still be called love?
Am I still obliged to love you back in a kinder way,
when all you have done is to take pride
that you loved someone twisted as me
as if you have made the biggest sacrifice of your life.
How my feelings turn into a joke
in your hands.
How I have laugh
at the sight of this
and accept it as something normal.
Is this my punishment?
For pushing away people,
who really cared,
who looked for me every time I left.
But maybe they could do that
only because they never knew me.
But you know me too much.
Every dialogue with you
makes me realize, makes me see
another part of me
that I need to cut away
to become worthy of your love.