In her loudest, happiest voice
she told me about
one of her near-death loves,
how she wished her skin
would stop keeping her alive.
She laughed at how we both
always find something awfully painful or ugly in common,
how we should probably never call each other
just to remind each other of the spite
that lives in our blood.
I moved her lackluster glass of
fake green mojito by an inch towards her
and looked past her
at the couple who sat closest to the sky.
The wind that touched them called out to me again,
reminded me about my trembling legs
and my heart that didn’t want to give up yesterday.
I told her about the fall – my bad decision,
my backing out again at the last minute-
another really bad decision.
I told her someone needs to lock me up
before I take any more decision
as I showed her my new skinned knee
and told her in detail about
all parts of me that were filled with pain even now
only because of that one moment
in which I wanted to live more than anything.
She walked towards the the railing
decorated with hearts that won’t light
and found herself a seat, placing her elbow
carefully away from the mess that
the ones in love left behind.
She waited for me to follow her as I always do.
I stood behind her and felt a fear
very similar to mine swimming in her mind.
I wanted to tell her, it will get better.
but I couldn’t. I wanted to believe in this,
in this hope for better;
if not for me, at least for her.
And I knew she had nothing to say now
because her throat was also crowded by the words
she doesn’t believe. We are painfully alike
even in our search for hope, even when we are searching it
for each other.
Every time I held your hand, I felt it.
Your blood, your voice, your mind
taking a step back,
a silent declaration,
“I can only love you this much”.
I stood on the lines I am not meant to cross.
I shifted uncomfortably from one leg to another,
afraid what my next step could do to your heart.
Wondering how much of this distance
is due to my insignificance?
How much of its reason roots in your fears?
I hope I knew how to fix things
that are not broken.
I wish I knew how to erase and redraw
our painfully distant orbits.
The memories I burnt away
have turned into spirits, into thoughts
that hold me back from naming and keeping this happiness
that sits at my doorstep, waiting for my love.
And though the shadows of my past are tied to my legs,
though they rattle on empty roads
and never let the the dust of my life settle.
But ‘it is not so bad’ is also a sentence
that I have learnt to say with ease
and I sometimes even mean those words as they leave my mouth.
For there is a doorstep where a heart like yours
waits for me to heal, your wait makes the plant of trust
grow in my heart again.
Every morning I find myself, my lips
a bit closer to the the words
that only you deserve to hear.
to be human is to float like a single cell life
devouring pieces of digestible meaning,
splitting and cutting oneself without blood loss
into something more manageable.
to be human is to lose your legs
to the ideas of nation, families, and lovers.
to be a human like me is to look at
herbivores, carnivores, omnivores, scavengers…
and wonder what hunger feels like.
it is to order love at every other restaurant
waiting for the taste of pain to grow on me,
while i mimic strangers stranded on far away tables
and hope what i am learning is not another dead language.
I thought I would only have one poster
when I decided to clearly define what I am.
I stuck it up only after careful consideration.
Consideration of the space it takes.
Consideration of the how much I am allowed to grow.
Condsideration for the things that will be hidden away and
lost under the layer of this paper,
which is necessary
maybe only for me.
And soon when my smile changed a bit,
I had to get new poster.
When I could no longer sing along to my favoutite song,
I had to get a new poster.
When my legs became more noticeable than my words,
I had to get a new poster.
When my dreams felt hollow, I had to get a new poster.
But the soon I ran short of space.
Soon the only way to continue seeing myself for what I am
was to cover up what I was once.
To make space for another me
to exist another day.
so that I do not wake up one morning
not knowing who I am.
there were others as well
who were standing beside me till now,
who loved me, at least liked me.
Surely I am mistaken
that I am abandoned.
There were several houses that fell silent
as my legs lingered on their doorsteps.
There was a sigh of relief as I left.
muffled by my own will to ‘not hear’.
As I went far from them,
their memories and promises
became louder in my head.
Surely I was mistaken.