He broke my shackles with his blood and took my hand, my weightless hand, my almost wings, and held them in the warm embrace of his own prayer.
As my hands created ripples for my own amusement, as my hands broke the bread that I would now get to eat, as I looked at flowers for hours at leisure, and sang wordless songs without the fear of being heard -he cried. It was beautiful and sort of silly – his tears.
He cries at the smallest things yet is unfazed at the moments that require tears. Like this farewell, where with a smile he recites his memorized list of wishes, he recites the feelings of hope he has for the ones before him.
He looks at me. He looks at us all and says “you are free. this is now a game without masters. this is now a world where you are as good, as deserving of respect as anyone you stand with or stand against. you are free. live. live such that you would need no one to remind you of that.”
As we cried, he told us that disappearing is what he always meant to do that wanting his shadow around, seeking his approval, and following his words would undo everything he has done in this world. Yet our tears won’t stop.
We didn’t know if these tears were of desperation, of relief, of love, of being abandoned, of being left without directions or heads that could do the work of seeing and thinking for us, in return of our submission. He told us it is sometimes okay not to know. He said it is okay to hate him if it helps us to find a way that is our own.
It broke me to hear that because he spoke as if being okay with being hated for saving was an essential part of being good. It was sad that he had to smile when he said it as if he was not free to cry or complain for something like that. Or maybe I have not understood freedom yet.
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 somber heart, as if she is winning 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.
It snowed all night. All night I created stars for your eyes. I bore the weight of the roof as you slept, cried, ate, smiled, memorized dial tones, stared at me like you stare at screens with static, paused expectantly as you told me the story about your friend who is filled to brim with sugar and seems bit odd when he tries to smile a little bit more always, filled me with a momentary fear of whether you saw the corners of my lips tearing up everyday.
I felt again the illusion of love breaking, its crack trying to find my spine. Again you ran to me, trying to hold me, trying to look over all the parts of me that you don’t understand.
I slept and felt the snow of years settling on me. I felt your wings fluttering around in my head. I held the hands of god in my tiny fingers and said with a smile, “make me a flower, if you can” “make me something that is beautiful in her eyes” “give me another sorrow, something simple, something that can be understood and loved by her” “let me look at her, without feeling the breaking in my heart”.
You are gone and I try to hold the spoon like you used to. I chew my food with my left molars as you did. The ghosts that I have wronged, that I have forgotten now include half of my teeth, teeth you would have never used.
You are gone and you are happy (probably). So I memorize name and phone number of your every friend, I recall the fondness you had for them. I wear your feelings when I meet them, I wear your feelings even when they won’t fit me. I wonder if they noticed how I was spilling at some places, how I was non existent in other folds- folds that used to hold you so well.
You are gone and I am gone (or that’s what I think). I am my work, I am my songs, I am the adjectives you made for me, I am the report cards, I am the dust that settles on it, I am the afternoon TV shows, I am the language I don’t understand. I am what I am fond of. I am mostly just you.
You are gone and I fear there is no one that can stop me from growing into you.
please don’t ask me how my friend is doing. we broke up. we broke up the most decent way friends can break up. without deceit, without betrayal, without cruel words or bloody knife on our backs, without stories to hurt each other with, without attempts to patch up things, without deleting each other’s number that we never bothered to memorize. i do not remember her till someone says her name and when the sound of her name finds me through a stranger’s lips, i do not feel bitterness. i not miss her. a part of my heart is glad that life didn’t turn her my enemy but a part of me wonders how she turned out to be nothing in my life. when i see facebook notifications with her name, when i get a reminder of her birthday, when she calls me up once in a blue moon to ask a favor for “her friend” without bothering to ask how i have been, what is it that am i supposed to feel? i think it should hurt in some way. i am waiting for it to hurt. i am waiting to realize the meaning of this loss. i am waiting for the day I miss her. i want to miss her so much.
I will spend some nights
listening to why I am not the one you can love.
I will keep you awake and keep myself in pain
till I get this list down,
till I memorize it all,
till “who I am” just means “what you can’t love”.
I daydream about how I will leave you.
In this fiction
I know how to stop,
there I have given up on you,
there you are seek my acceptance for a change.
But I stop dreaming just before devising,
drawing a bright future without you,
without your rejection.
I stop because I have calls to answer,
mistakes to regret, trips to plan,
friends to cut off, paint my room black,…
I stop because there is so much suffering
I have to live through
before I am allowed to forget you.
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.
There was no joy to wander,
to pack my bags
with belongings not entirely mine
and to have a bagful of borrowed stuff,
of borrowed time.
Living on the kindness
that I didn’t deserve.
Each new handhake
echoes of heartbreak
from the future.
I knew where I was going
and I knew where I was taking them.
And that made me hate this ordeal
of trying to memorize the names
of all these new people
who will be soon forgotten.
My heart was never broken.
My home was never broken.
At least not the type of broken
that can’t be repaired.
I do not have shelter of such excuses.
I chose to stay,
I chose to love
and I chose to move away.
I choose to live with the list of names
to the end
than to see them walk away.
If I memorized
all the tones that drifted in from
a world of happiness
we are no longer inhabitants of,
the tones that drip ever so slowly
filling our heart with love
and filling our life with pain,
the tone that ripples through
every word I weigh on my tongue.
all the tones
that resonates in me as the wind passes
through the places in my heart
where your laughter once lived,
all the tones
that separate bird cry and bird song.
I think I would find the song we lost,
the song we sought
that we could never hear
in the noise of our shouts.
And though our love is dead
I would like this song
to have a home to rest.
As for our love,
what is lost is probably
lost for best.