On the broken lines of bold white,
on the burning roads far away from home
I knelt down
in the heap of my skirt made of fairy dust
and disappointments of all kinds.
I found a pretty crack
with space enough to be something of its own
and with a style that you’d agree with.
With my fingertips already crying red
I wrote you name
in the best writing I could.
Your name that couldn’t fit
beside mine, or the scorecards with better marks,
or a business card that was not a part of scam,
or with a number that could for once be reached,
or the nameplate that you kept losing
in the sleepy playgrounds of our eyes.
We missed you.
We missed you.
in the conversations
where we thought only of you
and yet couldn’t speak of you.
We thought of you
always with an ache,
always with a heart that wanted more of you
while wanting to forget the little that we had.
I wrote your name
and ran my fingers over them again.
A kid knelt down beside me
offering me a smile as he took in
a pain he couldn’t understand.
Today, of all days, I was not allowed to smile.
I walked away wondering
if he knew you,
if he now lives in your name,
if he knows someone who wrote like me,
who wrote words that will fit nowhere but here.
Your name could be anybody else’s.
You could have lived like everyone else
Drop by drop the wax fills
the bucket of broken butterflies.
I am falling into another sleep,
into another death that is warm,
that embraces me like no lover ever has.
I feel the pain in my wings, and unlike other days
I try to think that this will never pass.
That I will remain like this, with a bit of pain always there
in my shoulder blades, under my ribs, aching for a memory that floats
above my body, above my existence.
Someone holds my hand and I let them.
I was always afraid of living and dying alone.
I guess there are many like me.
Years from now they will find us
and probably write stories
about how we loved each other even in death.
As they look at our almost ruined and almost saved faces
they won’t know how we died heartbroken,
how we held onto each other
but never dared to look at each other
or ask the names we had started to hate.
How our skins melted into each other only because
we had nowhere else to be.
That even as light broke free from our eyes
we didn’t want to look like failure.
The nowhere that you talk about,
are frustrated with,
the direction that we seem to always end up these days
in spite of our best intentions,
in spite of all we want to dream of-
that nowhere is not that bad place to be.
It is vague I know, I agree.
But there is a comfort in the vagueness.
Us standing here
and not knowing where to go.
Thinking, deciding, fretting over small details
of when and how
and finally waiting for another day
and another heartbreak
before we call it quits.
and maybe it was
I do not remember
and probably won’t
till you end up doing all the things that you promised you won’t,
till I end up saying all the things I never wanted to say again.
That is when we remember everything
and are faced with feelings
that should never have existed between us
but till then,
till the day we realize what we already know
can’t we just be fine with ‘vague’?
Going back home is always difficult.
Everything stands in my way-
the weather, the traffic,
the buses I miss by seconds,
the roads under repair,
the detours I must take,
phone calls and thoughts
that come at inopportune time,
my heart, and you.
For as long as you are not where I am going,
as long as you are not home,
I will only have places to sleep or suffer.
Or a place to write about you.
So if my steps halt and my heart slows
when we part for the day,
keep me with you for a second more
for I have nowhere to go.
I return to my unaffected neighborhood.
The success of my efforts to keep them ignorant
their narrow vision,
their inability to see me as I do,
their belief in me, the love they handout to me,
the children that look up at me-
making me feel smaller.
I have no option but to run
and once I start running there is no end to it,
there is nowhere I can stop.
Cause everything good in this world
reminds me of the unwanted anomaly I am.
Every dark emotion in face of others
becomes a part of mine.
Every day I barter with universe to keep me living,
borrowing time for this body,
one more light for myself.
One more body, one more happiness
(one more me) put to death
once I reach the dead end
that waits for me at the close of each day.
This jail, that I could not break out of,
it had bars made of petals,
ceilings lighted with memories
and under my feet
the hearts of people beating only by my love
(or so I wanted to believe).
It was the fragile nature of this confinement
that made my escape impossible.
And even though I was a captive-
that small space was also a world,
a less harsher world.
Once I make my way out,
there would be nowhere to return to.
It was a bubble that couldn’t be remade
by regrets and tears.
For many reasons, I promised myself an escape everyday
without even trying to leave.
I know I will leave eventually.
At some point, we all have left those rooms-
that feel like prison when lived in
and feel like unattainable dreams once lost.
All the bits of you
the pieces of trivia,
that will never be asked anywhere,
you handed it to me-
on our way to work,
in your sleep,
in your half-audible mumbling
while you brushed your teeth.
I thought they were too much
than what I can hold,
I kept them in pockets
of any cloth that I had on me.
And after all these years
when I look for them,
just when I found my memory lacking your presence,
they were nowhere to be found.
So as you decide on what to eat
I ask you again as I often do,
about one small irrelevant fact about you
that I will soon forget.
I pluck one leaf at a time
from this flower, this script
my life is.
I throw them from bridges
on cold evenings.
I bury them in the soil
that soils their print with time.
I burn them to ashes,
so they won’t smell the same.
I hang them on trees
that will never bear fruits.
To leave this story of mine
everywhere and nowhere.
So that you may find it.
So that you may not find it.
I wear the last page, last leaf
with only one word, you name, written,
on my finger
as substitute for you hands
that I can no longer hold.
“The people of the world run about excitedly as if they
were going to miss the yearly, royal, sacrificial feast,
or as if they were going to be the last one
to climb a high tower on a beautiful spring day.
I alone remain quiet and indifferent.
Unoccupied by worldly cares,
I move forward to nowhere.”