“You were almost my whole world”, he said,
waiting for me to say something-
an excuse, an apology, a lie that would make him
as important as I seem to be in his words.
His belated words are always beautiful,
his love always drips at the corners of every end
that I try to carve out of us.
Once it was an assurance to know all our ends are fake.
Once I was made of dreams,
once he was made of songs,
and now we are back to being mere flesh
that we can’t accept each other for.
Now we are pretty sure
we can live without dreams that hurt
and that there are other songs, better sounds
that won’t cut us up before we are dead.
Yet he tries to care for the one he no longer wants
as I try to stay silent for his sake, for my sake,
for an end that doesn’t drag on.
Or is it to look pitiful and arrogant in his eyes.
His eyes liked me best when I couldn’t be wavered,
when I seemed something more than just a needy heart.
I wonder why we try to look humans even as we part,
why we must show the faces we have grown to hate ourselves for
and act like lovers in pain, like this is the end of our lives.
When love was the last thing we needed,
seeing it was the only thing we were ever ready to give up on.
When I talk of the moon that shines on us in our sorrow,
as we promise to do better and be better,
I am again omitting something
that needs to be said.
Something that everyone reading us should know,
before they tell us the best course to reach happiness from here,
before they believe us when even we have learnt not to.
I am omitting that we are comfortable in our sorrows,
that happiness is an alien land.
We would rather break our hearts
than visit that place where we don’t fit in.
I am omitting that
we are obsessed about fitting in
as much as we are
about doing it without changing anything about ourselves.
So we will only be what we have always been.
I am omitting
that our love is primarily
about navigating life with heavy hearts
just to reach moments like these
where we feel we can be forgiven as long as we forgive.
The moon that shines on us in our sorrow
on the absurdity of this refuge that protects us from nothing,
on this love where there is no place for ‘better’.
Even when we know that this is a cycle of pain and deception
we revel in the fact
that this won’t end like everything else in this world.
“he left me”
this is where I would have wanted everything to end,
at “he left me”…simple and clean
and yet carrying a sadness that can be forgotten
or remembered as something that just exists.
Exists not like floods but like rain.
Exists not like a story of love
but a story that had a possibility of some meaning.
“he left me” could have existed in me, in this world,
how words of no significance and no power exist.
But it didn’t end there.
What he did was simple,
but what he didn’t do
those are the things that exists like flood, like pain
that can exist without him.
He left me a leaf
and not a flower.
And knowing this, even if I forget him,
it won’t end
the pain I feel at the sight of flowers,
the anger the green fill me with,
the feeling of being wronged
at seeing everyone who gets both, while suffering less than me.
He left me a life that I am capable of living well
but a heart that won’t ever feel at ease
as long as I live wanting love for myself.
You look at me
and I look at you
the way broken things look at the hands of an angry god,
the way complete beings look down
at things that can never be their equal.
You and me, we take turns,
learning to feel pain, to give pain
reaching for the light in each other’s eyes,
making copies of each others memories
and spilling the ink on the originals.
You and me –
we are children left alone unsupervised with this steel instrument of love.
We now know of the blood and bone within our skin, thanks to this blade.
We now know how to keep distance when nothing keeps up apart.
When we lose our color, our teeth of milk and cruelty,
when the blade loses its shine
and looks like any other rust of this world,
only then we know the pain
of having walked past a life we could have had,
the journeys we could have walked,
the meaning we carried in our selves for each other sake,
the meaning we never looked up, never cared for.
Once I was told
by my own shattering image
that I would learn to laugh at this moment.
It was not a pleasant sentence to hear.
It reminded me of all the sentences
that are manufactured in the factories of peace.
you will forget this bruise.
you will forget those words.
you will forget this love.
you will forget this face.
forgetting is what you really want.
far away from every “here” is the place you want to be.
It reminded me of all the meaningless words that were born
everyday in the mouths of strangers –
words that awkwardly held me not knowing who I am
or why I must be consoled
but convinced something in me should be put to sleep
before it learnt to cry in the audible ranges of pain.
There are too many words in this place.
Too little heart.
There are too many people who look like they have known pains
that I might never have.
But they are the same ones who want to bury things
that are only broken.
So I am going to run
towards every “here” out there,
towards that lesser life filled with loss.
A life where things that are lost are allowed to matter.
Don’t call your love a help.
Don’t tell me you pity me.
If even Love came to me like this,
how shall I accept your feelings.
What would be left of me
if I could reach you
only because my sadness
made me worthy of light.
I can choose such love of yours
only if choose
to never part with this pain
that I have.
Though I wanted you beside me
you are beside me because I can’t walk,
because I am running into walls when you leave my hand.
And I keep getting new bruises,
fearing how your heart might change
if I learn to smile.
“We must break our bones and lives
to create another spark –
this is what we owe to this world”
the voice on other side of my dear old wall
told me, told us all again.
And because we must do something about it,
we kept ordering another heart, another mindset,
another way, another “desperate somehow”
till our hands never felt comfortable with anything that is not new.
Would we stop, could we stop
if someone told us
that we are more than our failures?
I wonder even if I could believe those words
I wonder if such words mean much in this world.
Even if there was another place
to start a life that doesn’t run over me every morning
on the tracks that keep changing their shape and place,
tracks where I am just a new layer of metal, another layer of blood
that won’t give up, that cannot die yet,
saying hello to the ones who wake up beside me
as if death is another sleep for which they cannot lose time.
Even in that place, I feel I would suffer trying to define
and find my place even if no one asks me to.
The sun and the sorrow
were in my eyes.
I couldn’t see your face
as you bent down
and carefully separated
your words of love
from the pieces of me.
When I am in sorrow
I try to imagine
what you could have looked like
as you carefully took back
everything of yours.
I imagine an ugly indifference,
sometimes I imagine a tear.
I don’t know what to do
with this “not knowing.”
But in these painful retellings
I feel relieved at this uncertainty
that sometimes lets me remember you
as the part of me that I couldn’t help but love
even in my breaking.
But I also feel relieved at the ease with which
I can draw that cruel expression on your face
which won’t let me stay in love with you
any longer than this.
Once she had a bite of my fate
she became a restless ghost.
She looked like all my ugly wishes staring back at me
but she had a beautiful smile so it was more bearable to my eyes
than to wear my own desperate words on my unsightly lips.
She looked out of place, but in a good way
as if she was the invitation to some place where my light won’t die.
Even in her voice it was my own words
that asked me to leave, that told me to love for the last time.
As my shrieks danced in the empty corridors
she planted a seed of eucalyptus in my palm,
she covered my hand with hers,
and covered our hands in dirt.
She told me how, for years, only the smell of eucalyptus
could calm her mind,
it made her believe that there was a gentle cure
to every disease that hurt her heart.
As she spoke such words that were not extraordinarily sad
I felt my spine become soft.
I dreamt of her leaning against my back
relieved of her every pain
and maybe it was the only beautiful wish
that has ever been born from my heart.
Once I touched the shadow of her heart
I grew and bloomed and learnt to be the one
who waits, heals,
loves, and breaks without bounds.
I remember you almost every day.
I remember you when I wake up and cannot go back to sleep,
when my skin feels heavy and my eyes melt into tears.
I remember you when I find my way to the impossible happiness
that shouldn’t exist for someone like me.
And in those moments I do something worse-
I end up asking heaven for forgetfulness of some kind.
Even when I know forgetting won’t save you,
apologizing won’t save you,
charity to strangers in your stead won’t save you,
becoming a better person won’t save you.
But even then I remain selfish
Even then I wish for a painless way out.
I become guilty of one more crime
every time I wish to erase the memory
of you falling apart in my hands.
The more I wear my clean clothes,
the more the world believes in the goodness I now have in me;
The more I know that there is no way forward for me
just as there is no way back.
You still remain the unuttered name in my prayers.
And all that my prayers do
is to show me the hurt I can never take back.
The god who refuses to save you
is also the one who keeps me alive.