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
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.
“What do you know of prayers?” she asked,
as she held my hands together within her own.
I asked her “Don’t you know anything about me?”
and there appeared another crack on her hands,
there bloomed another rose in her hair
there was another smile – the “looking down” smile,
“you don’t know any better” smile,
“you will soon thank me” smile,
“I know you hate my smile” smile.
I tried to imitate it, to drape it on my own face.
Cause even if it didn’t seem like that, I loved her smile.
I stared at her smile
wanting to save it somewhere in me. I stared
at her small beautiful parts
wanting to un-see the person she is in this moment.
I am always trying
to forget how suffocated these moments with her are.
I am always trying to forget
that with her words of love there was always a plea,
a suggestion, a manipulation – to make me something like her.
Would it make me seem pathetic, petty, or romantic?
if i called her a poison. Though everyone here is a poison,
even me, but she is a poison for me, the only poison
that works on me. The only one I didn’t want a death from.
She tells me about another deity I will never believe in.
She tells me a bit more about saving, about faith, about her own self
that can never be broken, how even breaking can’t end her now.
I wished she was right, I wished there would be never an end to her.
I wished for all kinds of ends for myself,
even the ones without her. But in no version
did I invent an agreeable version of her that will better for me.
She has to be herself. Whatever that might mean for me.
I wonder if there would come a day like that, a day when
she would love me like that. Do I even want a day like that?
Can I even tolerate a change in her?
Wouldn’t that break me more than anything?
I get up and say something about “better things to do”
and she says something about “the dangers to the faithless”
and I can only smile for now
at this weird, beautiful, messed up part of our life
at our of differences, knowing of love,
at our knowing of faith in different things that save us in their own ways.
Ghost of fireflies
in the forest of reality-
that is me,
that is you,
that is so much of what we don’t want to be.
But if it has to stay beautiful,
if it has to stay clean,
it must be this.
We must meet without meeting.
We must love without loving.
We must walk this path that we believe in
more than we believe in any love.
I close my eyes and tell myself,
“I don’t believe, I won’t believe”
even as the storms of despair
and the clear sky of your existence
are the only thing I know to be true.
You tell me,
“We must breathe the reality
and worship the fleeting.”
So I hold my hands together
again without a prayer on my lips.
I am afraid of prayers.
Unlike you (or maybe just like you)
I am always at the verge of wishing
for some real crumbs of you,
of wanting to stray from the “right”.
“the star you are looking at, that almost has your heart
is already dead long before
and even if you pray for her
it will reach her too late.
that is the nature of distances
that exists between us and them.
our prayers don’t matter
they will never get to hear it.
we can only stand here in this lonely grassland
and romanticize death.”
“or” he said, “we can send a prayer anyway
and hope that by the time it reaches there
something new is born out of all that is dead.
maybe when that young seed of something,
that will be made out of glowing organs of forgone star,
will hear us and pray
for the dying world of someone else.
maybe it will hear us and send us back something
a thought, a smile, a romanticized want to reach further-
to the sender of this futile love.”
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.
you are made of sunshines that are too hard to hide
you are made of all the forgotten beautiful memories of every human ever
you are made of the prayers no one says out loud
you are made of everything that i have removed from myself
obviously i love you
obviously we were not meant to cross paths
perhaps i won’t ruin you by this thing called love
perhaps i will ruin you by keeping my feelings hidden
i am not sure what is worse
i am not sure what i have set my heart upon
As I sing your praise
I end up recalling
how I used to look at you
as if you could save me.
But now we stare at each other
while my life remains what it is.
I don’t call it a mess now,
to get some sympathy out of you,
to get a miracle out of you.
I don’t call it a blessing
just so that you would know
that I appreciate what you gave me
and hope to get a little bit more.
One song, one hymn after another.
I play at the seams of my skirt.
I pick at the skin that I once was.
“is this how we lose ourselves?”,
I want to ask you.
“is this we become who we are,
by cracking and crumbling invisibly,
the moment to mourn-lost forever,
the innumerable funerals no one grieved at,
is this why growing up is painful for all?”.
Instead of prayers
I come to you with only questions.
Instead of your forgiveness
I end up asking your understanding
for what I have done and what I have become.
I always thought
that I could be happy,
if only I could make myself love happiness.
Though I approached this strange kid,
though I pretended to be good
and as holy as humans can be,
I had nothing to say this ever smiling child.
All the standard stories
I had prepared for this heavy chore
of presenting myself to this world,
were not for her ears.
I could never make myself fill her head with such darkness.
Why should she know of the categories of suffering and where I fit,
about the worth that every person has to earn.
This kid looked at rainbow and reflections with marvel,
prayed before every meal, believed in every story told.
There was nothing I could say to her.
I could not make her see me, befriend me, understand me
without changing her into me.
Only my love for this happiness
stands in my way
of the heaven I have dreamt in futile.
Spare me from your prayers
and spare me from your hearts.
I do not yearn for heaven
for I never believed it from the start.
Spare me from your world.
The fear and resentment of being left beind
feels less like resentment each day.
The reality of life
the pain I have given myself
turns your crimes against me into kindness.