I have spent 10 years
of my life decorating my wooden coffin,
giving food, giving faces, and adding height
to my imaginary friends
and painting forgiving smiles on my imaginary gods.
I won’t mind if someone out there decides to call me
“coward” or “delusional” or “hopeless” or “sorta weird”
I won’t mind if this qualifies
to be called “running away from reality and life”.
Even if I ignore the words like these,
even when I have found a way to survive alone
I am still left with these corrosive, acidic feelings.
Feelings don’t help – when all they do is
speak, wail louder each day.
They remind me again and again
that even a beautiful death is a death,
that loneliness is still loneliness,
that in spite of the ribbons and flowers and posters
the smile on my face is still not as bright
as the one love used to give me,
even if I have now less reasons to cry.
It is not easy – this peace,
this staying away from the want to be seen, to be loved,
this wanting to cry over something again.
It is not easy – to keep myself awake and alive
when feeding myself, seeing the light
only makes my fears stronger.
On my closed hopeless eyes
you placed your lips
and something in me broke open.
And I burst from within,
from all my prisons.
From all my pseudo homes
I heard myself crying.
I heard the the noises of television
in the heavy air of my living room
die out, I heard myself breathe.
I heard the knocks on my door
and found all my lost selves
staring at me one second,
embracing me the next.
They told me
it could be the blue moon,
it could be the cyclone that is running wild,
it could be the end of earth predicted too many times,
it could be flowers-that-no-one-loves blooming in our land,
it could my restlessness and fear of being left behind,
it could be you.
As you sink into the couch,
forgetting the nail you painted seconds before,
as you look around frantically for remote,
as you leave the evidence of beautiful color
on my skin,
that I found in myself the honesty to say out aloud,
to tell you, to accept that it is probably you.
It was like magic
running the highlighter, the bright crayon
over the sepia hands of her.
She didn’t complain or cry
as we ruined another photograph of hers,
as we tried to hide the evidence
of her failed love, our failing life.
We cut her out, moved her away
from the one who looked like us.
We placed her side of story, her half of heart
in the albums.
Albums that felt lighter
now that the responsibility
to remember only the good, its difficulty
was no longer our business.
We shredded few faces of his,
few others we drowned in ink.
His face was the reason we couldn’t look at ourselves,
the reasons of all the hurting words
we learned so fast.
After we ruined everything for good
we stared at each other,
and saw the tears we should’t be having in us.
This wasn’t how magic is supposed to feel.
Why was there no thrill, no relief in what we had done?
Isn’t it our turn to be free from the one who left?
At a bus stand in front of mall (that I have never been to)
I learnt how to wait and how to live with disappointments
without making a big deal of it.
In the bracket of an hour, I grew smaller than I ever thought I could be.
“this is what love does to you, this is what love does to all of us”, all the voices in me lied.
I was again weary of the love that I had chosen and the person I had trusted
(“again” – the word that showed me the real reason why it would never work out).
I stood beside strangers on the crowded bus stand, awkwardly crying.
I counted these not-so-scary strangers who were trying to become one skin.
I pretended that I hated to be rained on as much as they did.
I pretended that I didn’t mind their warmth, that my suspicious mind was not at work again.
Hours went by, empty roads faithfully stayed empty.
I became more aware of the boundaries of my body
I became aware of the person who would never come looking for me,
who would look at the three hour long rain and still won’t wonder what happened to me.
We all stood there,
pretending to be the only human
in the group of zombies who had taken over a bus stand out of boredom,
who stared at the wide road, the darkness beyond, and the emptiness behind
as if their eyes were made to witness only this moment.
I closed my eyes and hummed something, anything
that could drown the presence of everyone
who knew the sound of my breaking heart now.
At a bus stand, that could protect no one,
we all dreamt of the worst- of the submerged road,
a rain that will never stop, the cold that would take us down for days,
children forever waiting, of the lightning we could hear but not see
of a love painlessly ending and a heart that shamelessly survived.
i try not to think
about the places that are lost
only leaving clouds of colorless memories
floating on my not so blue sky
places that are lost
not only to me
but to this world
now no one will ever know the sweetness
of the light that was never beautiful enough
to be captured and framed
light that is only beautiful only in its death
beautiful only when it rises up without a reason
on the surface of our eyes
how my eyes miss seeing everything
that now cannot be seen
my eyes wake up from the dream of yesterday
into this new day that i must write
feeling that again i have lost something,
something meaningful in that dream
that will never return to me
a dream that i have no right to dream again
i try not to think about such losses
losses with name or reason or heartache
but no matter how much try
some days that is all i can think about
I row my heart
to the moon you drew,
the one you colored in green
ignoring every reality,
for which you got an D,
for which I lost a part of me.
I no longer hold onto the poems filled with dread-
dread of rejection, of future, of finding myself eventually broken.
I see something that you have left behind in me.
Something that still burns, still lives for a reason.
Something that is much more than an art class with disappointed teacher.
Something that helped me hug back the blue parts of me.
I row my heart
to the moon you drew,
to the world I traced
with my own brave hands.
I board the train that I could
only thinking about the one I couldn’t.
There are only tunnels, only darkness,
only cold metal that I rest my head
hoping for my fever to come down,
only windows that turn into mirror.
In those momentary mirrors
I always look like someone on life support.
In the crowd that no longer suffocates me
I cling to the wires that fill my ears
with the sound of past, with love that will never come back,
with the love that I will never be,
with everything I can’t bear to talk about nor forget.
Though it pains me to look at myself for more than 2 seconds,
I force myself to withstand my stare.
For if I take my eyes away from me
I end up looking into eyes of strangers
who twist and distort their faces
asking for a reason they can understand
or they end up looking away,
their heart as fragile as mine.
We all act as if we can know each other by a glance,
as if we would prefer to be the backdrop, the wallpaper
than to find eyes that can actually see us,
than to know one more human who is hell bent on proving
the brittleness of our species.
I understand their heart, their fear all too well.
My skin remembers what their heart has forgotten.
Though I don’t think anyone really forgets things like these.
the i cannot see you
without this night,
for you are not my sun
but only it’s reminder.
i can be the person you love
only as long as you love be back,
as long as my heart wants to forget the past
and the owner of my heart.
in your glory
i always fall short.
i yearn to love someone like me,
someone who plans the escape route
while uttering the words
of half-hearted embellished confession.
i don’t want to be healed
my scars are my name
that i fear to lose
as much as i fear losing you
as much as you want me
you should learn to hate me more
your benefit of doubt is wasted on me
as is your love.
i have so many reasons
and so many feelings
that are at war with each other-
a war that i wish you’d win somehow.
i do love you
in some conditional yet selfless way,
there is a sincerity in my love-
a sincerity that won’t do your heart any good.
i sat on the sofa
with my feet curled under the warmth of my wings
while next to me, my sadness surfed channels
and forced me to watch things
that could make me cry
but they didn’t.
someone has left the door open again
but i can’t be bothered today
with calling out to anyone.
i hear someone talking about
“…deserving to be lonely…”
and my world, for a change,
doesn’t budge, doesn’t break.
when the questions try to
make a story from my wounds,
i shed a feather or two
and pretend that it hurts
to speak of my loss.
but it doesn’t really.
i have dreaded reaching this point,
where being left
becomes just a change in schedule.
but now that i am here,
now that i have nothing else to wait for,
all that i am allowed to do is
forget all my excuses, all my reasons,
forget all the names.
because unlike me
this world has a bright future to dream of.
The sandstorm is just another setting
for this story to continue.
There are no trees in our desert
that could be broken.
There are only lights that learn to flicker,
there is only skin that knows what this wind carries,
there are only roads that will drown.
With half closed eyes you walk out
to search for what you have left behind.
With half closed door I wait for you to return.
I find another quote in another book
foretelling the loveless life that will continue henceforth.
Another book, another friend I must burn
for speaking the truth, for wanting my best.
I am destined to die on the night of a full moon
without a reason, without a witness,
with a piece of broken mirror becoming a new part of my body-
another prophesy that I wish you had not gifted me.
Three fairies sleep in our bed,
who do not yet know the violence of your broken heart.
I hope you get what you cry for,
I hope you forget our names,
I hope this storm saves us from every moon, every sky.
I hope this storm saves us from you.