The evening melts into my drink.
“I must burn something of myself here.
I must burn to remember this, to remember her.”,
I keep repeating this to myself as I stand beside the dying fire.
Suddenly my teeth ache for something cold to sink into.
I remember the orange color that used to spread on my tongue
as I drowned myself in the glass bottles of artificial citrus,
running away from the summer that I had waited for.
I walk away from the fireplace,
putting a bit more distance
from the monster that ruled the mantle,
relived to have found something simple to talk about.
I sit beside her and speak in my human voice.
I tell her of this small thought,
this small honest flaw of mine she can play with.
She asks “was that how your childhood was like?”
I could have answered “that’s how my life is and will be”,
but it was more easy to ask “what color was your tongue then?”
She recites from memory a poem.
A poem on the beauty of transparent things,
on the cruelty of everything
that own you without leaving stains,
without giving you a chance to scrub them out of your soul.
She smiled and thus handed me something
that I can consider hers for a while.
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.
The white curtain, the whistling wind
no matter how many times
I close my eyes.
The chill under my feet
slowly turns into the ice within my bones.
The hope within my heart
blinds me a bit more.
For every step I take
another cold molecule of my sense of self
breaks away from me.
Every step is an unavoidable mistake.
All warm things are now resting
in the rooms of past-
the melting summer and the stickiness left by
the kiss of ice cream at the corner of my lips,
the one tree that I burnt for three winters,
the big windows, the big dreams
that almost burnt a hole in my heart
as I wrote down hollow words recited by my teachers,
the warmth on my skin
as your eyes fell on me,
that whole minute for which you were
the closest star to earth, my new sun.
But every step is an unavoidable mistake.
Every step is a goodbye.
Every sun that my eyes create, falls
too easily from its branch.
No matter how many times
I close my eyes.
it doesn’t vanish-
this world that now I can no longer love.
The light that will never fall on you
is the light I will never see.
Isn’t it beautiful – this cold
that takes me a bit closer to you, even if like this.
Today I realized
what to call all that I have been reading for so long.
A person I didn’t mean to overhear called it ‘a sense of urgency’-
the desire to save this world as soon as possible.
It seems the enemies are too many.
I saw many names in the list of these enemies
that I silently agreed with-
pollution, dictatorship, bullying,
monetization of education, competing in a rigged world,
oppression of lives and loves of minority, hate crimes,…
I scoffed at some:
the collapse of society in the hands of socially withdrawn,
collapse of economy in the hands of those who want and do less,
the unfeeling and unapologetic generation that seems to love depression,
women whose learning and thinking too much only breaks families,…
“this is the cause worth dying for”-
I suddenly became afraid of that feeling.
As I read all the absurd causes I couldn’t agree with.
As I read and became exasperated at the words of those
who were convinced that they knew better
even as they killed and killed and killed
and got addicted to seeing blood dissolving in oceans.
how dangerous this feeling could be.
“this is what to means to change the world.
to change the world
is to walk over everything I don’t want to see”
My sense of urgency hated me for thinking this.
It recited every quote about silence of good men.
But all I could now see was the line that I must not cross,
the words I must not say, the knife that I must never hold-
no matter the cause.
Like me, probably many have tried their best
to set their limits,
have learned how to stop before learning how to move.
We recite story of forgiveness,
of patience, of eternal undying love
to our children at night.
and when they fall asleep
we recite these stories to ourselves,
so that we may not forget them.
I remember all the proofs, every news that told me
how wanting more, wanting somewhere’s share of happiness,
wanting too much- can result in catastrophes.
that is how I learnt that some wants can destroy lives,
can create demons out of people.
The one who wrongs and the one who is wronged
just move around this world
trying outrun the aftermath of careless actions.
I look at you and I see myself.
I see my weakness, that is you.
I see my failure, that is you.
But if I put it like this
it may seem that you are
just another darkness in my life,
but you are not.
There is a reason that even when my mouth recites
sad stories and bitter words about you
my eyes, my heart only looks for you.
There is a kindness in you
a love in you, for me,
that surfaces, even when you try to hide it.
In your imperfections
I see the imperfections of my own love,
how I cannot love all of you
even when I want to.
I wish sometimes
I was not this person that I am.
Sometimes I wish you were a little less lovely,
a little less lovable.
Maybe then it would have been easier,
to walk over this love
that I cannot let go of now.
I had to recite your words,
only now addressed to you.
It was only yesterday,
though it was a probably long time ago
that you told me how you suffered
because people were inconsiderate
and were proud of being so.
How there would have been lesser scars on your skin
if those who knew better, also acted better.
So I feel it is regretful (though unavoidable)
that you should hear the same from me,
that I ended being the mirror
that showed your disfigured soul to you.
But it pained me more
to see that you found it normal,
that you were okay to be someone
that you would have hated yesterday.