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.
When I try to imagine,
to recall the face of another human being.
I always see them standing opposite me
with an expressionless face, holding out their hand.
When they are ghosts of pasts,
they are breathing cities of peculiarities and possibilities.
I feel they were waiting for my hand to touch theirs.
I feel as if they have saved up their last smile for that moment.
The steps I couldn’t take, can now never take,
they look so easy, so worth it, so worth keeping as regrets.
But I never learn
when they are reflections of present,
they are breathing statues
and frozen hearts that couldn’t possibly beat.
I know that this hand is not for me,
that I have extinguished the smile on that face
just by being myself, just by existing.
Only the warm breath of passing time
can make me miss the world that could have been.
Only on the streets I cannot walk
grow my trees of faith.
But even then, even for the past
I barely feel any love.
What I feel is something similar to
the relief in the things that won’t change.
The pull I feel is for the trust that can never be broken,
my heart that I never had to give out,
the hand of every stranger that remained innocent thereby.
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.
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?
DRAWING THE STARS WRONG
all my hopes, now in your hands,
feel like signs of trouble.
i liked it on paper, the broken star in red ink,
but not on my sky.
can i undo my steps to you?
will my heart break even if you leave my skin?
STRIPPING YOU OF FLESH
before i turn away from you
there are things that must be done.
(only painful things are remaining
no matter what i choose)
everyday for a hour i must imagine
being alone in this world.
everyday i must imagine
the relief you would feel
at my absence.
everyday i must imagine you with someone
and being capable of caring.
i must imagine in detail and color.
i must put you on a window in clothes
i don’t recognize.
i must strip you of my love
and hope you feel the warmth,
even when my heart tells that you won’t.
i must stand outside the shop i plan to leave you at
and practice standing there without tears in my eyes.
i must take your feelings out of picture
to take even one step away from you.
before i turn away from you
i have to turn into the person
who won’t be able to walk towards any happiness
after leaving you broken.
MESSED UP SEARCH HISTORY
in my room, on my phone,
with another love, in the crowd
that will never be mine,
i feel my heart drunk on you again.
and everywhere you are with me
i need someone else
to keep me from making another mess
in your name, for my sake.
in return, i love them the only way i can,
the way only i can,
by removing you from the search history of my mind
every second i live.
i love them
by holding them back from running to the one,
who like you, can only love in dark dripping red
and swelling universe of purple.
THE EASY WAY TO LIVE
speaking without fear,
loving without abandon,
sitting in sunshine,
somehow loving the world,
wanting to stay alive,
getting comfortable with the concept of wanting,
knowing the feeling of being considered and seen,
with you at the back of my mind).
i told you, all this is my life now-
the easiest life i have ever had.
i hope you believe.
it would be the happiest end,
if you would accept this
as the last scene of me in your life.
i want to live so better,
just so that you can forget
the me who could do nothing but get hurt
only because i didn’t want to live without love.
i want to be better than that, even if it makes me sad.
But now I am not
Now I cannot hate myself
like I used to before.
Liking myself was never option,
for me anyway.
If only I could be one person
with a constant heart,
maybe then I could have
understood myself with enough time,
could have found the heart to see myself
as a mere human that I am.
this possession of my body
and my heart
by a new unknown
the loneliness that I couldn’t show,
the songs I was supposed to forget,
the kiss that never left my lips
all become my new self.
Tomorrow it will be something else.
But it is a tiring relief
to lose my hate to confusion.
Have we crossed the bridge yet?
The one you promised
is just a heartbreak away.
The one which would crumble
once I cross it.
I imagine the threadbare braided ropes
ready to untie and become one with my past.
I imagine having to do nothing with
how I have lived so far.
It is such a relief to think it is possible.
But the more I walk through your silent forest
the more my suspicions grow-
that there was never a way out of this from the beginning,
that there is no running away.
A stranger told me
that I am capable of living better,
if only I throw away my thoughts and assumptions
about what I deserve and what I should not want.
The sun tiptoed around me
stealing a bit of my shadow for every minute
that I stood at the door created by these words.
But I didn’t have the courage to go inside.
So I went back to living my life in the worst ways.
But, for some time I was happy just by thinking
that there exists a door that one day I can open,
that I probably looked more human that I thought.
That in itself was a happiness, a relief
I never thought I could feel-
knowing that the what I had lost was not myself,
but the only heart to face myself, to comfort myself.
Drops of your sweet memories
are settled on my heart,
on this morning, in this world
where I was meant to be lost.
It is a relief that
you are here in some form,
that I cannot truly forget you.
Thankfully, you cannot come from past
to ask me whether I have been doing well.
I am not sure what I would do.
Would I lie to ease your heart?
Would I lie to hurt you even more?
I do not want to remember the life
that I am living.
I have not changed a bit you see.
Denial was my preferred drug.
Maybe I am able to love you now in some way
because you are not the reality that my heart can’t take
but another excuse to keep my eyes closed.
I can love you now
since you are not here with me
to be hurt by what I am.
I realized in my failures
that I was not nearly as good as I thought I was
and whatever I am was not worth that much
at least not in my own eyes.
And nothing I did could change anything
unless I could see the significance
of what I am and what I do.
I worked hard.
I lost sleep.
But my efforts to become worthy of my dream
turned out to be too less.
I turned out to be too less.
But somehow I was relieved to see
that even when I was empty-handed
I knew how to find my way to the beginnings
and start again.
So I couldn’t pity myself in that moment
but feel almost an admiration for this person
who didn’t know how to give up.