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.
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.
i do not want to be a child
who thinks that the world is this window
where i wait for you to return.
but i am.
and you are also the one
who has promised to never return.
but you have made many promises
and you have broken so many of it.
i guess i am counting on you
to stay true to who you are
and break another one.
i have done well on all my exams.
i have cleaned my room.
i have eaten all the greens.
you will be able to love me now.
they say you found love late
and the ones in love never return
to the loveless families
they want to forget.
have we been forgotten?
are we your embarrassing childhood photo?
mother cries a lot these days
and so i can’t cry anymore.
i can’t cry anymore
and i hate you for taking away my tears.
My day to day wanderings
take me to places and people
who have never known a happy me.
I ask them “am i fine today?”
and they answer “yes”.
So I search the map
for a river in a distant city to cry by.
So that they continue answering ‘yes’.
So I can continue calling this hiding a “fresh start”.