i dreamt of you today.
today i was a lost child
digging through the mist
with my fragile bleeding lonely fingers
for the name of the one i love,
the one i didn’t get to love enough. this name,
seated in the golden shrine of autumns, was nothing like
the name i remembered. the rust was eating away its mass,
the reality was tinkering with its gravity. holding it now,
felt very close to embracing an illusion.
light and time pass right through it
as if they are illuminating and revering
that never was.
i am starting to forget, i realize.
the paper flowers in her hair
breathe for that one time
and wilt away.
she keeps walking,
the colored sweet drink
with the bitter cold metal
melting her lips,
the taste of afternoon welded to her tongue.
her hands never rest, never stay still.
they twirl their laughter
around my fingers .
they find my shoulder, they color my cheeks.
they grow beaks, sprout wings; they rest on my elbow
and pecks at my tiny songs, my pale lips.
a rainbow is born in me, a wall collapses,
and again i forget the rust and the death,
the lesson of danger of fruitless love
that i promised to remember all my life.
You look at me
and I look at you
the way broken things look at the hands of an angry god,
the way complete beings look down
at things that can never be their equal.
You and me, we take turns,
learning to feel pain, to give pain
reaching for the light in each other’s eyes,
making copies of each other’s memories
and spilling the ink on the originals.
You and me –
we are children left alone unsupervised with this steel instrument of love.
We now know of the blood and bone within our skin, thanks to this blade.
We now know how to keep distance when nothing keeps us apart.
When we lose our color, our teeth of milk and cruelty,
when the blade loses its shine
and looks like any other rust of this world,
only then we know the pain
of having walked past a life we could have had,
the journeys we could have walked,
the meaning we carried in ourselves for each other sake,
the meaning we never looked up, never cared for.
“Does rust affect plastic dreams?”
I ask my teacher in my sleep.
She takes out an axe and starts cutting down
the first mouth filled with wrong answers.
Two rows away
she wipes her brows and folds her sleeves,
she takes another deep breath
before she checks the attendance sheet
and finds the next dream to kill.
She tells me I should think more and ask more
and ask the questions that help me live.
She looks at the metal that grows out of my pores
and gives me another chance.
She says only if I would try to be better
than the people I am clinging to, I could grow up to be her.
I look away from the blood that flowing down her neck,
the parts of her that she intends to kill by holding other’s breath.
“What about my mother’s arms, weak weak exhausted arms?
Are those my telling signs?
Does that mean I don’t have to worry,
that I am just someone next in line?
What about you? Do you rust like me?
Would the color of my rust, would my weakened heart
make me worth protecting,
make me deserving of kinder words?
She told me “It will not get you respect or equality,
if that’s what you are looking for.
It can sure get you love, of some kind, for some time
but it is just a matter of time
before you see the end that only you can write.
And you would end up writing it
cause that painful end would be more truer and more yours
than any love that you find by compromise.”
As she walks past me, smiling lovingly,
as she spares my life, that now she owns.
As she dissolves my only way back,
I realize too late, that my chaos and my doubts
were more hopeful than an answer like this
that promises pain to everyone else but me.
I took my rusted pen, my useless words
and tried to write something beautiful for you.
Words filled with my love,
words that tasted
like all your favorite forgotten dreams.
But I found myself tracing
the only words on your skin.
I ended up rewriting your sorrow.
I ended becoming the face of your fears.
The black puffs of my breath
sticks to your dewy green smile.
And as I hold your hand,
I hope that you never see the rust
that is setting in your eyes.