Slowly I plucked each tooth of mine,
I tore my tongue out
and he called me beautiful.
He called me beautiful
so I left my clothes roll down.
I let my skin, my guards, my skeleton
touch his floor.
I sat there watching him
build a fire out of it all.
The fire was too cold for me
so I didn’t smile.
He told me he only speaks the language of rough,
that his heart beats and falls slower than the rest.
I told him I have known many like him.
I told him I didn’t mind.
He seemed to mind that a bit
but he also seemed to be a bit relieved.
As I sat under the the waterfall
of his blue curtains,
I felt thousands of eyes
at my back, behind windows that couldn’t be closed.
There were always windows behind my back
anywhere I sat from the day I was first told
that I was the type of beautiful
not worth keeping and staying around.
filled with lust, question, resentment
filled with hatred, filled with violence,
filled with sweet words for my ailing heart,
filled with knives for soft skin, for the right time,
were my burden
so I knew
at least this was not his fault.
I asked him
what he could give, what he could make me forget.
He didn’t answer and seemed a bit lost.
I wondered if he also couldn’t think or speak clearly,
if there were eyes on his back
that he never spoke about.
The river is finally running dry.
I heard someone rejoicing to hear this.
What is a river without it’s water?
I am told it is money, it is development,
it is more money.
Another colony, dozens of businesses springs up.
There is nothing to be sad anymore.
I walk on the roads trying to trace
the skeleton of what is lost.
Now, I know the names of few more rivers
that are nowhere to be seen on maps.
The numbers of such ghost keep increasing.
There is a language that no one cares for.
There is a city that forces everyone to leave.
There are words that don’t sound fancy anymore.
There is an accent that needs to be exorcised from tongues-
the identity of what we are is a secret,
something we can be killed for.
But it is the season, the world
where rivers dry out beautifully,
where aches turn into anger, into revenge,
into art, into denials,
into search for something new.
But rarely does it turns into tears.
How is it we have so much to lose,
so much that is already lost
and yet have so little to grieve about.
the metal melts on my tongue.
this must be the fever that everyone warned me against.
now i will never know how to die properly.
i used up every drop i could find on this planet
to make the broken trees in me grow.
and there are so many,
so many skeletons with stunted growth.
i read we need not only the sun, but also the leaves, the green
to make something that can fill our stomach.
that light by itself can only gift hope .
how long can one live on hope?
just long enough to hate everyone
who has a piece fleshy fruit stuck in their teeth.
the only way to live properly i am told
is to become the the tailcoat of someone better than me.
i must make someone’s life easy,
must become a photocopy machine for their blood,
must cry silently into the sink as i clean the dishes at night
to live a proper life.
but it is too late i guess,
i have lost the plan i was told to follow obediently,
the only color that remains on my skin are the ones i was born with,
the unflattering shape of my body
won’t be bought with the coins of love in any shop,
my finger, my unshapely hands have become un-holdable.
the adjectives, the rumors, the sad future of mine
they falls like pieces of metal on my ears everyday
and yet they are not the words i can say, or accept.
these word, this metal melts in my mouth
they say i will die a sad death,
that i will die as i have lived – by myself.
In my wardrobe
I have hidden skeletons of you and me
from last year, from the year before,
even the year that never was (as per your memory).
When my head aches from the mention of all the light
I am supposed to see in life
(according to the countless articles on positive thinking),
when I have had enough, but can’t mention it
on the face of well-meaning people
(the handbook of gratitude tells me I should forgive
everything that is done by well meaning folks-
I mean EVERYTHING, have you heard anything more preposterous)
when all the scenarios I used to complain about
become my best case scenario
(it feels like every inch in my home
is occupied with people that I am told not to hate
phew! - you know how forgiveness is not exactly my thing)
when I fail at acting fine, as you taught me to-
I sit among those skeletons
have no care about being with the clothes
that they will never get to wear,
who don’t have a heart to be ruined by.
I try to find comfort
in the thought, in the fact
that an year from now
I will be here,
that I will be the part
that dies by the next spring.
I won’t have to live on to become the part of me
that would hate lemonades, love and laughs.
I stand here
beneath the secrets piling over me
at the edge, looking at how I spill out of my own body.
Not able to contain myself.
Not able to restain myself
from looking into the darkness,
from looking into the depth of me
where lies the skeletons of many friendships
and one rare love.
Many managed to stay afloat
not wanting to be a part of me,
knowing what I was.
While I just wanted them to stay
for a moment
to tell me what they knew
tell me what I was.
So that I may not feel
like an impostor in my own life.