This loud and constant dripping of doubts
is this all I need to mute, to mask,
the voices of people who have known me too less,
who have loved me more than they needed to.
. . .
I am filled with fear, tempted to run away
when they make sacrifices for my happiness,
to stay by my side.
I know what I feel should be love,
but all I feel is burden-
that pierces my skin and feelings
testing how thick is my concern,
seeing how far it can go
before it finds the cold bone hidden in me.
I bleed to little
and give up too soon.
It all ends before it even begins.
This all was a bad idea to begin with.
Even though we know
we will end up being disappointed in ourselves
we still want find that same mirror
again and again,
expecting to see something different.
Hoping that it will work out one day.
Hoping one day our faults
would be too insignificant to matter.
Relying on the surety
of the forgetfulness of the world
than the forgiveness that we couldn’t dare to ask.
But even if the world forgets,
even if our skin grows anew,
even if our sins become untraceable,
these eyes of ours
remain the same,
always lingering on the spot
where we have buried our past.
Passing of time does nothing to reduce our fear
of being seen for what we are.
Even when that image of what we were
exists nowhere in this world,
it is the only way we can ever see ourselves.
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.
I couldn’t look into the eyes of the people I knew all my life
or even people who never knew me.
Every morning I woke up
I felt I have left a part of me in the nightmare
of the last the day.
I was afraid that with every hello that I said
I will leave open a crack in my mind
for people to look into.
That all that I had written on paper
is printed on my skin.
I was afraid that if people knew of my condition
I would not have enough energy or excuses
to refute their point
if they put their suspicions in words.
I was afraid of lot of things
for a long time
and most of it was to be seen in a way
that I didn’t want to be seen.
Everything that reminds me of what I was
leaves me helpless.
Everything that tells me of what I could be
leaves me expecting,
makes my skin weak,
makes the wound stay.
All the right word you utter
is like the air carrying scents
of a distant garden.
The garden that I will never see,
for I am a person who lives with roots
deep into disappointment.
And though I try to cut myself free
from what hurts me most,
but they are still my roots
so my freedom almost feels like a death.
I tended to all the brokenness
that now remained on your skin
after they found you at places
where they didn’t want you to be.
I hoped it was only your skin
that was red and sore.
The more silent you sat,
the more my heart worried.
As you tired to smile for me
I felt that maybe I was also a strain on you,
even me sitting here was more than what you could handle.
I felt that even if I sat here all night beside you
I would only be an obstacle in your way
to reconciling with your new limitations,
to return to what you were.
Is it selfish of me to come to you,
look after you
only for the sake of having you as I liked you?
So that I don’t have to wonder how to walk around you
as if you were most fragile broken glass
that I didn’t want to be around,
that if I fix you somehow
things would get better.
Then we would only have to think about
where to go for brunch, what to buy, what to watch
rather than sitting here
and second-guessing our words and action.
Rather than feeling helpless and inadequate
in handling this pain
that would be easier to forget if it was not in the face
of the one we love.
Sometimes the hatred, the bias that
people around him smoked
sticks to his clothes, his skin, his tongue
when I come near him.
He can wash it from himself with a sleep.
He can leave it at the door, when he steps in.
But I can’t wash it out of my mind.
In my mind
I mix up the person he is and the person he has to be.
But I realise that I do not know the person he is,
I only know the person he has to be for me,
I only resent the person he has to be for others.
The person he is, looks at me from his corner of eyes
and this stranger looks at me
not across oceans, not across roads of fate,
but across the versions of us filling up the space between us,
the versions we can never throw away.
This stranger looks at me and gives me the smile
that he has to wear for me.
For me to realise the love I have for the the days
I share with this person who spends his days with me,
loses his ways with me and grows old with me.
I smile back becoming the person I have to be for him,
becoming the version I love the most.
Yesterday, a line etched on my hands
slipped away from the skin that once held it so dearly
and still I lived on as if the the fate I lived now
was the one I was destined for.
I like to call it yesterday
for it is easy to suppose that we always knew what was coming,
that the things we lost didn’t entirely go unnoticed.
When in fact most days we wake up remembering
details about things that have gone to places
where they no longer have to care whether they are still forgotten
by people like us who do such a poor job of caring for anything.
We are always too young to know or too old to bother.
All that find a way to us through this forest of sadness
are disappointed to see what we are
and try best to stay, to lurk around, to be of some use to us,
till we drop them from our mind,
and they stare us in face and try to digest the excuses
that we didn’t even care to give.
My hope waits for the day that this skin won’t alien,
like a loss,
like a counter running out of number
like our voices running out of things to say.
And my wishes for a gentler nature,
or to be that cool-headed person I once read about,
or to be the running stream of water
before it was poisoned.
All changed to wanting
something that is not waiting to vanish.
The light that drips from your skin
feels like sunlight frozen.
As you float among the spirits
of far away desolate planets,
who have found home in you,
who like me have found you too full of life.
You walk to me,
hold me close and bury your fire
in my heart. The mountain and the sea
that belong to you,
have erased the life
that I’ve lived before.
On the path lined with trees-
their shade and your joys
becoming just memories with approaching night.
You walk to me,
you hold me close and bury your face
your regrets, your tears in my skin
and give me a moment of the future I can never have.
And soon I see you dissolve in the sea foam,
in the waters where we were born.
I find my hands filled with your share of happiness
and sky filled with flowers that once grew in your hands.