the towers are open to the public now. the crowd can now crow and row and climb to the better views- a softer light, a smaller distant world, the illusions of gods growing on our own earthly skin. this radiance was supposed to mean something else, something more, something new though. but these deafening footsteps, this meaningless chatter, these houses now growing like shrooms, the clothes now drying on every step, the resurgence of life and the blooming bruise, the grass growing, the herds living and dying in the shade of the tower- they only make me cry. even in their most wretched moments they still remain things i can’t have. the singular monument of hope and its playground of chaos and me, the only child who doesn’t belong, looks up at the promised sky, feeling a new hollowness creeping. feeling myself break for the same old things in new ways.
The metal bubbles. The knives and the rust reach our softest tissue, our dearest happiness. My skin, like his, is torn and sewed up. A new design forced into our veins. A new love written. Something old and precious bleeds. Something soft leaves our hold, leaves our hands, our dreams cold. The blessings, the gentle shade, the sun showers – all a memory too unreal to be trusted now. Soon we will speak of love and not mean each other.
It takes an eternity. It takes the courage of fighting thousand bloodless wars. It takes the the cruelty of scratching through my own wounded skin, breaking my own ribs that were made to protect the soft things that keeps me alive. It takes stupidity and few seconds for my fingers to reach your lips.
You look up. Your gaze says something that I do not understand. Such beautiful hopes and possible disasters come alive in your face. My fear comes to the surface of my eyes swimming in the black oil glistening and waiting to burn.
Ice floats and ships sink but the absolutes end here. For this red sun, that seems to sink together with us all, is just playing a kind game. It is will be fine. Just fine. It will pretend to die just for our sake. Just like how it pretends to be born so that we don’t feel alone.
It doesn’t know yet, that we feel lonely in spite of that. That there are things in life that can make us forget, that can cancel the sunshine and the storms. There are soft things that gets trodden upon, there is a kindness that we can’t value as humans because it doesn’t come from the one we want. There are things with weight and never leave our heart- Like love, like death, like subjective harshness of this world. Like the unnamed thing eating our dreams, Like the unmanned vehicle of luck running over us- leaving us alive everytime. The friend who forgets us so often that we believe that we are ghosts, the rain of care that we try to predict in the eyes of cold lover, the floating bodies that we can’t recognize. But we cry and in our tears we feel the remains of the memory that we can’t access. we only feel we must cry or we will regret.
So dear sun forgive us if we don’t return your smile as we thrash around breathless in water, as we demand answers in a voice weathered by tears. Forgive us if we forget that unlike us you will probably die alone. Things get forgotten important things like you and the other members of your life-filled-lifeless club. That’s just how we are but we realize it sooner or later what they were.
I can recall the days when i knew you tried to save me. You almost succeeded. You were beautiful even when my life was not. But even that helps. Thank you. We may not say it that much, but we have written a lot about you in the papers you’ll never read. I hope when you die the papers that are filled with your beauty can burn to give you a few more breaths. I hope it helps even though it won’t.
“I had it when I didn’t need it, when I wasn’t ready to face my own needing, cause my feelings for the delicate and genuine seemed hateful to me”,
out of everything that I tried not to know, you are the one most precious to me. Mostly it is because I didn’t really look at you so I have only these regrets to measure what you were.
And my regrets grow heavier with every encounter I have with this world that is filled with people like me. My regrets grow heavier even though I was so well suited, so ready to live and thrive in this real world, where you were destined to fail and wither and lose all that false light your prized.
My regrets grow heavier, the more I realize how much this world needs you and your friends, with your false beautiful ideals sewed on your skins. You would laugh if I told you about the people I meet everyday, people like me who can’t come in terms with the world they have chosen. I face their expecting eyes, I feel their hands searching in me for a glimpse of the world they have burnt. But maybe because it is you, you won’t laugh at it. Maybe you’d cry, cry in our stead, cry for all that we cannot cry for.
When they search for miracles in me I feel like a house with hidden doors and floors with bodies holding goodness lying breathless within. I fear when they find you behind every door- a miracle with your face, an end with your smile- then even these regrets won’t be mine.
So I try to be of use to them all the time hoping that they find the face of kindness only they know of, only they miss, the one only they want back. So that at least our mad hopes, will remain our own till the end. So that we gain nothing but remember everything and that remembering makes our hands, our hearts soft and breakable and beautiful like yours, like everyone else like you who did a world a favor by just existing.
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.
As my teacher with broken voice dictated another question on radius and heights and the mountains where no snow, no season, no name sticks; I turned another page and wrote the name of an emperor who died even though he believed he won’t. I smiled and tried to correct the very very wrong spelling of a national political party that my friend wrote. It doesn’t matter she said, when I couldn’t figure out what was exactly wrong with it. At lunch, she leaned against the wrong window, the one with fresh coat of blue paint, and told me a joke which she memorized only to remember it wrong. I again gave her the laugh that meant nothing in particular. But I knew she loved it when I reacted like this- as if she is forcing a laughter out of my silent somber heart, as if she is winning over me all my resistance. But I was nothing like that. I was nothing like she thought me to be. My heart was already open. She was already inside me- writing melodies with her soft steps beside me, painting summer sun over every window I looked out of. But these are things that need no telling, there are my treasures I won’t allow her to take back, these are the answer she will never realize. I hand in another assignment, another answer sheet that looks too little like me, that raises the eyebrows of people who realize they couldn’t teach me a thing right. I walk back to my seat wondering if my shirt is tainted red with my love like her back is filled with butterflies of blue.
He lived in the cracks of the window I could never close. The sun and the wind, the winter on my cheeks were all him. It was a reminder of the mornings when he held the hands of his softer feelings, when he silently took the path to brokenness and named that day after me. It was the reminder of his kiss that would make me look away, make me look awkward, make me do everything almost wrong but with innocence- everything that made him smile. I would step on his shadow and before I apologized, he would step on mine. He would call it dancing cause there was no better word for that. I would smile back forgetting myself
It was a beautiful word. It was a moment that answered the question that I never knew how to ask.