They set me down softly.
The cloth made of stars and leaves,
laid to rest on my heart.
My heart, once a gaping hungry mouth,
a volcano ready to freeze
all life, all skin that roam and breathe
within its realm. The tyrant helpless ruler
of the subjects that bleed in their sleep
as they murmur their pleas, reciting memories
it can’t bear to listen to.
a café lit with dying songs and cheap menu,
a landscape of wrecks well-hidden.
My heart, a sceptic, now sits in a structure of wood,
with its half-written paper
on “questionable power of blood”
sprawled on its desk,
while it waits for the final burning
wearing that one warm worn-down love,
that somehow still breathes.
There was once
something similar to a heart
trapped under his breathing flesh.
You remember that stage of wood –
the house of stories in skin,
that used to be hidden away
at the end of a road so narrow
that one could reach its door on knees.
His heart was that place
before it found a new real way to sing of ends.
Do you remember
the night of immense light three years ago-
the night of mad faith,
the burning of glazed wood,
the men who could only speak of hauntings,
of the cold breeze that lived under their skin
as they sought truth and reality
by burning the rest away.
He still repeats those words in his sleep,
those songs that are not really his,
the songs that should have never
been put to words.
or better ignore him,
for he is not entirely here.
A part of him is still burning somewhere.
A part of him is still trying
to survive the death of his world.
I don’t trust myself with water these days. Of late I have found my arms devoid of the will to struggle. I seem to be getting better and better at abandoning myself.
I now only stand rooted at places where life comes easy. I only linger in spaces where not-breathing is more difficult than breathing. Against my best efforts, all I do is try to live.
The ways to live, the painful familiarity of the world, this stone stuck in my shoe, pressing against my sole, it all used to be unbearable. For long I tried to find a way to live with it. I always failed to find its use.
But now I know how to surround myself in the suffocation of it all, to fill my mind with the smoke of this crude life as I learn to see from scratch again. Hold parts of me captive somewhere, till the rest of me can chip away at my spirit that only sings of blood and end.
Today, in the hot summer afternoon, covered in breaking illusions, I walked away from the lake where my past swims. I unlearn one more pain. I found a road I had never seen, a garden never tended to, a foot of mountain where there was abundance of fruits and all new reasons to live.
and hope shall play
on the beaches that you drew.
it will run
along the cold melting lands,
holding your hands,
smiling with lips
that curve like mine,
that opens like yours.
a song shall arrive in the air
a laughter, a tear will arrive in our hearts
again to knock, again to let in life.
we will look at our skin
that breaks in the same design
and we will rejoice.
we smile about something
that was once insufferable.
we will hold each other
laughing about how
nothing can make us
let go, nothing can make us
give up on this.
My emptiness is finally put to use.
The fishes swim in me –
the luminous disfigured creatures of depth
and the beautiful dying ones of light,
fill me up one by one.
I teach them songs of sorrow.
I hold them in my endless embrace
singing them back to life
and in return they let me feel like someone
who can protect, love, and shield.
They let me feel things no human ever could.
Even though I hate to be seen
I smile as my body is put on display.
My skin, the strongest glass.
My skin, the weakest beams.
The shallowest of oceans I become.
Humans hold hands, hold themselves
as they stand before me.
They find possibilities, mysteries, awe
in all that I hold inside,
in all that isn’t me.
Even in my nightmares I had a home,
I had the warmth of my own
love-yearning heart whose selfish haunting
was more powerful than the sorrow
of the world itself.
Even when the night came
and killed the song of every bird.
Even when god abandoned my shadow,
even as I dreamt the eyes I loved
drowning in blood, floating towards my end.
I could live,
I could still write poems
under the light of my pain.
The fishes peep at me
through the pink sewer grates,
the filth and dirt and greed of city
eating their eyes,
the loneliness scratching at their fins.
I look at them
as if they are a painting
hung on an illuminated wall –
the last standing wall.
The vapors of dissipated life, dissolved flesh
spread all around it – the waste of everyday life
the waste of silent war.
But it lasts only a moment
my gift of vision, my ability to detach
only lasts so long.
The hunger in my bones, once again,
makes me look away.
I get up and walk.
I move my feet to the beat of the song
being spun in my corrupted mind
I am tempted to increase the volume
to find a pitch that resonates with the air here.
The point where everything bleeds and nothing heals
what will happen to me there,
what will happen to all of us I wonder.
But I have walked these roads before
I now know more than anything
that I only yearn to live.
Slowly, I have learned to protect my ailing tissues.
I have learned to gaze lovingly at my broken mind.
So, I press pause.
I continue to persevere.
Across this glass,
across the tired melting clouds of mist,
on the other side
there are trees and homes and forests
that are just like places on this side that I rest.
The places where I am not
look as sad as all the places I have been.
Everywhere, on every road there is always a person
who knows a way to break my heart,
and I always end up thanking them for it.
There are rooms where I put up
lights and posters and curtains
and lovers and music,
those are the rooms I want to die in-
with some beauty, with some consolation of meaning .
But always I find the reason for my end outside these walls.
Those reasons live under the brightest light on the darkest road.
And because I was told that the light that I don’t know of
is the one that saves all, even the hopeless ones like me.
So my legs forget how to stop,
my hands forget how to let go,
and my blood glitters for a moment under the light of lost hopes
before it turns black, before it invites in the cold
that I always thought belonged to the inanimate world.
I think of the room I won’t reach,
and the songs and the faces and this world
that I will not be given a piece of, to keep.
As the sky fills me up, pats me down,
and tucks me in the snow
across the white,
I feel someone stir from sleep.
The wail that my throat cannot make,
finds a home in that other world, in the other me
that unlike me
knows how to cry and how to be loved for it.
I have to sing
and keep singing,
have to keep begging people to dance within my heart,
within the confines of these bricks,
with the parts of me that can’t die
and parts of me that I wish I still was.
I have to keep inventing reasons and occasions
I have to paint every meaning within me
in the boldest loudest colors.
Because the moment it all stops
I will hear the shouts again.
There is no silence in this world.
the fearful children of a fearless god
shout his name again and again.
Asking for reason, for rain,
for roses carrying their name.
I also once stood there, in the dark corridors,
on burning roads
asking god to love only me,
to hold my hand, to save me alone.
It is a very dark road,
the one we take to find
the light that will only belong to us.
And there is only this home of blindness
far away from all the crying and ceaseless hoping
where I can use these eyes of mine
for something more than holding and spilling tears,
where I get to sing for the god within the song.
I worship these walls that hold me in my place.
I worship all of your laughs, all the steps the never stop.
But I am still afraid
because tears still come easy to me,
because even this borrowed light whispers the name of one
who I still hope to reach.
The one who should exist somewhere outside these walls.
But I can only be here in this world of his
if I don’t run to him all the time.
I can be his, without falling short or falling apart,
only if I substitute what he has made for what he is.
The evidence of your existence –
they sometimes sound like trapped bubbles in ice,
a song no one wants to remembers,
a song that wants to burn itself down
on the steps of justice gone wrong,
wanting to stain the white marble of temples
that do not deserve worship.
They sound like dying ambition amidst flying hopes,
a revolution coming apart,
a future with limping walk and kind careful words,
a future fleshed out with beautiful breaking and selfish hands.
You told me “selfish” is a beautiful word,
told me that in the opening sentence to the goodbye,
that I am supposed to shout after your vanishing back,
to make the word “selfish” the first word,
to speak of that word with a smile.
And let the world wonder why you wanted to burn the world
for what you have never known, what you couldn’t have;
to never explain your heart, to never let their magnifying glass
and their dear sun around your tearful smile.