Your frail arms,
the waves and curtains of your skin,
these carved brackets hugging your smile-
give them to me.
Place a shadow of such blessings
on the weary crown of my future.
Tell me the story about
your bent bow, about your magnificent spine
that sings stories about the lost string,
about the vanishing tear-stained targets.
Teach me how to grow.
Teach me how to live.
as you always did
with your overflowing love
and your running out time.
Tell me how to love this world
even as I leave. Teach me how to love
this eventual inevitable fallout of elements
that make up my body and mind.
Hold me tighter in your sleep,
leave me a bit more of you,
so that I won’t be starved,
so that I don’t grow bitter,
till the time we meet in our new skins.
Even there I will carry in me
the grace of the life you have lived.
Welcome me when I come to you again.
The city of wax and sun was,
for the lack of better words,
like living in a home that will vanish
and does vanish-
the vanishing always a spectacle and a sorrow.
The nights were all about
breathing religiously every second
to catch a brick, a bell, a railing to hold onto,
the dear gods carved in stones,
the plate touched by my mother.
Breathing in again and again
and coming up all empty,
we used to wait for sun and dread its heat
always worried and excited
about the drops and vapors we would catch
and all that we were going to lose.
Since nothing apart from the breathing would survive,
since the new-born stone and grass
knew nothing of death or its mark,
there never was a funeral,
no graves, no photographs to devote our tears to.
All our oceans would rise within us
falling at the steps, the stones, the memories
of everything that cannot prove its reason to stay
The white curtain, the whistling wind
no matter how many times
I close my eyes.
The chill under my feet
slowly turns into the ice within my bones.
The hope within my heart
blinds me a bit more.
For every step I take
another cold molecule of my sense of self
breaks away from me.
Every step is an unavoidable mistake.
All warm things are now resting
in the rooms of past-
the melting summer and the stickiness left by
the kiss of ice cream at the corner of my lips,
the one tree that I burnt for three winters,
the big windows, the big dreams
that almost burnt a hole in my heart
as I wrote down hollow words recited by my teachers,
the warmth on my skin
as your eyes fell on me,
that whole minute for which you were
the closest star to earth, my new sun.
But every step is an unavoidable mistake.
Every step is a goodbye.
Every sun that my eyes create, falls
too easily from its branch.
No matter how many times
I close my eyes.
it doesn’t vanish-
this world that now I can no longer love.
The light that will never fall on you
is the light I will never see.
Isn’t it beautiful – this cold
that takes me a bit closer to you, even if like this.
He stepped down from his ‘cloud nine of the day’
as I stepped out from my house made of last drops of rain
and at the intersection of fleeting memories
we fell in love.
That is what I tell my friends
when they ask me about the moment
I was tempted to end the sadness of my life.
I tell them about the words I borrowed from his lips,
his borrowed tongue that helped me eat a bit more.
How I taped his adjectives on my mirror
so that I wouldn’t have to look at myself.
They sit with me on the table
I can’t bear to share with my love.
They stare at me, as I ask them what to wear,
how to hide my poison, how to hide the crack at the elbow,
the bruised collarbone, the split lip,
the ache in my heels, my frayed wings,
my broken voice
and all other reminders of what love has done to me,
and what more love can do, if i just let it in again.
They tell me it is all healed.
They tell me it is all past.
They hold their skin against mine to make me see
that the cracks are all in my mind,
how everyone looks just like me,
how everything wrong with me is now the norm.
And they laughed
when I looked at them with concern.
They dropped me at the restaurant
and vanished at the farthest bend of the road.
As I dragged my feet towards another story
that I will never get to complete,
another tragedy that suited only me,
I looked back and tried to think of all the things
that these kind friends of mine suffered
as they hoped and wished and lied to themselves.
The exceptions they now considered normal,
the wounds they cannot even see,
the pain they cannot call pain,
the love they cannot bear to leave-
I tasted these facts
in every spoon of artificial sweetness
I fed to my mouth that evening.
I have seen snails and snakes
from a distance of two feet.
They were scary and I was scared.
Even when they vanished, I remained scared.
I remained scared
of everything that stood two feet away from me,
asking me, “Now what?”,
“Is it now, that you run and not look back?”
I have seen friendship
from the distance of words
I could never type.
I sent them new year,
friendship day, diwali,
doomsday celebration greetings
but I never sent them my heart.
They too figured with time
that they could live without me,
without this heart of mine
they have only heard about.
When I see them smile for me
across the street
that we both won’t cross
I wonder if I should smile back
and extend this period of pain, this pretense
or should I see through them,
to set them free
or should I walk closer, to fill their heart
with the horrid images of the real me,
to let them see the dying me,
to let them see the things they can’t do anything about.
Would they love me for real if I did that
or would they look me from the distance of two feet
as I ask “Now what?”
“Is it now, that you run and not look back?”
i know what is right for me
and you obviously are not.
you are not good for me.
take it any way you want.
but it is raining outside.
i let myself miss you a bit.
today, the world is breaking apart silently.
today, i am vanishing.
today, i am less hungry for everything.
today i am too tired to be me.
too tired to wish you well.
i let myself resent you a bit as well.
What does a beautiful day look like?
Your smile filling my heart
with the sweetness that I hate.
The crystals of sugar, your gentle words
cover everything in the world,
like a world lost in a blizzard
all that kept me on my feet vanishes.
I breathe easier because you are here.
What does a beautiful day day look like?
There are no beautiful days dear.
There are just days that we were happy,
the days I will look back with tears in my heart,
with these weak hands that could never hold onto you.
Make me a little more happier love,
give me one more reason to be sad
when you are gone.
We believed (or wanted to)
that this world where we won’t be staying for long
will be always there,
will the stay the same
even when we leave.
That our eyes have captured something eternal.
But even the stars that we believed in
were in fact dying,
so far away that we didn’t even know.
Would it have mattered even if we knew?
Would we have cared for an end that we won’t live to see?
So even when I see that we are breaking,
even when I know it will come apart,
I know we don’t need a forever,
just bit more time.
We just need to vanish into dust
before we watch our love die.
Have you heard about the lady that sits two seats away.
They have an awful lot to say about her.
I have never heard her speak,
but what I hear about her
is so much more interesting
than what she could possibly tell me.
No, I do not participate is spreading lies
or statements that that are as likely to be true
as they can be false.
Some days I end up feeling more than I should.
I think of all the days I was her.
Now I am not, nor will I ever be again.
But once I was
and that makes me feel sad and then angry at her
for showing me something that I do not want to see.
If her story and her life
could have existed somewhere out of my sight,
I could have afforded some sympathy.
If I didn’t expect her to do all that I should have
and all that I couldn’t,
maybe I could have taken into consideration
that weakness that all of want get rid of.
Rest of the days
I keep my eyes open and try to see her
apart from what I know of her,
apart from what I see of me in her.
And what little resemblance to my sorrow she had
vanishes as quickly as it appeared,
telling me to look for another mirror,
preferably not a person,
to see and regret all that I can’t blame myself for.
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.