“What do you know of prayers?” she asked,
as she held my hands together within her own.
I asked her “Don’t you know anything about me?”
and there appeared another crack on her hands,
there bloomed another rose in her hair
there was another smile – the “looking down” smile,
“you don’t know any better” smile,
“you will soon thank me” smile,
“I know you hate my smile” smile.
I tried to imitate it, to drape it on my own face.
Cause even if it didn’t seem like that, I loved her smile.
I stared at her smile
wanting to save it somewhere in me. I stared
at her small beautiful parts
wanting to un-see the person she is in this moment.
I am always trying
to forget how suffocated these moments with her are.
I am always trying to forget
that with her words of love there was always a plea,
a suggestion, a manipulation – to make me something like her.
Would it make me seem pathetic, petty, or romantic?
if i called her a poison. Though everyone here is a poison,
even me, but she is a poison for me, the only poison
that works on me. The only one I didn’t want a death from.
She tells me about another deity I will never believe in.
She tells me a bit more about saving, about faith, about her own self
that can never be broken, how even breaking can’t end her now.
I wished she was right, I wished there would be never an end to her.
I wished for all kinds of ends for myself,
even the ones without her. But in no version
did I invent an agreeable version of her that will better for me.
She has to be herself. Whatever that might mean for me.
I wonder if there would come a day like that, a day when
she would love me like that. Do I even want a day like that?
Can I even tolerate a change in her?
Wouldn’t that break me more than anything?
I get up and say something about “better things to do”
and she says something about “the dangers to the faithless”
and I can only smile for now
at this weird, beautiful, messed up part of our life
at our of differences, knowing of love,
at our knowing of faith in different things that save us in their own ways.
I drew her shadow on sand.
She stood still, her tiny shoulders
and ribs (that thankfully can no longer be seen)
moved gently with each breath.
Each tiny breath
like the wave that swept in,
like her laughter used to be.
She looks at me and asks if it is done.
I nod. I meant to say “almost”.
Just like I had meant to say “stop”,
or “please don’t” or “take me and spare her”.
She doesn’t wait for my answers anymore.
She skips over the boundaries of our shadows.
Her outline of me drawn in shaky fingers,
looks like a human being pulled apart
beside her own shadow – a child, complete and perfect.
But she looks at her shadow and calls it weird,
just like how she called the ocean weird.
the smiling children in the glossy magazine were weird,
a chocolate bar without an occasion. without a reason were weird,
the memories of home she wanted to forget were weird,
the days she walked to school with her friend
and the days the sun went down as she slept over the
struggles of homework were weird.
She sat down and tried to come up with an answer for my “why”.
“the ocean is so huge.
as huge as, all the things i can’t have
but once i had them. it is weird.
it is weird how this ocean is mine now,
the breeze is mine along with the sky
but i don’t want them.
you have memorized my shadow.
you keep bringing me back to life
but you tear up so easily as if even you don’t believe yourself.
as if you don’t believe in me .
sometimes i feel that this ocean is our gift to each other,
it is our heart free of our bodies.
sometimes i believe that i am here and you are here
and the world where my head can rest in your lap
I have spent 10 years
of my life decorating my wooden coffin,
giving food, giving faces, and adding height
to my imaginary friends
and painting forgiving smiles on my imaginary gods.
I won’t mind if someone out there decides to call me
“coward” or “delusional” or “hopeless” or “sorta weird”
I won’t mind if this qualifies
to be called “running away from reality and life”.
Even if I ignore the words like these,
even when I have found a way to survive alone
I am still left with these corrosive, acidic feelings.
Feelings don’t help – when all they do is
speak, wail louder each day.
They remind me again and again
that even a beautiful death is a death,
that loneliness is still loneliness,
that in spite of the ribbons and flowers and posters
the smile on my face is still not as bright
as the one love used to give me,
even if I have now less reasons to cry.
It is not easy – this peace,
this staying away from the want to be seen, to be loved,
this wanting to cry over something again.
It is not easy – to keep myself awake and alive
when feeding myself, seeing the light
only makes my fears stronger.
The soap slips through my fingers
and falls onto the floor
(a floor that in my mind is never clean enough).
I wash the soap vigorously,
till it becomes half of what it was.
My teachers would be proud
to know that I take germs somewhat seriously even now.
Even now, when I am sure of only of my loneliness*,
such ghosts of primary school science don’t leave me alone.
*My hands are too small, I have been told many a times. Maybe that’s why this happens so often. But still I guess it happens to all. I can never know for sure though. No one I have ever met talks of the soaps that slip. Maybe that shows the state of my friendships, how I end up feeling weird, feeling alone about the things, in experiences that are supposed to be normal and common.
why i was born so,
with so many roots,
roots that find
at the end of their tips.
I can help you count everything you have.
These objects have no meaning to me
but I know something about life
even if I don’t know everything.
I know that your hands
will stop shaking
only if they keep counting,
only when you have confirmed
that you have not become poorer
that you were a minute ago.
I know that you don’t enjoy being like this,
even though people say you are weird on purpose.
I know that you have stars on your ceiling,
only because the ones in the sky
have abandoned you too many times.
So I will not tell you
how to live your life.
I will not force
the disease of my heart
into yours, in the name of cure.
Build walls all you want,
but keep me inside them with you.
I want to stay away from people,
who I once called friends,
(I think they never called me that)
and I have doubts on what I feel.
I am suffering from an unexplained aversion
to human relation and condition.
My efforts are spent
in avoiding people and small talks.
I spend my days
thinking, “What is wrong with me?’,
knowing that these feeling are weird
and still not finding something wrong
where there should be soomething wrong.
In the brief moments when I am reminded
of once dear faces,
I feel an ache,
a feeling that I have been let down,
I have been betrayed by everyone,
I have been wronged.
I am no longer myself.
I am somewhere where
I have lost sense of myself and others.
Even though you miss me,
even though you love me,
please don’t try to bring me back.