From the lowest branch
of the falling tree
I looked up
and heard someone laugh.
I have been reborn thousand times after that
as I walk on the charcoal roads
lined with white tulips
that never light up,
as my foot slips
I hear that laugh again.
I hear it
when I cook food
and end up staring a bit too long at the flame,
when the smoke that kills, coats everything
that fills my stomach.
It is stuck in my heart, the violence of the end.
The bluest sky, the sweetest wind,
the flying songs, and my muffled cries-
crystallized as one.
One tiny map, that tells no directions,
forever stuck in the corner of my eye.
It plays like a record, plays hide and seek.
It is a play that ends
with the stories breaking into me.
Things I now remember are mostly
absurdly simple and painful.
Like the last time we met like this,
you had a white suitcase that seemed like your new pet.
It looked at peace with the snow
that was getting on your nerves.
When you smiled
all I could think was
now you cannot bear the weight of your old green bag pack,
now you cannot bear the winters I am part of.
All I could think was
that you are growing old somewhere far without me.
I didn’t know that the next thing I would have to do,
after facing such sad realization,
would be to smile for my sake more than your.
Things I now recognize are
are only those that I don’t know how to fix anymore.
as I helped you out of your heavy white coat,
as I made the coffee of your liking
I kept staring at your small form
and your frightening transparency.
I looked at the scribbles of black marker
at the corner of suitcase.
where were you when you drew that.
At what point of your journey
you could no longer pretend
this was a life of your choosing?
Is your loneliness so overwhelming
that you are not afraid of buying and ruining whites?
Is your loneliness of my making?
Is that why you wear it so dearly?
the green pastures
the white fences
the perfect fake loving gaze
the debts of kindness
the half that never completes itself for once
the ornamental lackings of my being
the personal sun, the privilege to look away
and never know the heart of one who can’t
the greed such that I can’t stop receiving
the ideals that I can live without,
ideals that are already falling short
my monstrous growth, my falls from grace,
everything that I say I don’t need
all that I cannot give back.
It is easier for me
to be kind,
with a life of hypocrisy,
with a guilt weighing down my heart,
with the smile that I can get only because
the world is unfair.
It is easier for me to smile
at the knife stuck in my back.
It is easier to forgive
when I cannot forget my own blood stained hands,
my own reckless selfish heart.
On the broken lines of bold white,
on the burning roads far away from home
I knelt down
in the heap of my skirt made of fairy dust
and disappointments of all kinds.
I found a pretty crack
with space enough to be something of its own
and with a style that you’d agree with.
With my fingertips already crying red
I wrote you name
in the best writing I could.
Your name that couldn’t fit
beside mine, or the scorecards with better marks,
or a business card that was not a part of scam,
or with a number that could for once be reached,
or the nameplate that you kept losing
in the sleepy playgrounds of our eyes.
We missed you.
We missed you.
in the conversations
where we thought only of you
and yet couldn’t speak of you.
We thought of you
always with an ache,
always with a heart that wanted more of you
while wanting to forget the little that we had.
I wrote your name
and ran my fingers over them again.
A kid knelt down beside me
offering me a smile as he took in
a pain he couldn’t understand.
Today, of all days, I was not allowed to smile.
I walked away wondering
if he knew you,
if he now lives in your name,
if he knows someone who wrote like me,
who wrote words that will fit nowhere but here.
Your name could be anybody else’s.
You could have lived like everyone else
“The sky is your canvas”,
the book to all ailments said,
“there is a joy in filling it up with life.”
But as I finished my 157th sketch,
as I finished my 300th one,
as I finished the one with no count attached
(the one I called “the limits that were stronger than me”),
as I write over all that I had drawn,
as the clouds dragged themselves painfully
crawling to some better place,
like everything else in my life
the sky remained unchanged.
And when I lost my hands to fate, to slow corrosion,
to the burden of creation,
to the lady in white who couldn’t even lie that “it won’t hurt”,
to the painful work of making up things that I want,
things that would want me back, or at least won’t walk out,
to the hunch that said something is seriously wrong
with the kind of life I have.
I wished for the man in the sky
to wake up and get to work,
to make me some rain,
to drop an ocean of crystal on this world,
to paint a heaven on this cheap sky of this miserable man.
Because trying on some days, on most days now,
feels like living against the wishes of the world.
I can’t help but break a bit, cry a bit
even when things are right,
because they right only because of my efforts.
Can you give me something that I don’t have to work hard for,
something that was made for me,
something that I can keep.
A thing, a person, a sign
that I can hold in my hand
that tells me that you want me to be happy,
that you want me to smile,
that I am not abandoned after all.
to get our high
from the powdered dust of dreams,
from digging desperately, getting closer to the voice
of the demons we buried just yesterday,
breaking nails and curfews to
save the skins we can’t live without.
at making a home,
choosing colors for our ceilings,
choosing the sides we will sleep on,
choosing not to be the ones we have always been.
Another chance, another precious child to be broken,
another angel dress to be painted red
waiting for our hands, for our tasteless kiss.
Choosing everything that leads us to lives
that couldn’t possibly have been ours,
couldn’t have been so wrong.
I know we are the only ones
who can give each other chances.
Chances – that we are so fond of.
But do we need to call it love?
Though we have tried and tried
and have run out of things that can be fixed.
Do we have to call this happiness
just because we have been told we must?
Do we have to ruin every word, every feeling
that we have not felt yet,
just because we fear we may never feel them otherwise.
i draw a white light
on another perfect window
with my broken hand
the clouds have gathered
my blue stream must be dying inside
i speak my softest tongue
i lift my wounds
to show my untainted heart
stay on the waves in my eyes
touch the only vein in my body
that knows how to hope, i beg
but they drift away
before i name my heart after them
they drift away not wanting to be mine
the sky is clear again
i try not to cry, as i draw the lightning
that no clouds can gift my heart.
As I wait for you
in the back seat of your car
almost losing sense of my limbs and my scars
I smile – the sad smile I would never use when I am sober.
I smile thinking,
at least I am not crying and waiting
in the trunk of some stranger’s car.
I don’t necessarily love you
but I guess I love your pattern, the predictability of your anger,
the time I have to prepare my skin to shatter.
I think about the times I have been broken
and abandoned by the loves and by the men before you
I think about your anger that I never forget this past.
I think about your hands that I can count on
even when your hands love my pain the most.
I think of your funny jokes, the food you cook in your good mood,
the songs that you hum as you move around the house,
your bluish white wings and your flickering halo
when you are asleep by my side.
I think I can love you a bit after all.
Any seat that I was comfortable occupying
was always unbearably cold.
People were right when they said
that something was not right with me.
For my flesh wanted to become fresh snow,
my bones the lone tree
under which sat my soul-
a child learning to count
the years of cold and whiteness,
an innocent, forgetful, and aging brain
living in a world
with no song, no spring, no rain,
to remind of all that is lost.
I could probably have called it a blue morning
waiting through each hour for the day to gift it back its colors.
Or a white one where our eyes and the air are filled with
a whiteness that is never stained,
for it leaves as soon as it comes,
for it never comes in touch with the world,
just moves around it.
Is that the way we should have lived our life?
If we existed together, moving around each other,
maybe we wouldn’t have to look at each others brokeness like this.
You tell me it is a dirty gray morning that we are never going to forget.
And I almost curse myself
for not getting that right color on my lips before you did.
But I stop myself by reminding
that goodbyes like these should not be filled with the same mistakes
as the ones that filled our time together.
We wait for the beams of light and for the screech of tyres on road,
that takes you away, masking your last words to me
in the jarring sound of honks.
I make my way back to the gray life
that was always waiting for me.
If you looked back at me through that moving car,
through your healing heart,
when we are far enough to be fine,
would you see me as the defeated person I always was?