Outside my body, outside myself
I can be the the girl
who walks to a stranger, smiles and asks his name,
who keeps her name in her mouth,
and doesn’t throw it away
along with the chewing gum in the nearest trash can.
Would she hold his hand?
I think she would.
But even then
would she be reminded of the the poem she wrote in seventh grade
“the ugliness of people dripping from their hands
at nights, holding my breath,
crushing my 27 teeth under an unwanted kiss,
promising to kill me next time“.
That poem doesn’t exist in this world,
let’s keep reminding ourselves that.
So yes, she holds this stranger
a bit more closer than she would have deemed wise
if she saw it how I would
and she would make promises- the kind lovers makes
before they know what love is.
He will ask about her life
and she will have no sad story to tell.
So she would talk about the recent window shopping-
the things she can’t have and things she can’t get
and she will not be talking in metaphors for once.
For once the one she wants to love
wouldn’t be obsessed with the wounds on her skin
to love, to treasure, to poke, to mock, to dig down further,
to own and to burn.
He will probably say something sweet about her smile
or maybe something boring about his work
and she would smile a bit more in either case.
Because she can smile here, in this world, in front of him,
without having to think about what his each word might hide,
what she is over-looking, what will be the tiny details
that will come back to hurt her, what will be the undoing of her heart.
She will smile cause she won’t have learned to be hate people beforehand,
she wouldn’t have learned to love a bit too late.
She would tell him that he is lovely,
and the blush in his cheeks will make her heart skip
and she would love him for loving him
and not because she is looking for an easy fix to her faltering mind.
“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.
i think this suits me most-
to lose myself
and yet look okay.
god gave me a face that always looks okay
even when i don’t want it to.
(there have been only handful of days
when i want to look as miserable i am.)
i wonder how it feels
“do i look broken today yet?
“i cried all night”.
i have never cried at nights.
i have never skipped a meal for my sorrow.
i feed my heart too much fats
and instant unhealthy happiness.
i cut down my green trees
and kill few birds, make a fresh trap
that smiles through my gaping wound.
i live life the only way i can.
look okay cause all parts of me are
still working fine.
god gave me a heart that doesn’t break
the conventional way.
i walk this world fearing this heart
You are gone
and I try to hold the spoon like you used to.
I chew my food with my left molars as you did.
The ghosts that I have wronged, that I have forgotten
now include half of my teeth, teeth you would have never used.
You are gone
and you are happy (probably).
So I memorize name and phone number
of your every friend,
I recall the fondness you had for them.
I wear your feelings when I meet them,
I wear your feelings even when they won’t fit me.
I wonder if they noticed how I was spilling at some places,
how I was non existent in other folds-
folds that used to hold you so well.
You are gone
and I am gone (or that’s what I think).
I am my work, I am my songs,
I am the adjectives you made for me,
I am the report cards, I am the dust that settles on it,
I am the afternoon TV shows, I am the language I don’t understand.
I am what I am fond of.
I am mostly just you.
You are gone
and I fear
there is no one that can
stop me from growing
whatever this is.
till I find a way to hide it,
get rid of it,
or kill it.
They say I will die the moment
I set the monster in me ablaze.
But this is the reason
warnings no longer work on me.
This is why I cannot live the way I want.
This is why ‘what I now want’
is ‘what I never ever wanted to want’.
Don’t take pity on me
nor on this thing that eats me
and replaces my every cell
with hateful words
and spiteful actions.
Why are you holding me down?
Why are you holding me back?
Why do you want to preserve me like this-
at my worst?
I am becoming better at creating excuses.
I am becoming better at forgetting the hurt I cause.
It kills me to see myself straying away from my ideals.
Doesn’t that matter a bit?
what is the use of loving you
if you won’t speak less and be less for the sake of my ego,
if you don’t have the proportions or face to brag about,
if you won’t sleep with me,
if you have “anxiety attacks” just when i am having fun
(it is embarrassing, grow up)
if my mom won’t like you,
if you can’t give me the kids that i want,
if a career, a dream is still on your mind,
if you still want friends when you already have me,
if you want to write the stupid poems that make me look bad,
if you won’t consider me your god,
if you continue to live for yourself.
so dear, work hard.
or you will become useless to me.
there is only so much that i can tolerate for this love of yours.
You have left your reflection in my mirrors
and now I have no choice but to dispose them.
I do not want to see you
tainted by anything that is mine.
You may not know this
(and may you never know)
but I love you
because you are nothing like me,
I love you
because you cannot understand me.
You remind of what I could be
if life gave me better circumstances
or if I knew how to choose better.
On you this shine of happiness,
that life stole from me,
they look better.
If that is how the world works,
if happiness is a fixed constant
I’ll gladly let you have my share.
Though you are always holding my world together,
I do not mind everything falling apart
if in all the breaking
you are the only one kept intact.
I realized in my failures
that I was not nearly as good as I thought I was
and whatever I am was not worth that much
at least not in my own eyes.
And nothing I did could change anything
unless I could see the significance
of what I am and what I do.
I worked hard.
I lost sleep.
But my efforts to become worthy of my dream
turned out to be too less.
I turned out to be too less.
But somehow I was relieved to see
that even when I was empty-handed
I knew how to find my way to the beginnings
and start again.
So I couldn’t pity myself in that moment
but feel almost an admiration for this person
who didn’t know how to give up.
Even though we know
we will end up being disappointed in ourselves
we still want find that same mirror
again and again,
expecting to see something different.
Hoping that it will work out one day.
Hoping one day our faults
would be too insignificant to matter.
Relying on the surety
of the forgetfulness of the world
than the forgiveness that we couldn’t dare to ask.
But even if the world forgets,
even if our skin grows anew,
even if our sins become untraceable,
these eyes of ours
remain the same,
always lingering on the spot
where we have buried our past.
Passing of time does nothing to reduce our fear
of being seen for what we are.
Even when that image of what we were
exists nowhere in this world,
it is the only way we can ever see ourselves.
Someone told me that is how love works out for people like us
who approach love as if it is an animal that can kill us at any time
and who only move towards it
when they become aware of the other monsters that are eating up
all that they could rely on.
We only find the strength to move to a riskier spot
when chased by a scarier element.
We move only when our hope turns into our source of fear.
That is how we find all the things that we keep in our heart
and that is how we lose everything we call ours.