Signals

Broken speed breakers aren’t Braille, blind heart.

Do not read too much into them,

they will never give away how slow or fast

you’re supposed to rush.

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Wilted

Uproot me every once in a while

and wash me of the ground that I carry between my toes.

De-thorn me of my thoughts thought out loud because they hurt,

and dethrone me in the process,

put me in a vase; watch me die.

 

Petal by petal, leaf by leaf, I expose you to my idiosyncrasies,

witness me curl my fingers as I rip apart every sweater,

with my hair becoming static from the constant stripping of all

warmth I ever gave to myself, until all I carry is faded pollen

thoughts that crumble onto the mahogany of your table

and then brush them into a dustpan and throw them into the

basement of your psyche, amidst haunting

temptations to love me (I’m dying, we all are).

Do not deceive me by watering me, we both know you’re

only drowning my corpse, and if you do, sink me during dawn

in your bathtub, with all my thorns – I wish to revel in your blood,

in your agony,

in the fact that something stings you after

I prove the concept of mortality.

 

Watch me wear the colour of dead roses on my lips;

beautiful flowers were never meant to live.

Unfelt

I was sitting on a bench in a closed classroom,

and you were asking me why I do not look people in the eye;

I tried to divert you from the topic because I didn’t

have the profoundly inky explanation you were hoping to hear,

I simply didn’t know, and I know you didn’t care for simplicity.

Before time knew it, you were telling me how you don’t feel, and I

was blind and deaf to the concept, and too many questions

were spinning inside of me like a continuum of blizzards

until certain sentences barely had words and some had

14 question marks, but by then you had already pushed me

against the wall and the vowels, and consonants, and punctuation

marks slowly balanced themselves on the top of my floating ribs

as if I were a snow globe.

 

The next evening, the second and last day of us,

you suggested we run barefoot on grass reeking of concoctions

churned by setting suns and birdsongs to soothe the 7 types of pain

I felt in my feet from walking in shoes

that weren’t meant for me. And we did, with you pointing

out 4 goalposts with your arm half exposed under a clumsily

rolled up shirt sleeve, with me looking for the lipstick stains

on your collar that had mysteriously disappeared, with us, two

strangers, spending an evening made of yellowed-out pages of

a Mills and Boon, until it was time for us to never talk again.

 

In every remembrance of our 48 hour rendezvous

I would ponder how one couldn’t feel until exactly

365 days after us

I began tearing into people’s souls through their eyelashes,

and dancing them into scratched vinyls of Presley,

 

with my heart only being an audience

of only an abandoned stage

with only a spotlight illuminating

only particles of dust.

 

Her

I remember how she told me

that she loves how soft her feet become when she

walks out of the shower, and now, I notice mine

but they end with toes of shapes alien to me,

and begin at heels which just cannot recover

from visualized memories of the time

I spent trying to imitate decent height with shoes

that would scrape my skin until my flesh would remember

that if I was meant to be tall, I would have been.

Maybe it was her velvety feet, or her head touching the

upper ends of your ears that made you fall

head over heels

in love with her, because I had neither; I still don’t.

 

On her wild, happy days, she would start screaming

lyrics, and names, and even random words

but they would all sound like music to me (probably to you too,

aren’t you in love with music?), and now I do the same. I twirl around

in my own symphonies until the world grabs me by my shoulders

and rattles me like a 6 month old’s toy maracas, and makes cacophony

about how I have been acting like her (again).

 

I would keep wondering if she had something about her or if I

had nothing in me  at all, and I know now it’s both,

but this conclusion doesn’t make anything better,

and it couldn’t make anything worse,

for all I have left to say is

 

I do not blame you for choosing her over me,

because unknowingly,

I did the same.

 

 

Prayer

My body is a temple,

and you knew that so you left your shoes outside.

 

You walked in barefoot, and I thought you were being

vulnerable, because we leave our deceptions behind

temple gates, right? You skimmed my walls with your fingers

with every parikrama that you took around the deity

that was my soul, as if the inscriptions imbibed in them

since the beginning of time, made any sense to you.

You chanted mantras which resonated through all

parts of me, weaving, braiding through the ringing of bells.

They say that the vibrations of these shlokas make the air

around pious, and I thought you were only distilling purity in me

with your condescending voice, as if I were a mere room

and you were what made me a temple. You touched your head

to the ground, before me and I could feel the hot and the human in it

seep into me; your forehead was semi permeable and it let all

its arrogance, and anger, and selfishness  filter through to me, until I brimmed

of all things unholy. And then you looked right at me as if you had never

poked another soul until it oozed out all emotion with

the same brown, unapologetic eyes, as if shame, even just an ounce of it,

was prohibited to be vested in you. The chants and the ringing

was slowing down and the lull was getting louder and louder,

until silence vibrated violently through every room of me.

You joined your hands one last time, and I could see my innocence

choking from between them,

and then you left.

 

I knew it when you left your shoes outside

that you aren’t here to stay,

but my body is a temple –

 

it is open for all, I cannot shut out only those

who sin.

Wildflower

There was an age

When my eyes would lose your eyes,

At night, to my pillowcase,

And by the morning, as the sky celebrates

Its 4.54 billionth coronation

By adorning a sun as mark of legislation;

By the morning, you’d evaporate.

 

I would recollect you

Amidst afternoon-ish hours and twilit minutes

From lovers in café queues

From under dusty vows, and from all things untrue,

But as the sky would observe

Ink trickling out of the new monarch’s nerves,

Upon my pillowcase, you’ disappear from view.

 

But now, you’re archived,

Stacked neatly on the shelves of my subconscious

Since the last time I cried;

Stored in mason jars like old, stuttering Christmas lights.

No, I cannot lose you anymore,

For now my eyes have given up on downpour

And in this restrained tempest, you hide.

 

I can no longer cry you out of my system, I cannot rip you out of my skin,

 

For I’m afraid you’re braided into my soul

Like wildflowers in the hair of a 6 year old.

 

 

Inside the Snow Globe

Back when I was little

I thought the snow globe on my windowsill

Was amusing; I would shake it

Until the glitter started to swirl,

And I would watch it

Until it settled upon the rosy nose, and the dewy skin,

And the mittened hands of the little person

That I once adored so truly.

 

Time passed us by

And with it fled the days when

I thought the snow globe on my windowsill

Was amusing; I would leave it

Stationary before the window that moved up and down,

And I would give it

A fraction of a second’s worth of attention and then the usual

Eternal apathy, for staring out at freedom

Encased in a window did better than

Staring into confinement materialized into a snow globe.

 

Calendar dates faded out

Parallel to the kind smile on the person’s face

Whom I used to love so dearly when

I thought the snow globe on my windowsill

Was amusing; I could see its

Periwinkle blue innocence turn into indigo bruises

And I could sense its

Eyes projecting flashes of maniacal humour until it dragged me

By the collar of my nightgown inside the

Condemned, demented, cursed

Snow globe, away from the independence

That I once cherished so heartily

 

Time stands still

As I exist, curled up against glass which has

Curvature and not straightness; how could

I ever think the snow globe on my windowsill

Was amusing? I beg it,

Dropping to my knees, crossing my trembling hands, for mercy,

And I hear it

Laugh with coldness that couldn’t be found in

The snowiest of globes, while it chants that it has none to spare.

Timely, it drags me to the centre for the spectators

To rip me of all dignity with their atrocious terms,

As it counts reasons why I deserve so on his fingers, cackling.

I watch the glitter lose sparkle and become dust, and I realize

Women loving beasts into men exist only in fairy tales

 

Because man is only a choice away from monster.