NaPoWriMo 2017. 1/04/2017
It’s not about how your hair bounces as
beads of sweat trickle down
your forehead while you dance,
or the way your rhythmic footwork seems like you’ve been tap dancing
on my heart the entire time,
crushing it with your heel,
then gently tip toeing, testing the waters,
suddenly bending down to rip it apart.
It’s not about how you’re always around
casually conversing as you sip coffee,
or the perfect smile that shows up,
lighting up your face, making
your eyes sparkle with delight.
It’s not about how your presence is
felt, in those you love, in their
chatter and mannerisms,
even in your absence.
It’s not about the happiness
felt at seeing you,
or hearing your voice
after a long, hard day;
and the slightly faster beating
of my heart at seeing
that sparkly, perfect smile.
Those feelings are just stuffed
to the bottom drawer of my heart,
desperately wanting to be ignored,
It’s about longing to be with you,
and knowing that’s its not
happening anytime soon.
It’s about promises to
clean out the bottom drawer,
a bit by bit,
just not now.
If you ever happen to glance at me,
and feel a beat of your heart missed,
and skipped repeatedly,
don’t expect it to be love.
And if you still argue to the contrary
look into my eyes and tell me
my insecurities are loud,
and my (in)confidence louder still.
Try to tell me that
you love the way I laugh, loud and erupting,
deep cracking, and, so…
what do they call it? Unladylike, yes.
Tell me you like the way I bun up my
messy hair, and smile at you from across the room.
Or maybe the way I text you at night to say goodnight,
just to know that you’re there.
Or that my blithe disregard to the canon doesn’t work you up.
accepting is so tough, and maybe I don’t
like the way I’m stared at when I double-up,
or when I sometimes don’t put enough thought in my clothes.
For love is kind, and forgiving, and accepting.
If I cannot, would not,
embrace myself, why would you endure?
When, and if I cry
and I open up to you,
When, and if I cry,
and I’m very drunk that night,
pull the bottle away from my hands,
and tell me you’ve got a better option.
When I cry,
hold me close,
and whisper words of comfort in my ears,
or I may slip away and leave.
When I cry,
Tell me fairytales,
and narrate them as if they were real.
They are fantastical,
But make me believe they aren’t,
and that magic truly exists.
When I cry,
and I tell you not to take me home,
take me someplace safe,
wrap me up in a blanket,
and then you may go.
When I cry,
Don’t stay, because
my drunk self appreciates you,
You had me cover my eyes as we crossed
the threshold to your home,
Oh, I always forget that it’s now ‘our’ home.
It never felt like mine, you know? It rather
felt as if I was on a display, there for every
one to see, and my vision snatched away
from me by a cloth around my eyes.
I never knew what it was to be impaired,
growing up despising control. I
couldn’t live like that, you know?
Bound by chains so strong they couldn’t
be visible to the naked eye. But, they were
but there. On display for everyone to see.
I struggled to get rid of them.
Those cuffs around my wrists were
suffocating, chafing skin and veins,
binding me to you even more.
Tried hard to make people realise how I was living in a cage.
I was a bird with my wings cut off;
The people around me were blind, and
maybe even dumb and deaf, because
none of them ever raised their voices for me, the noise of gossip was decibels much higher than my pleas.
My scars were visible, even the band aid couldn’t fix them.
Permanence was temporary, just like the
marks around my eyes and the scars
covering my wrists, beneath,
there was me,
My very first collaboration with Saloni Mhapsekar.
Art by: Saloni Mhapsekar. (Check her out on Instagram, @saloniquietlybrilliant )
“What you were, is not a sign of who you should be.” She said, as she kissed the nose that had turned red due to the cold. Stroking the hair that stuck to the forehead with sweat, she held her breath, staring at closed eyelids, imagining the blue-green irises that lay underneath, unmoving, releasing it only when she had found the perfect words on her lips. “You mistook me for a lover. I was anything but one. I could not love you, or the likes of you. Betrayer, you call me. Helper, I respond. Helped you through your wounds, wounds that ignited pain deep within you when you were left alone. Alone, to rust and rot. Alone to die, wither like the leaves that had fallen off their trees, smeared with the brown of the earth like the blood on your torso, your arms that were cold and heavy with the scars of the ropes that cut into your flesh, and the blood that clotted on those, as it gave way to the festering and healing. I was your healer. And you have healed. I must take my leave.”
Rising, she disappeared amidst the smell of smoked candles and bloodied roses, as both crept up crawling up the air and mixed with the stench of love that lingered long after it was denied.
Change is inevitable, yes.
But is it not untold that when
a caterpillar finally grows itself
into a butterfly, it completely
leaves everything behind. And
if I dare say, you have not broken
those ties, those rules that break
When you recast yourself
from the person you were before,
to what you are now, those side-swept
bangs, banged you up like a rocket leaves
the Earth, out in a matter of seconds.
Our relationship has changed, from
a love-struck boy that I was, stealing
glances at you, at every chance I got,
I dare say, I look at you openly now. I
stare in your deep black eyes, so much
like the black hole, pulling me closer
and closer as seconds pass by and I try.
I try so hard to stay afloat in the sea of
rubble that we created and broken promises
and cut-up wrists and goodbye hugs, with
mementos and memories.
Re-orientation has had made you better,
but not the better that was moulded to my
imperfection. We are irreconcilable. So
clashing, so… confusing.
Now here we are, incongruous to each other,
grousing to our friends when we turn our backs.
Poles apart, literally, may be, I contemplate,
what would my life be, if I did not be a cocoon
to you, as a caterpillar, throwing me into masses
in words and phrases?
I have never been one to relate to those moments, where your throat is dry and your mind is blank and there is nothing you can say or do about it because your brain is not functioning properly and your mind doesn’t form thoughts coherent enough for you to voice them out loud, and you are just standing there, dumbstruck, opening and closing your mouth like a goldfish.
No. I think I belong to the other category, with the lesser percentage of people, where hundreds of thoughts are whirring inside your head like hundred clocks ticking and you don’t know which one to pay attention to because, according to you, all are important and you have some extra one’s like, ‘hey! that could have been better if it went like this’ and I anticipate your and my reaction to the situation already contemplating how to act out my reaction because I’ve already guessed the outcome of it all.
Hell! I’d even thought of an escape plan for covering up in case I speak out loud a wrong thought out of the hundred ones buzzing through my head like electricity through a silver wire.
I don’t associate myself to the larger population, who’s mind, when kissed, stops completely and you feel weak enough to not be able to stand on your own to feet.
Two seconds into the kiss and I’m thinking of what it would feel like if you did not have that little stubble and if your lips were fuller. Another thought buzzes past and is already forgotten and then I’m staring at your closed eyes, marvelling at how your lashes brush against your cheek and all I want to do is to reach up and stroke your eyes but then you’re already pushing your tongue on my lips seeking entrance into my mouth, and when I taste you, I wonder what you had eaten last and how your tongue tangles with mine and there is so much more going on inside my head when I’m gazing at the soft freckles on your nose and under your eyes and then I feel your hand sliding down my back and onto my butt, squeezing it, while I’m now thinking of what I taste like to you, and then I lose myself completely when you open those pretty eyes and gaze into mine, waiting for me to say something, whether you should continue or stop, whether I like this or not. But then I find myself standing there, completely dumbfounded, no words escaping my lips even if there are a thousand thoughts swirling inside my head.