I did not break through. I could not break free. I surrendered. To make the chains stop hurting.
I often falter infront of the mirror because it reflects my reality. And only in it's dreaded face do I acknowledge my incessant addiction to fantasies. I am but an escapist, I murmur, staring into the mirror. The mirror smirks. People have it worse, it says. Heavens know the weight on my shoulders is enough to make my back droop but the mirror tells me, even with blunders as indelible as a birthmark, I am just an insignificant speck fading away to infinity, and that ought to offer me a moment of a few unburdened breaths. The mirror asks me to stop romanticising the pain in hopes of healing because true healing begins when you stop craving it. When you come to terms with the fact that some scars are going to stay, and not as embellishments. Scars are all they'll ever be. There will be no beauty to them. Just ugliness. And terror. But less pain and maybe one day, enough strength to narrate their stories. The mirror is not wrong. Not at all. Then why do I feel like a hostage of it's arguments?
Why do I take shelter within poems even when they're to no avail? For I am now, at the end of this one and the chains still won't stop grappling.
Martin Luther King, he told you about the dream but, not the nightmare; the redness in my blood, it doesn't belong to my body, it dwells by the sharpest edges of a bloodbathed and broken chainsaw. from the sodoms held above now, the system's stuck in a downward spiral, everyone expects everyone to say something, and, when you hold your tongue, you would mercilessly, get crucified.
there's pleasure in the pain, like that one time when they punched nine-inched nails through my eyelids; I'll sleep when I'm dead — oftentimes, easier done than said, as you breathe in the monochrome from my mouth, it's almost as if, your forked claws are probing further down my pair of lungs; make me think twice before every breath, for, if your name has to be engraved anywhere near to my tongue, or, my mouth : I would be pleased with the asphyxiation.
please be naked, I know not, if love awaits me, in the city, or, back in the outskirts and the suburbs; I know not, if love resides inside me — please be naked, because, all I know of is that, lust does. my pumping-machine, it has a godly crater; I'm as empty as our vows, it's pathetic to have you on my back and, on the other hand, have my limbs chopped off, it's pathetic, when I toss and turn, bleeding and burning under the covers and in my bed; it's pathetic, intimacy makes me lose my head.
(show yourself, amidst the hours of pitch-black darkness, like cowards do — show yourself, in the light of darkness; and, this is when my heart is the heaviest, to have you shape me, like this, an antichrist, an atheist; show yourself, because, if I'm lost, then how can I find myself ?)
this is my thirteenth letter, to your address; you did reply to the first three — and, I still remember, how the season was edging into another autumn, leaves were starting to fall, but, so were you, for another man. you were always the better writer amongst the two of us; the way you started hiding amidst the gaps left between two consecutive stanzas, whereas, writing for me, was a method to rinse away the scum, the dirt and the scent, that you used to bring home, a scent, that didn't belong to your collarbone. and, on a second thought, my skin has aged well and enough, to not think about it, ever again; but, again, here's the thirteenth letter.
most of the creatures come out at night, queers, crackers, addicts, rapists, queens, fairies — and me, dwelling deep inside a vicariously vivid mass murder scene, whilst clutching my Ruger 9mm, beneath the carseat. they ask us to think twice before committing to something, but, did you ? did you think twice before sleeping with someone else ? karma has kissed me once on my forehead, now, it's going to kiss me for the second time because, I didn't think twice before shooting these pedestrians. three days past summer solstice, my heart is freezing over a hell, that is so cold, colder than the empty bedside, colder than your vows; sanity is subjective and some of my friends, they firmly believe in the idea that I'm losing it.
say cheese and there you have a joyous picture of her, write murder and there you have a minced body with its intestines barely hanging inside — a new frame was imminent, for me to make it out, and, she had to be cropped out of the picture. you used to ruminate on the thought, that it was always me, making you want to kill yourself; but, what's your wish because, it could be granted, would you like to stay here with me, or, would you rather visit your newfound love by the rivers of the heavens above ? steadily running out of time, of patience, and, of life, take my magic wand and wash me clean of the implications. it is never enough to make it stop; (leaves grow and flowers bloom back up again during the summertime, unless, they're all plucked, or, torn, or, dead).
Ice from your whiskey , cures the cigarette burns on my arms . Soothing the sting but chilling my core . Molten fire drips from your gaze and my demons lap at it , searing themselves . We're two different phantoms haunting the same rotten shell of existence , feeding on each other's desperations and failing to decide between Sophocles or Shakespeare . Tragedies are all the same , the pen they come from matters no more than my life . your tragedy weights more than mine , but the aftertaste is always the same The debris of all that was , burnt proofs of your innocence .
Twelve shots later I decide to let my subconscious take over . I wake up in a strange man's bed and don't dare to replay the night , while cleaning lipstick stains from your shirt . Morphine pills and credit cards are aligned on your desk and you kiss me feverishly , freezing hands and bloodshot eyes . Devouring my soul , consuming everything I carry within . I give all of myself to you and smell like your regrets the next morning .
Love is a nasty nightmare dipped in stale blood and served with chunks of anxiety and a bowl of claustrophobia . We're starved children of grief , latching on the first bite and burning our mouths . We share breaths because neither of us has the capacity to keep the loop going on our own . You mix death in cheap wine and we chug it down , Endings have their own petty ways .
I like my eggs scrambled, my neck hung, and, my throat perforated with two consecutive shots from two different handguns. coming back from work, I fisted a hamburger on my way back home to my woman, a burger is the only thing you could find here to put your fist into, in this city, filled with heavy ring fingers and throbbing walls of the shafts, filled with double-parked vehicles, sidewalks crawling with four-doors like cockroaches trying to survive an attack such as the 9/11. I would have liked to believe that heaven's near, liquor, liquor everywhere but, not an ounce to gulp down, or, drown my sorrowful nights in.
I am in love, with the blood that we both share, the texture and the tasteful thickness of it, she bites the skin and peels it off from her lower-lip, and, I watch her bleed, another instance of staring into each other's sinful souls, another kiss, yet, the same aftertaste, of her lipgloss mixed with the fresh blood. the elephant in this room keeps on ruining the wall paintings, the layers exfoliate against our will — and, one fine night, we won't have a ceiling to look up to; soil, soil everywhere, but, still not enough to bury my chagrin alive.
I will take what I can, from you, and get on my goddamn way; from the white powder scattered on the glass table, to these lipstick stained Franklins, and, the snorts and the moans that echoed throughout the corridors, as, I tried to rail another line from the skin foiling your breasts; I try to wrap my head around the man that I've become, love can be much damaging and we both, picked our poisons wisely, now, that your ring finger isn't as heavy as it used to be. when it's my time to leave, you wouldn't pine for me, you would rather sit in self-pity or, go out just to get back to the woman that you used to be; unlike you, I am a slave to the changes in my heart, unlike you, my endings don't necessarily diverge into new beginnings. (her fingers are everywhere, but, they won't do enough to keep me from bleeding through my sleeves).
poetry is the art of the poor the rich rarely have a flair for it the ones who are stricken with a dark life, who rummage their pockets but don't find a single friend, who are neck deep in lonliness even while smiling this art belongs to them it is their only inheritance it feeds their starving souls when the world denies to help and in december when the winter gets so ruthless and slits through their bare wrists poetry covers up people like a mother hiding a child in her shawl when everyone looks down on their existence, poetry hugs the untouchables
A laughter so contagious that if it were a drop of water, it could make a barren heart bloom into a bouquet of flowers. His eccentricity stood out. Not in a dark twisted way but rather, mysteriously. I could never have fathomed him to be a church goer for I can't remember a time when he wasn't engulfed by smoke rising from the cigarette dangling between his fingers or a time when there was no whiskey on his breath.
I could have easily concluded he belonged to the likes of me who were forced into this weekly tradition had I not seen him alone. Always.
He never stood in mercy or bowed in prayer. Just sat there, every Sunday morning, on the last bench during the service and stared ahead as if he was trying to dare Jesus into a trial by combat.
The gossipers whispered about him. About his dark and seemingly damned soul. "That arrogant fella never opens that mouth unless he has to be downright ghastly. Why even insult the lord by coming here at all? Brings down the atmosphere of the entire room with that foul expression." But that's what they were. Gossips.
For down at the Fusion bar, round the corner at the end of the church street, he was the life of the party. Always talking. Always merry. Always making people laugh. Always laughing.
Remember how I had mentioned that he never smiled? Well, there was once a time when he surprised me. On a windy autumn night when I asked him about love.
On that cramped porch, surrounded by empty bottles and rising smoke, I saw his blurry face look up at the dark sky, his lips curl up into a tiny, almost oblivious smile, just for a moment before blending into a smirk. A softness had flickered in his eyes before it was replaced by the intense hollowness I was more familiar with.
And before another word could escape me, he took a long drag and turned all possible answers to my unuttered question, into smoke. And then, he never smiled again.
They say he loved a nun who despised cigarettes. Hated them more than she hated his tattoos. More than alcohol. More than his impertinence. But, she loved him more than she hated cigarettes. They say, she loved him more than she loved God. And perhaps, God couldn't stomach that.