*inspired by “Poem”by Zeehan Sahil*
Be afraid of poets.
They will eat the roses from your cheeks,
weep crocodile tears into your open wounds,
and leave their love in every damn part of you.
Be afraid of poets,
You will be second to the art,
a pale comparison to the stanzas that keep them breathing,
keep their heart beating.
Be afraid of poets,
they will always love words
more than you.
There are some of us who the world forgot.
we had your wife’s eyes, your sister’s nose, your daughter’s smile
but we were none of these,
so you didn’t remember,
what the nights stole from us,
slowly but surely tore out,
with fingers that tasted like tradition.
There are some of us,
who you forgot.
I am the bitter aftertaste,
at the back of your throat.
The greasy regret that sits slick,
heavy, and clenching.
I am the earth, midwinter,
dry and frozen and I have forgotten
what spring means.
when I’m not thinking about anything at all,
is when I think of you.
tied to my heartbeat, I can hear you thunk and thud in my chest.
Maybe you’re not the person you were,
when I first really looked at you, the first time I saw you like a dying man sees another sunrise and a wolf sees the moon.
In a different life,
maybe I wouldn’t notice you, slide my eyes over, silk over skin.
But I know if I heard your voice or held your hand
I would recognize you in the way I can understand poetry in a language I don’t speak,
maybe not with my eyes but with my soul and maybe that’s more important.
I wonder if there’s an expiration date on the sweet slicing I can feel inside my ribs,
if I’ll ever stop putting you in my prayers, somewhere towards the end but,
god knows the right order anyways.
I was raised devout and abiding
but I’ve always been a much too much woman,
spilling over the lines,
going where I wasn’t supposed to.
My mother tried to put God in me,
but I see Him everywhere else,
except in my own reflection.
I recently saw a quote, “The more you find yourself, the more friends you lose.”
At first I thought, well, I guess that makes sense if you find yourself and turns our you’re kind of a jerk.
But maybe when you find yourself, it’s not a change, a metamorphosis, it’s a simply a revelation. You were there all along, it just took some chipping to find you in the marble block.
Once you figure out where you are and what you are, you can’t look at everything the same. The people you loved existed in a different world, one where you were still unhewn, yet to be discovered within the stone.
It’s not a qualitative comparison, they aren’t good, you aren’t bad or vice versa. You simply don’t fit together.
And don’t mourn this. We will all eventually see who we are. And we will all find people who fit. I know you’re living in a life in a way like you’re on the cusp of something, and it is.
The artist has begun, and you’re so close to being a masterpiece.
I wondered if my colors would run like the sari my mother washed yesterday,
I watched it bleed and fade.
Maybe if I floated here long enough, belly towards the cracked ceiling,
my brown skin would slip down the drain with the dirty bathwater.
I have a friend that believes that universe will give you what you are meant to have. Everything that happens, happens for a reason.
I don’t think that’s true.
I don’t believe in a universe that arbitrarily grants wishes or denies them based on what? Who decides if you deserve something?
I suppose the answer for many would be God, but the universe is a big place and God doesn’t seem like the micromanaging type. He probably has a hand in big events that change the tides of humanity, but I doubt he parcels out happiness and disappointment to every single sentient being.
It’s a far less kinder truth to acknowledge that you don’t always get what you deserve, I don’t think time and space and the ever expanding borders of everything that exists, are concerned with the concept of “fairness”.
One of John Green’s lines that have always stuck with me is, “the universe is not a wish granting factory”. It doesn’t owe us anything. We’ve become far too presumptuous, expecting things to work out and be okay just because we fall into a category vaguely defined as a “good person”.
“I’m a good person, why did this happen to me?”
Random, unfortunate things will happen and yeah, that really sucks, dude. But I don’t think we need to look for meaning and significance in every bad day, every job lost, every heartbreak. Sometimes, it isn’t our fault. But I truly believe that the universe is not the one that decides your fate, your future, your happiness. You do. You are the only person that owes yourself anything.
I am bones in the desert,
a cavern at dusk.
Fold me up and place me with the bare, empty things.
But then again, a violin is hollow, a guitar, a drum, so maybe I am just an instrument
waiting for a musician to learn
how to pluck my strings.