“July.”

july is back again. / july is back again and it feels like I haven’t moved an inch since last year. / two girls walk into park crying. / feel like the punchline to some sort of sick joke the universe thought was funny. / funny as in, at 6, my mother told me not to cry because the sky and I shared emotions, and i believed her. / i know this isn’t true, but this month all the sky does is pour and i think maybe she was right. / this month is all bruised knees & lace skirts / all beat up sneakers & white lilies / all art museum & a million missed calls. / i want desperately to live on the moon. / i realise how cliché that sounds, but i need to live some place that has a heart as heavy as mine. / my best friend says I’m too, well for lack of a better term, explosive. / little gasoline girl who likes the smell of firecrackers too much. / july of sweet lemonade, of sunbathing in the middle of football fields, of sleeping away the sadness. / i don’t love him. i don’t even like him. / but it’s just July, it’s just i like the feeling of having someone to call at night, it’s just that i’m tired of writing about old love. / i braided flowers into my hair thinking that this way, at least some part of me would be beautiful. / i hear the word lovely & don’t think of myself. / what i’m saying is, i still can’t look my own reflection in the eyes. / i spent three years learning german in school, & i spent two learning you. / & even though I’ve forgotten how to ask for help in german, I still remember your favourite colour. / call it tragic. / seven years after the death of my grandfather, my grandmother still refuses to stop loving him. / says, he will always be in her heart, even if his has stopped beating. / we walk by a cemetery & she sighs & says, at least they’ll be together soon. / says, ashes / ashes / we all fall down.

[part 7/12 of 2016 series ]

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“June”

1/30: If June nights could talk they’d probably say they created hope. Even through the pouring rain and silver lightning, the air is still warm.

2/30: Today my friend called you a mess and I almost said you weren’t. A year and nearly 3000 miles later, and I am still trying to defend you.

3/30: new beginnings are so full of hope; I love it.

4/30: summer’s been very kind to me. Two parts flowers and two parts laughter.

5/30: There’s a birthmark on my hip bone in the shape of a hook. Wonder if it explains why I get so attached and can never let go gracefully.

6/30: why does it feel like all the advice I give is actually meant for myself?

7/30: my friends have loved me better than my lovers and I don’t think I ever thanked them for that.

8/30: you say ambition like it is a dirty word. But I want to build an empire and have a crown to call my own. So you say there’s a glass ceiling to break. So, I brought my hammer.

9/30: Tonight the people living above us hated each other so loudly, it bled through the foundation and fell right into our house. I turned the music up to a hundred and tried to shut them out. When I took off my headphones an hour later, the couple living a floor below us were laughing so hard, I thought they probably had craters in their cheeks. Love shouldn’t look like a double edged sword. And the second it does, it isn’t love anymore.

10/30: Maybe it’s just easier to hide the pain than explaining why you’re hurting.

11/30: I think the best way to avoid saying something you regret when you’re mad, is to picture the other person as a puppy.

12/30: did your mother ask you what happened? Did you say we were too stubborn, too young, too naive? Did you say we didn’t know any better? Did you say we did but couldn’t help ourselves anyway?

13/30: I am tired of hearing stories of women being cracked open and having their souls snatched in dim alleyways. My heart is so exhausted from feeling all their pain.

14/30: our song played in the mall today and it felt like some kind of sick joke. It felt like every one there was mocking me. I almost ran into the bathrooms and retched out all the reasons we could’ve worked.

15/30: there is something so awfully tragic about the movement of the swing set after you walk away. The rise and fall. Because even though you’re not there anymore, it’s still moving. Still swinging, until it eventually realises no one is coming back and stops itself.

16/30: Loving you was like watching the sun set. It’s all golden and warm and beautiful at first. But suddenly, the sun’s gone and the cold’s set in and you’re left there in the dark wondering if Icarus weeps because he wishes he never loved the sun, or because even after all that ache, he still misses it.

17/30: so you’re sitting on a rooftop and your friends are talking about the latest ongoing tragedy and all you can think about is, somewhere something wonderful must be happening. It must. It is only fair.

18/30: I don’t really know why I’m praying. Or who I’m praying to; anyone who’s listening, really.

19/30: In a dream I’m running through the hallways of my childhood home. I fall on my knees and instead of blood, out fall rose petals.

20/30: I swear when people ask me what I write, I say, I don’t know. I say, mostly, love. Mostly, the stars. Mostly, I think, the words I never said.

21/30: so today was the summer solstice. Which means we can’t swallow Sun-rays on lazy Sundays anymore.

22/30: I think what scares me is that I respect my parents more than I like them. And I don’t want my children to ever think that.

23/30: you see my grandmother has trembling hands and a timid smile. But don’t be mistaken. When people said she didn’t have a choice, she created her own. When everyone said yes, she said no. Even now, I see the fire burning in her eyes. The one every girl turned lioness has.

24/30: I am so emotional. But it’s not always a weakness. Somedays I wear my tear stains as war paint and I am not ashamed. As if saying, look at me; look at what you’ve done and try not to flinch.

25/30: there’s something written on the bathroom wall in my school that will always haunt me- “my problem is that I want to be femme fatale and angelic at the same time.”

26/30: when I was little, I used to think that the moon was haunting me. Even now, I think that maybe the moon has always been watching over me. Watching out for me.

27/30: People say the world is kind to all women, but I know some who have cut their hair just so they wouldn’t have to feel someone drag them by their scalps ever again.

28/30: I am so much more poetic on the internet. I speak in broken sentences and half sounds. My mouth is all shattered tank and my words are all oil spills.

29/30: you learn to love yourself the same way you learn to dance. A little hesitant at first, a little shaky in the beginning; but eventually, without skipping a beat.

30/30: Right now I’m not sure if I want to fall asleep to the hum of the television or to the hum of his voice.

[part 6/12 of the 2016 series ]

“May”

Things I learnt in May as advice for the signs.


Aries
: Be the person you needed when you were thirteen and sobbing into your pillow. The kinda person you’d like even when the lights are off and the world has stopped watching. 


Taurus
: You can’t run away from everything. I wish we could. But trouble has a funny way of catching up to you. And if you pretend your problems don’t exist, the answers won’t either. It’s time to face the music. 


Gemini
: Don’t stop dreamin, darlin’. Construct us a better world. Be the purest daydreamer there is. Lord knows we ain’t got to many of those anymore. 


Cancer
: You want a clear ending. Something you can look at and say, “there’s nothing I could’ve done”. But you need to understand, you won’t usually get those. Sometimes you’ll just get sadness and silence and doors slammed in your face. Learn to create your own closure. 


Leo
: I know it’s his birthday and you can not just ignore that exploding feeling in your stomach, but you’re going to have to. I know it’s hard, but I swear it won’t be there this time next year. The months will fly by like paper planes and love will come again. 


Virgo
: Stop looking back; some things are better off buried. They say only dogs go looking for bones and hell, maybe they’re right. But I promise, the future holds prettier skies and sweeter memories. 


Libra
: Forgive yourself for your mistakes. You keep hanging your self on a cross, but baby, nobody deserves that kind of ache. You paid for your sins. Now let go. This is how we grow. 


Scorpio
: Listen, I know you’re scared of all the places you’ve never been before, but you have to explore. Maybe you’ll find a place that you can actually call home.


Saggitarius
: Put yourself first. Hold your own damn hands. Make your own altars. If no one is around to say “I love you, baby”, say it yourself. 


Capricorn
: Lately, the world seems like a horrible place and you can almost feel the sky come crashing down around you, but I just want you to know that there is always hope. You just have to know where to look for it.


Aquarius
: Spend time with people who make you feel alive. People who remind you what your laugh sounds like every time you’re with them. People who love with ease. There’s no time for anything less. 


Pisces
: Not all of us are destined to go to the moon. Some of us are the reasons people get there. Others are the reasons spacemen come back. We all fit in. You are important and please don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. 

[Part 5/12 of the 2016 Series]

“April”

Dear April,
You were so good to me. You were all blush and adrenaline rush.

Dear April, 
You hurt me bad. Such a dirty fighter; always kicking me when I was already on my knees.

Dear April,
On the first day, you were sitting on the kitchen counter sipping tea like you knew stories I didn’t. Now that we’re done, the mystery’s gone and I don’t know how I feel about you anymore.

Dear April,
You showed me that rebellion could be soft. That music could be violent. You taught me how to write like I had never had my heart broken. You gave back what December had taken. Thank you for that.

Dear April,
I heard that NASA found a galaxy so small that if you were to stand on the surface of a planet in that galaxy, the night sky would be lit up with a million stars, each of them visible to the naked eye. This month all I do is wish I could there. Which is to say, I think the world looks better when it is ablaze.

Dear April, 
I see you as a little girl running through the rose gardens and losing yourself in the petals, but still remembering the prick of the thorns.

Dear April,
What do I do with all his secrets? All the things he said to me when he was clenching his teeth? The words that fell out of his mouth and searched for asylum in my ribs? The things he said when his chest was heaving and his heart was crumbling? Tell me, April, what do I do?

Dear April, 
It’s exactly one year today. The anniversary of our ruin. The anniversary of the violets and the violence. Maybe someday I’ll say I’m happy for him and actually mean it. Maybe one day he’ll say he forgives me for all the dents I left on his heart. Maybe our someday is already here.

Dear April,
My summer’s like simpler times. Summer like rolling down the fields with flowers in my hair. Summer like mango juice dripping down my chin. Summer like ain’t got no shoes, ain’t got no worries, ain’t got no blues.

Dear April, 
All this forgiving is exhausting. I wish people would just be more gentle. 

Dear April, 
I want to say this is a love poem. I want to say I’ll never forget you. I want to say your name will be tattooed onto the back of my mind. But if we’re being honest, it probably won’t. You were my joyride, but it’s time I get off. 

[Part 4/12 of the 2016 Series]

“March”

02/03/2016

March is the month I ask myself why my mother tongue has the same word for past and ghost. When my past has a pulse, is every tick of the clock just another heartbeat? Will it always haunt me? When I lie down, will I always mistake my body for a ticking time bomb?

Draft saved 10:42AM

19/03/2016 

See yesterday I read that Pluto has a sea in the shape of a heart. And that it’s filled with poisonous ice. I wish I didn’t think of you when I heard that. I wish I had never explored the toxic depths of your love to replace your name with lethal in my head.

Replied 3:36PM

You know I tried to bury us. I tried to bury what we had, but for a long time, I couldn’t. Maybe it was because we didn’t have a goodbye. No cause of death. No closure. So baby, listen up. I’m scripting my own happy ending. I’m holding a funeral to mourn what we were. I know it’s going to have to be an empty casket, but that doesn’t matter. This is me promising my poems that they will never have to scream your name again. My metaphors are tired of wrapping themselves around your memory and so am I. Goodbye.

Seen 4:59PM

28/03/2016 

In march, my sister and I go watching stars again. I feel like I am 10 again and still afraid of being inadequate for the world. This time too, she kisses my forehead again and I feel the sadness leave my body. We watch the constellations fade. She strokes my hair. I fall asleep for the first time in days. Sometimes our guardian angels are closer than we think.

Seen 9:00PM

I’ve got my mother’s paranoia and my father’s impulse. This month they showed me just how lethal they could be. My mouth says the words it shouldn’t have and my heart is restless. My mouth gets trigger happy. My mouth answers before the question is even asked and my heart is just waiting for someone to tell me that it was wrong. My heart always on its toes. Always holding its breath. Always prepared for the fall. It thinks every kiss will eventually become another bruise, another scar, another wound.

Sent 11:26PM

In the madness of March, I find peace in my friends. It feels like the world is going to rip us apart, and hell maybe it will, but right now, I’m looking at them and they’re looking at me and we’re laughing. Right now, everything is wonderful. And right now, that’s all that matters.

Sent 12:12AM

30/03/2016

These days I am all prairie flower under violet skies. Letting the breeze take me where it wants. Our bodies make 300 billion cells in our body every day, so we’ll never be who we were yesterday again, and I am learning to get used that. Change is coming for me and I am opening my doors.

Sent 2:00AM

This was the month of learning that I don’t always have to be the villain. This was the month of learning that I don’t need to be the saviour either. This was the month of summer rain and winter sunrise. This was the month of bright lights and brighter eyes. This was the month of rot and bloom. This was the month that walked the line of the days I want to remember and days I need to forget.

Error: you can no longer send messages to this person.  


[A/N- Part 3/12 of 2016 Series]

“February”

Final Examination Paper, February, 2016. 

Explain the way you look at the pink February skies in 100-150 words. Talk about why you think it’s colour of your guardian angel’s soft, soft wings. Talk about how the rain drops tasted a little like candy cane. Give examples of that time you ran down your apartment slope laughing like you had riots in your lungs. Write a brief note on how your neighbours scowled but you didn’t even stop laughing.

Construct a Venn diagram of all the things that you love about her and everything that makes you have revenge fantasies about her. Show that it is a circle. Try to explain to the examiner why you ever believed that one tangled bunch of thorns could somehow soften another. 

How will you justify your late night texts?
A) Blame the night.
See, maybe it will always take me a full moon to say your name and not make it sound like a battle wound. This night sky makes me remember the way you kissed me goodnight, and the way you left blood between my constellation teeth. I’m not sure which is worse.
B) Blame yourself
. See, I was the fool. My love has always had teeth and I’m sorry I let it devour your heart. Please, I can learn to love on a leash. Please, I can tame this wild heart. 
C) Blame him
. See, you were looking at that picture of him on his Instagram and god, it makes you want to reach through your screen and hold him again. If it weren’t for that pretty little smile of his, your words wouldn’t be bleeding through his phone right now.
D) All of the above
. You always thought February was a mystical month. The odd one. February always had a cloud of mist around it. You still see it as half month; half real, half dream. 

February is the month your best friend decides to come home to herself. See she’s dusting all the covers and smoothing all the wooden edges. Why doesn’t anyone else understand that your best friend bleeds ichor, and while it’s chrome is brighter than orion’s eyes, you’d rather she not bleed at all? 

How many times have you replaced your emotions with equations? How many times have you replaced your feelings for formulae? Is the answer too many? Are you nodding?

Describe your grandfather. Recall the time he showed you his bullet wound and laughed like it was a dandelion seed tickling his skin. Wonder if you should mention the time you caught him staring at the blackhole in his knee and despising it for taking everything away.
Describe the way you miss him. You found out at 4 am. You tried convincing yourself it was a nightmare. You tried so hard to go back to sleep but when you finally did you cried so damn hard you woke your sister up. You will miss him in the smell of pumpkin seeds and in the warmth of the sun and while looking at your toes that always looked a little too much like his. 

In February, the girl asks you if your poems are paper poems or spoken poems. You say neither. You say mine are handprints on wet paint. Mine are footprints in wet cement. You say your poetry is neither a fleeting word nor a paper plane that can fly away. You say your poetry is concrete, constant, complete. Do you believe yourself?

Write a letter to everyone you are leaving behind, or the other way around, or both. (Keywords- Our flame will not be smothered. We are a runway that never ends. We are royalty, my loves, and this will not be the end of our reign.)

This is the month you realise you will be okay. True or false? 


[A/N- Part 2/12 of 2016 series]