Beqadri.

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Mitti ho kar ishq kiya hai ik dariya ki rawaani se,
Deewar-o-dar maang raha hu main bhi behte paani se.

headfirst through a glass window from fourteen stories above with no stories left to tell, catapulting to the ground feeling the blood rush through a bruised and broken body like it’s confused. the blood is confused.

a child writes about death like she held it in her soft creased palms, she talks of memories like they tattooed them on the roof of her mouth, and i realize loss all it takes to understand madness.

i ask him to make an incision under my ear and pull out all his fiddle footed half assed apologies and he does just that. this is why i never learned to forgive.

knuckles change colour from pale yellow to red to purple. you take my hand in yours and suddenly everything turns blue. the shades of my battered skin are the closest thing i have to a rainbow.

i pick up a pen and write: hold a hand. chain a soul.

what do we owe to ourselves but excuses to make our hearts hurt enough to have us look each other in the eye and say, “i do not regret having lost to you”.

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Hiraeth

Standard

“Kya gham hai jisko chhupa rahe ho,
tum itna jo muskura rahe ho?”

the sadness in your eyes is borrowed.

every story you tell is borrowed.

every time i laugh it hurts my chest;

i realise my laughter is borrowed.

sixty pence for a lifetime of giggles,

i say no, thank you, it’s a wonderful bargain

but i prefer the pain.

heartbreak is like a toothache.

it hurts when i bite into someone else’s lips.

the sound of my fingers tapping on hardwood floor,

i borrowed from a fairytale about a princess

trapped in a magical tower.

my foolishness, my unrelenting desire

to escape from nothing but everything,

my courage, i assume, is borrowed too.

my lips trailing the outline of your collar

leave behind a memory that is borrowed,

the time i froze between a sigh and a kiss,

borrowed.

if only i could borrow

the smell of your hair,

the warmth of your arms,

the ghosts of your destruction,

the debris of your soul.

A numbered poem for lonely people, again.

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1. Rumi said closed fists and outstretched palms were both signs of paralysis. I stare at my hands disappointedly. Is there where I start to die?

2. My love has always been a few syllables short of being your favourite poem. I’ve decided to stop writing altogether.

3. Ponds without ripples make me uncomfortable. I can only stand to see distorted reflections. The sky looks like it’s dancing.

4. Do artists feel less lonely when we applaud their sadness?

5. My friend’s brother killed himself without leaving behind a note. His family looks weighed down by apologies, none to give but one to receive.

تعكساك هزيمتك .6
your eyes mirror your defeat.

7. If you iron out human skin into a sheet, it’s enough to keep one person warm. I don’t think I am that person.

8. I will always be scared of crossing roads.

9. The first thing you will forget about me is my smile.

10. What if the shore is tired of the sea?

I saw you in the night again.

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I want to leave pieces of you with this morning.
Mix the sunrise with your breath,
you leave shades of the nightsky on my neck.
I breathe in the fragrance of your disapproval,
I want to leave before you ask me to.
My arm over your chest painfully overstays its welcome,
and your eyes seem to search
for emptier spaces in an already empty room;
almost feels like the air in our lungs
begs us to poison it further.
I still haven’t left and now you want me to leave.
My tears sizzle in the heat of the friction
as our bodies untwine;
I want to remember the aftermath of my heartbreak,
I try to hold on for just a while longer,
I fail.
I want too many things too soon, too often.
Your magic tricks fail to amuse me and my
amusement never mattered to you, I want to not forget.
I’ve realised that motion blur etches itself too deep
into the skin of old, forgotten lovers.

A numbered poem for lonely people.

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1. Force yourself to wake up wanting to miss someone but wait till the memories rush past you like a bullet train, till you’re left standing on a platform you don’t understand why you arrived at.

2. You need to stop sleeping with your running shoes kept by the foot of your bed.

3. Brush your teeth with unkept promises waiting for the enamel to erode or maybe dig the floss too deep into your gums to feel the familiar taste of blood in your mouth.

4. What the fuck are depression naps anyway? Stop.

5. Find better lies to explain why you haven’t cut your hair in ten months. It is not a reminder of your patience, you’re just dumb.

6. The last boy who wanted to kiss you doesn’t remember your name. He didn’t save your number. Call him and wait for him to ask “who is this?”, and then pretend it broke your heart.

7. Ask yourself why does sharing a cigarette with strangers feel like you’ve found home.

8. Tell yourself the next person you decide to start liking isn’t even worth it. Also, remember to write them poems and try to rub their smell onto your skin.

9. Write on your tombstone, “Don’t you have any place better to be?”

10. Don’t try to find endings, just hope everyone stops reading halfway.

Forgetting.

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I want to start by burning every book that reads

‘forever’.

i would take a knife, heat it on those flames and

peel off my skin;

these scars are from a battle that i

do not remember fighting.

i will tear down every piece of

clothing i own that

smells of cigarette smoke, sunsets,

liquor laced kisses, and your signature whiff of

clandestine love.

i would then spill all my toxic dreams of despair

into a bathtub and bathe

till the blue fades from my bruises.

i will not tell my new lover

about these bruises.

or these layers of skin that i have

lost to you.

i will not tell them about the blood

spilled on this floor.

and i,

i will tell myself over and over again:

“do not bite your lips”

“do not bite their lips”

“do not love”

“do not lose”.

i would break my bones

in three

(this way it hurts longer).

and when my new lover would ask me,

“how does your past hurt you?”

all i’d say is,

it doesn’t anymore.

Mistletoe.

Standard

lips against lips

you sigh like a soft summer breeze

and i like a sunburnt piece of clay

quietly crack open, fill you

in my crevices, you

complete me and nobody sees it

but me. just me.

lips against lips

yours press down with a thirst

i’ve not yet known how to quench

so i clench your shirt in my fists

and sink in deeper, and deeper

into your fading silhouette.

lips against lips

i feel all your untold stories

slip down my throat and make home

in my lungs, i will sing them

for the world some day, one day

i will make your words immortal.

lips against lips

i now dont know any parts of my body

as my own, they are all ready to

crumble and fall to dust,

i am nothing when not yours

and i am not yours.

i am not yours.