A Sinner’s Prayer

Forgive me o’ Lord for I have sinned

You’ve heard this a million times

it could be tattooed to my lips

I head right at every possible turn

even when I know volcanic rubbles lie awaits

I’ve condemned my self all my life

better me than you I always say

better to start walking the grave than hope for life

for what has hope ever brought to the hopeless

what has life brought to a begger

I am a refugee at best with sticky hands

I know how to stop but I don’t know when

I think today is the last time but it never is

what has hope ever brought to a sinner?

I head right at every crossroad I come

Past the forest, deep into the woods

running up the hill that snakes at every turn

Forgive me o’ Lord for I have sinned

unfortunately it won’t be my last confession either

I’ve heaved and whined and rolled in mud

I say “it is well”, we both know I don’t mean it

I’m thankful for every chance of redemption you offer

and condemn myself every time I fail

better me than you I always say

what hope in life is there for a person who may know left?

Know Thy Worse Self

We’ve all heard it. We’ve watered it. And it’s grown, and it’s growing faster than innovation. It is the voice of destruction. The one who wants to kill you. The one who will stifle you, and choke you to death without justice.

I’ve listened to it whine, all my life. It’s told me how senseless I am. That I’m too dumb to ever be taken seriously. I am too weird to ever have a meaningful connection. I am too abnormal, no body could care less if I spoke or not. It said, I might as well blend in with the bland wall and disappear. Worse still, no one would notice if I’m gone.

For a long time I committed to it, it’s presence was seethingly stark in my earlier works.

Most days, I tried to reason with it, I accepted it, then I pleaded with it. Then, I  just disappeared like it told me to.

For a very very very long time, loneliness was in the air I breath, it was all I wrote about.

 

It wasn’t up to me, it wasn’t in my power. I began to realise how innovative I could be, then how fierce I am.

It’s okay if no one understands what my poetry is about. It’s gibberish, but even gibberish has added meaning to the heart. It’s fine that I’m not a jaunty influencer that everyone can connect with.

I’m weird, I know and nothing can take that away.

Nothing, not even you, the darkest side of my psyche can conquer me. I fight everyday to know my worse self, for only then can I truly destroy the bitch.

Once I had my wings broken, now I’m clawing my way out of darkness.

Letting myself know that I’m stronger for being weak.


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The disappearing act

When I first saw you, I thought you were beautiful. Tall, tanned, Indian. And  I looked like me, awkward, weird. But I knew it was you I wanted. The most brilliant mind in our year. I wanted to pick your brain, even if you wouldn’t look me in my eyes, even if your lips wouldn’t linger on mine, I was infatuated with your mind.

on a winter’s night. I  wore my converse, and nearly not enough makeup, to the solstice ball with all arrays of fair beauties with rosy cheeks and bodycon dresses.

“This is lame,” I thought; leaning on the wall, nursing my gin and tonic, watching folks reveling. Amid that dim neon florescent hall, I recognized you in a navy suit.

I recall how suave you looked. I remember an intense current course through me like never before. I stopped thinking. If I didn’t; I would inevitably convince myself how terrible the idea was. I downed my drink, hauling myself from the wall, then I met you at your heel.

I was jittery when I yelled;

“do you want to dance with me?, you lowered your ear close to me on my ground, so I repeated it. You said, “okay”.

I began to move my heels, then my hips. I closed my eyes so I would feel the music. I took an ephemeral moment to contain myself, the man of my dreams dancing with me, and when I opened my eyes, you were gone.

I wish I could say I didn’t expect it. I wish I had disappeared instead.

White Noise

Don’t take this the wrong way

but who do you think you are?

You serenade me with a golden harp

yet bind my hands and feet.

You torture me,

My screams fall on deaf ears

You manipulated me in the times I trusted you.

and judge my existence with every breath I expire.

You delude yourself with illusions of control

and when I ask why,

you imagine that I’m besotted with you

I grow mundane of righteously defending my honor.

 

 

Don’t take me for a fool

I cannot be what you want me to  be

I will not cut myself  before you believe I bleed

You will not sit on your high  horse

and watch me grovel for attention

My self-esteem—

my free will must  erode your ego

and as sure as the sun shines,

nothing can hide forever.

 

 

You say we are similar

I think like charcoal and diamond.

Everyone on social media believes your facade

Today I pen the truth, the first and last time

unearthing a love story that never was

Never again will I be startled by your white noise

for what does a sociopath have in common with an alexithymic?

 

Alien

What would it feel like
if I stand on the edge
If I happen to be in close proximity to it,
then what?

what if I could walk
maybe I am lighter than oxygen
or maybe I’d get a concussion
either way, I have to know.

but baby girl, you don’t float.
beyond sea level,
everything must tumble

Gravity.

Round and round
it’s all fun and games
once, forgotten
twice, twirling

Stop.

My hands look strange,
like tentacles
attached to an alien being.

I wonder,
what is the single greatest distraction
from self-love.

 

The tunnel

 

We thought we could escape our troubles. We thought if we climbed the ladder fast enough, no one would stop us.

 

Across the bed from him, I sat.

“I like you, I really do.”

He blushed, licked his lips and placed a palm on my thigh. I liked that. I shut my eyes and allowed myself to dwell on this simple pleasure. His hands lingered from my thighs up to my waist before grazing my cheeks. I opened my eyes to meet his pearly hazel ones. It was the first time I permitted myself to look so closely into someone’s eyes. It was intriguing to see them dilate. He parted his lips and I listened to the words that fumbled out….

A Volcano erupted in my heart. My being was shaking; like an earthquake, like an explosion went off in my head. My ears could bleed, my voice was gone, My lips were quivering from the horror when he said, “I trust you”.

I jumped up, and for a second or five, I was patting myself as if searching for something. His face grew worrisome and he constantly asked me what was wrong.

“I have to get out of here”

“Where to? this is your house”.

“Nowhere,” I replied, “Just need a walk.”

I sprinted out the room into the night. My legs were moving, one after the next. The people I walked past were staring at me, as if in shock or sheer curiosity. Maybe I have something on my face but I’m acting as normal as I possibly can. My mind is a war zone, the more I try to focus, the more nothing seems to make sense. All I see is a tunnel of darkness that I’ve never been brave enough to walk through to the other side. But now, it beckons me and right there in the park, I could make something out of the rusty air. A tunnel.

“Idara,” I heard a voice call from within the tunnel. It sounded like a child with a thick accent, Western African perhaps, “come”.

“Why” I muttered hesitantly

“Because you will never be able to face your truth if you don’t”.

I heard the fluttering of wings, and seconds later a butterfly was in front of me, so close it could perch on my nose. In a blink of an eye, it’s wings would change from violet polka dot to black with white streaks then to brown and white with blue streaks then again, and again, each time, a unique blend of colors. I was too mesmerized that I almost didn’t notice that now there were two of them, and in a millisecond five, then twelve and they just kept multiplying. They formed a line before me and begun flying into the tunnel. I pushed some air down my lungs, took a step and then another and I was inside the tunnel.

My mind was simmering with thoughts and they were chaotic but with the light from the butterflies illuminating my path, I felt less anxious. I noticed the walls had phrases and sentences inscribed on it and there was a sense of familiarity I had when I read them, I remember them because I lived them.

At the tunnel entrance, I read:   “you were always there for me.’ I recall smiling when I wrote that. I recall feeling lonely afterward.

“when I count my friends, I count 1 person 10 times”.  I know who that was for, it came from a sincere place.

the next one read; “you’re the bitchiest bitch out there, but you’re also the only person that piggybacks me home when I’m drunk”. Actually now I just think she’s a bitch.

The farther I got into the tunnel, the more cynical the phrases were. “This may probably be the last time you see me, I’m not going anywhere but I can’t promise I won’t wander off.”

The other read: “I can’t stand the pain, it makes me cry. I want people to care, I want things to work out”.

At this point, I noticed that the butterflies were reducing, disappearing. I was feeling unsure again, anxious. In an attempt to forge on, I staggered through the never-ending corridor with my resilient companions.

The next I saw went thus; “it’s not in my nature to express myself so wouldn’t it be weird, stupid to people if I started expressing myself? wouldn’t it seem like I was impersonating someone I’m not?” 

I sidled on like a lummox drunk in a grave-yard, I refused to look at the walls any further. I tried focusing on making it to the end, but my mind wouldn’t stop buzzing and I kept on wishing I was out of there, I’ve never been more restless.

My gaze settled on one final inscription on the wall and I couldn’t help but read it through; “so once again I was alone staring at the walls as it were empty like my soul.”

I stopped. Thrusting my back against the wall, I read the phrase again as I slowly sank to the ground. The lights fluttered around me urging me to rise to my feet. I couldn’t move, I’d lost all my strength.

“I was alone…the walls…empty like my soul, alone…walls..empty, empty….

The butterflies wouldn’t stop but I ignored them whilst they continued to vanish.

“Get up,” the voice was back. “Come Idara”

“I can’t,” I yelled, my voice resounded through the walls. I watched the butterflies fade until the last resilient wings were flapping right before my nose. Its light began to flicker and went dim until it was gone. Everything went silent and cold. No insects. No buzzing. No light. Just me alone in the dark tunnel.

“I can’t,” I whispered. “I can’t”

 

Empty

I am so regular, I sleep at 7.30 pm every evening and not a minute later. I never miss my pre-scheduled siestas.

I text all my friends in the morning to ask how they slept, and every night to remind them to rest easy. In fact, a week hardly ever passes by without me seeing them. I call home every other day.

I never forget to treat myself to delicious snacks all through the day.

I wear this dress that accentuates my curves and ends 2/3rd of my ankles and a burgundy on my lips to match. I flip my voluminous hair back every half an hour because I’m going out on a date today, can’t wait, he’s perfect in everywhere.

“Nice dress,” he says

I look down at my clammy hands and manage a vague smile

“I only wear red when I’m indifferent”

“You always wear red,” he points out

My quivering lips broadened into a grin.

“It  must desaturate you to always wear a mask that reflects only what every other person wants to see”

I looked down to my glazed glass, watching my merlot swivel back and forth due to the wind drifting towards us

“You know,” I managed, “Just living”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Indigo

A lady never pours her own glass,

but I do.

she strolls gracefully,

relishing every step her stilettoes mold in the dirt.

So different, from my favorite suede platform boots.

Ain’t I a genuine lady?

What matters to me and what matters to you

are as different as Van Gogh and Frida Kahlo,

but then again, our shared values

are more tricky to unravel.

Your heart receives all the love it gets

and acknowledges them.

Your heart reciprocates that stealthy energy.

You care— both for those who are deserving;

and for the lot who doesn’t.

And perhaps your greatest attribute is

you can filter humor from un-comical settings.

You’ve learned to trust.

I’ve learned the hard way to not pretend.

When I look at my reflection,

a perfectly sculpted shell is all I see,

ironic isn’t it?

that I am bare, naked in your eyes

yet you’re blindsided to who I am

because I am wound that way.

I don’t like to talk with people I don’t know

or with people I do know,

a shell.

I heard you had come,

come to save the beloved,

I should be beyond ecstatic

but I couldn’t care less.

Others would shut me out,

after all, that’s what I deserve for not being

exactly like them

but not you.

Instead, you took a crayon, traced my silhouette

and colored my cold heart indigo.

If I had a dream catcher

for every time I thanked you,

I’d be dreaming with the entire constellation

above my crown.

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