My good heart broke
in your good hands.
And I forgive you
for leaving it
behind, where it
could come together
without your hands
bleeding into it.
I forgive you for
leaving it where
it belongs, under the
lamp of our
memories. I forgive
you for leaving and
for taking your hands
with you. For my childish
heart would betray
itself in the warmth
of your hands, my love.
It would stay broken
for all of eternity to
be in the cusp of
what broke it.

My Heart is a Betrayer by Thamanna Razak

When romance doesn’t save you

This tropical little town of where my father was born and raised , has me taking cold showers and wearing cotton shirts all year round. It’s December and I wake up to the sun streaming through and a skin that is drenched. But it’s always sweet smelling , our house. My mother’s carefully planted flowers , fragrant and blooming like no other sits right outside my balcony, with the occasional breeze comes the sweet scents of the morning. I enjoy waking up to this, in my heart I know I would always be a creature of the city, but it helps me enjoy these moments more and keep them close to my heart. This earth, this wetness, my mother’s flowers on my father’s land. This is where I  write from today. Today, after what feels like an eternity of not being able to find something to say, I have nothing spectacular but, sipping my muddy espresso, watching the hibiscus flowers bathe itself in the early morning dew, I can’t help myself.

When I entered my twenties with a heavy and beaten heart, I had thought to myself that I would never experience pain greater than this, pain of love is the greatest, I had declared. I was convinced romantic love, was the worst kind of tragedy to happen to a woman like me. Ofcourse I was wrong, there are worse things to happen to a woman like me, love was just one of them.

As I turned 21, I was in more pain than I could’ve imagined, and it was nothing romantic, which troubled me even more. “How was I to ever survive or fight something that had no romance” I asked myself mid-sobbing , “I don’t know anything outside of it, don’t you know I have been raised this way, I am all heart and no brain”. I spent a lot of my time romanticizing what was being thrown at me, ofcourse what I realised is that you cannot romanticise your own failures , at least I couldn’t. I was forced to face my failure, inadequacy, creative and artistic blocks with a straight head and it broke my heart like no other lover. I had lived 21 years convinced my romance is my art and my talent and my self. And then it no longer was. Everything I had learned, everything I knew of the world ceased to exist. All the colours I recognized and knew of the world and carried from my childhood no longer existed. It was all black and white and grey. Without it, I no longer recognized joy, or even sadness or love, couldn’t remember the child I used to be or the heart I used to have.

No one ever talks about how truly lonely these days of growing up are, or youth is. My mother if she was reading would tell me I am being a child, that true loneliness of a woman is when her children grow up, your husband is aloof, and you no longer feel that you are part of the life you help created. But I think loneliness is a different world to each, and none of it can be equated or quantified. For me loneliness has been something that I have always been familiar with, but I thought when my heart was breaking, I would reach out to someone , or someone I loved would reach out to me. I wasn’t brave enough for either. I didn’t know how I would explain how everything in the world , every passing moment , pressed up against my heart and would leave its impression like on wet clay, and how my heart pressed against my ribs from the inside from the enormity of everything I felt,  how I prayed for it to be taken away. But people would look at you and envy your childlike optimism , your eyes full of dreams and tell you that you are the luckiest little thing to have your whole life infront of you , yet to be made and lived. How do you feel lucky when all your life you’ve seen in colours and then you don’t , and this world you are stepping into no longer excites you , that without colours you no longer recognize your family, your friends, your art, your dreams and even yourself. How do I tell them I’m scared and I’m lonely in this. Like the first time your parents lost you in an amusement park or a crowded place, and everything you walked past amused and gleaming holding your father’s hands had suddenly become unrecognizable, scary and monstrous. The world had gone from light to dark in the split of a second you let go of your father’s hand and it would stay that way until you saw his familiar face again, and from the corner of your vision, light seeps through and the world would be ordinary again.

I spend my days looking for that familiar light or warmth of something I recognize from the world I knew. I spend my time reading old poetry and journals , waiting around in the corner of my memories, hoping something will hold my hand and make my world light filled and ordinary again.

Journal; When Romance Doesn’t Save You by Thamanna Razak

Evening Conversation Series; An Interview with my lover.

Do you love her?
I need my lawyer [both laughs]
[long pause] yes, very much.
What do you think about you loving her?
I think it’s a great feeling.  It’s surprising.
 
Choose three things that you love the most about her
Her sensuality about everything in life, her smartness, her undeniable wittiness.
 
What is your best memory of her?
The first day I met her. [Interviewer] That’s the best memory of her? yes it was nice, it’s a very warm memory. It’s something I remember always , when I saw her for the first time. And how much she could eat [ both laughs ]
 
How did you fall in love with her?
I think she’s very different in how she sees life, and I like that, especially related to her relationships with people and how she sees them and understands them, how strange they are , it’s different. I loved that. And also she is very easy going when she’s good, not so much now, because she has gotten alot more difficult but she can be good and kind and when she loves sweetly, it’s hard not to love her.
 
How does she hurt you?
When she is particularly difficult when I’m under pressure and she’s only thinking about herself  [ long pause] because she needs me.
 
How do you hurt her?
By not being available for her.
 
Choose three things ugly about her
She is too stubborn in emotions, non diplomatic , she needs to always understand everything , she cannot let go. [Interviewer]And that’s bad? When you don’t know when to stop, yes. So for example, she goes “but why, why is that , but why” to everything and endlessly.
 
Have you had moments where you hated her?
No, never.
 
Is she the love of your life or your soul mate?
Neither, I don’t have a love of my life or a soul mate. If she was the love of my life, I would marry her and live on an island but I cannot.[The interviewer disagrees with the definition of the love of life and decides to discuss it later ] I love her deeply and it’s very very special but  [ Later adds] age gives you a very different perspective on life. So no, she isn’t either but there is no one else and there will be not and that says alot about how special she is for me.
 
What’s the wildest thing you’ve done for her?
Travelling for her, going through alot to spend little time together. I haven’t ever done this before for anyone.
What’s the wildest thing she has done for you?
[The Interviewer decides not to share the answer ]
 
When is she the easiest to love?
In intimate moments like these, when she is relaxed and calm.
 
When is she  the hardest to love?
When I’m not with her and she starts to need attention and is very difficult and demanding.
 
Does she love you?
Yes, I think she does.
-Evening Conversation Series; An Interview with my lover.

 

My mother sometimes forget
to pray good for me
and those are the nights
I let him hurt me and
I worship him. His heart
is my home
and he denies me of it.
My mother turns in her sleep
for the blasphemy.

-Blasphemy by Thamanna Razak

summer dawn of lemon zests

 

1/2/3

The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you. Don’t go back to sleep. You must ask for what you really want. Don’t go back to sleep. People are going back and forth across the doorsill where the two worlds touch. The door is round and open. Don’t go back to sleep.
— Rumi (trans. by Coleman Barks)