If you don’t know yet babygirl, run. I know you’ve crushed your wings and your knees are broken from the trembling but please run. I know , marigold flowers are sighing in their last breath before they’re pressed in a heavy novel, there’s a firefly somewhere trapped in a glass jar and its light is fading out, and there’re spiders whose homes are destroyed in the name of wrong place to be. There’s no time to save them. No, there’s a war coming , do not go for the belongings, do not go for the souls who forgot to love you, do not go for the pictures of your childhood, do not go for the dolls they handed to you and said ‘here be like this , pretty, pliable, glass eyed, to be played with.’ And do not go for the razors they put in your tiny palms , the colours they dipped you in , pink yellow ‘softer colours please for my babygirl’, do not go for the guilt to want things bigger than what they’d planned, do not go for the apology poems you wrote for the world, do not, please do not go for the safety of a man. But take your voice, take your soft and gentle, take the tender of your freckled, scarred and bruised warm skin, take your stretched and worn out heart, take your spine, take the poetry of your angry and crazy, take the strong and steady of your spine, take the wild of your imagination, take your language and words, take the lover and the mother within you , take the goddamn razors if you wish but most of all, when you run take the “No”. There’s a war but there’s fear in the gut of the unfair world because they know. When you’re running, you will know. The moon is your ally. Beneath her you run, for no man can hold you down. you travel with the wind. you hold the fruits in your hands and no, nobody can touch. you pierce the wild beasts and tame with your innocence. The stars cram themselves in your eyes and the moon lends you her light. They can’t help but watch and you can’t help but run. The dust in the stars is the same as the one in your flesh. air of the butterflies, of the hummingbirds, of the soaring eagles and the bickering vultures is the same as the one hiding in your lungs. The water of the Pacific, of the Mediterranean, the water of the devil’s triangle all live inside you. The blood of the earth, the steady thumping underneath your feet, live inside of you. Stop, honey, turn around and look at the world you put on fire.
Picture this: It’s midnight and there’s an almost empty beach, there’s a lit cigarette between your fingers which you won’t smoke because it makes you cough but you’ll hold it anyways because it gives you something to hold on to. You’re looking at the silent sea and wondering how to stop looking at distant things and how to stop shaking at the memories. You’re wondering how to forget how he looks in certain lights or the shape of his mouth when he says “love”. It’s past midnight and you break your heart a little being careless and reckless and hoping in all this chaos you feel more than just empty.
Picture this: It’s 4 A.M and your blurry eyes are not forgiving enough to find your mother’s number from your phone. You wait for her to pick up wearing your heart like a bruise, a pain everybody sees but nobody cares about. “Mama” you’ll say, your voice cracking as your heart decides to come undone. You sob with one hand over your mouth and the other holding the phone away. “I forgot to tell you to pick up my mail tomorrow” You forget to tell her to pick up the shattered pieces of trust from the floor of your insanity. You forget to tell her you are trying . You forget her heart contracts with every beat of yours and the last time you called she could hear the tremble in your voice and she sat in her room and cried until she was dry because the imprint of her kisses on your baby fingers are still shadows on your skin ,you can’t see them yet but she can and those touches are still the only reason that you still find light in the darkest of hours. You might try to push her away but she damn near killed herself trying to push you into the world that you’re so tenaciously trying to belong to and not once did she regret it.
Picture this: You’re on the bus and a stranger is sitting next to you and his hands are touching the side of your thighs and you realize your tongue became glass and you cannot speak without breaking it and when you do ,you silently cry knowing nobody is listening, knowing there is not enough courage left in you to fight. You feel the entire ocean pressing up against your chest .You close your eyes and imagine you’re in your father’s car, his favourite song is playing and he’s humming to it , you’re smiling.
Picture this: Your knees are weak and and you don’t know how to love with your hands. He’s holding you but but not in the way you’ve ever known it. Hold like you’re drowning, hold like you’re buried, hold until your arms are trembling from the strength of it.You’re both talking a language that neither of you can understand. But it sounds like ‘please’ or it sounds like ‘I’ve missed you’ But this is more than your fingers or your mouth. This is the five seconds that it takes him to peel your self-conscious away from your body. This is five minutes of holding your face and saying ” I love you”. This is really meaning it. This is thanking God for your hands and their ability to feel. You think maybe the dip of his sternum is forgiveness and you’re wondering if the boy you’re kissing tastes salt in your mouth because your heart is crying over the sadness it cannot endure and the life it cannot understand.
Picture this: Not a single siren rings in this war.
It’s 4:38 am and I’m sitting on the stairs to my hostel room. The darkness is unkind and the cold is seeping and I can feel both my body and soul freezing. I’m thinking of the glow of a burning cigarette that was once too big to be held in my hands, I’m thinking of my father’s brother who lost his life to that glow that turn everything to ashes. I’m remembering the water in my mouth, I’m remembering the left over of samosas my mother had made I’m remembering the orange light upon the revolving plate and I’m remembering my eyes ticking the numbers down on the microwave and I’m remembering what home tasted like. My parents never turned their bed lamp off at night , until I was ten because I was convinced if I look away from the light of my parents moving and existing across the hall , they’d have me, the monsters and I’m remembering how for a long time, that warm light that crept through their door helped me sleep in the darkness . I close my eyes and I’m seeing the changing lights of our television under my eyelids, I’m seeing my father, my sister on his chest and I’m feeling my mother’s leg intertwined with mine and I’m tasting popcorn and butter and salt . My father is driving and the streetlights are playing hide and seek and I’m remembering my father asking if the kids slept I’m remembering him taking a peek at the back and I’m pretending sleeping beauty I’m remembering him smile and his eyes melting like butter in that moving light I’m remembering my father as a happy man. I’m smiling at the memory of 2000 ft above ground and marveling at the city I love, glittering like gold. I’m remembering flickering lights, I’m remembering nights with too much colour and not too much of clarity. I’m remembering the music that won’t stop and the hope that won’t return. I’m remembering mistakes and I’m remembering tears and I’m remembering ache but I’m remembering a phone that flashed a message that read “are you okay?”.I’m thinking of the depth of the moonlight. I’m thinking of stars and the universe and everything that shines out of darkness. I’m remembering a boy and his love and the light in his heart and I’m remembering everything out of reach and unfathomable. I’m remembering warm evenings and hushed whispers , tip toeing feet and beautiful sunsets. It’s 5:00 am . It’s another sunrise and sunlight feels too much like yearning for the light that can be only seen in the darkness.
They’ll watch you look at the sky like it holds answers and ask you questions, tell them you want to be alone, tell them you don’t have the answers. Don’t tell them about your poems, don’t tell them that there was a deer and moonlight and a hauntingly beautiful forest where all the wild things were and the reflection of the moon on the river set the whole forest on fire, don’t tell them. They’ll tell you you are cold, they’ll nickname you stone but remember how you loved, remember how you still do. You won’t hear about your softness but know that you’re gentle and fresh and growing even if you are growing sideways. The first time you looked at that boy, you fell like a jet plane with loose wings but no one noticed because it didn’t make a noise. You’ve learned to see the music and hear the colours but they haven’t. They won’t see the blues in your voice or hear the voice in the colour of your cheeks or taste the honey in your eyes. Don’t let them tell you you don’t have fire in you. Tell them your love tastes like lighter fluid and gun powder, something not everyone have the courage to taste. Across the city right now is a girl , who knows to fall and make love loudly and you’ll watch her turn heads and touch hearts. Don’t be jealous, don’t wish you were her. Remember when you touched the boy you loved for the first time, somewhere across the city a truck flipped off the road and the electricity went down and a woman gave birth to her child . Remember what your mother told you, if they don’t see it in you, their loss. Do not explain why you want to leave , do not explain why you wan’t to stay. Don’t let them hold you for too long. Forget when they said you only chew and don’t swallow, remember how you swallowed the weight of your heart when a friend called you at 2 am and you loved her. They’ll make you feel the red lipstick and the black dress you own is wrong, ask them to define wrong. They’ll convince you the night that you felt alive was a mistake, ask them if dying would fix it. When you walk knee deep into the ocean and wonder why you got so sad so young , when you brush your fingers against the edge of the ocean and ask why, do not walk deeper, do not try to drown yourself hoping the deepness has the answer. Know that the ocean does not know, know that the horizon and the ocean never met even though they appear to. Don’t let them take away your love for strangers, don’t let them protect you. If anything you should be protected from, it is from their inability to understand. Never ever let them own you. You do not belong to anyone and do not be ashamed of it. Tell them you found love in freedom and in the liberty to be absolutely what you want to be.They want you to find love in the classroom halls, and warm coffee shops and on the beaches. They’ll hate it that you want counter intuitive love and they’ll hate it that you’re closer to it. Do not try to explain, do not tell them you’re looking for hidden worlds in the eyes and cracked lips of strangers. Never, ever apologize for being fierce and passionate. Do not apologize for finding happiness in places they find only hopelessness. Do not tell them the reason why you love the smell of peaches and that his words were the colour of the earl gray tea your father used to drink. They’ll try to tell you it’s a kind of madness. They’ll try to take away your art saying its ‘wrong’. They don’t understand, they don’t know that art speaks words that dissolve into your blood than human mouth ever did. Never apologize for being lost. Remember once Hemingway wrote ” The world is a fine place and worth fighting for” , Hemingway put the lip of a gun to his head and felt the bullet go through his head , do not wonder what this means to fight, know that your strength is greater than what these poets and revolutionists try to make sense of. You’re chamomile and lavender and fog in the morning, do not let them tell you you’re just smoke. Remember, if a boy claims to love you, ask him if he knows what the colour of your sadness is. Remember to leave him when he says black. Remember to leave him when he says blue. Remember they only know your name. Do not let them touch you.