Ships in the Night (how could I know)

I’m too tired of wanting/not-wanting. Tired of constantly telling myself how I should be feeling. Tired of feeling like I’m too deep in my head one minute and then just dangling in the wind the next. So maybe I’ll stop. I’ll say what I feel when I feel it, even if nobody’s listening—even if everybody is. You’re sad and then you’re not, that’s how it works, right? I’ll be sad and then I won’t. 
I want to hold sunlight between my fingers and dissolve it into moondust.
I want to wrap my wrists in coloured glass and then hear the bangles sing every time I move.
Mostly, mostly, I want to be kind. To love and not question it. To be loved and not question it.
I want to look and look, because I think I heard somewhere that love is mostly about seeing. And sometimes I think I went through life blindly, arms outstretched. I think things die only from neglect. I think we forget that when you hold hands, if you’re still enough, you can feel their heartbeat in between their fingers.
To choose out of desire and not habit. 

I think I hold it back like the moon holds back the waves. But then they crash onto you anyway. I think I’m always trying to explain, to you, to myself, to myself—but I never listen.
I say nothing is broken and then cut my fumbling fingers on sharp edges. I press the wound to my mouth: nothing is broken. My throat wells up with everything that is not broken.

Listen, this is how it goes, yes? Someone always has to leave first. But I’ll be damned if it’s me—
—I’ll be damned if it’s not. They keep saying some things are worth it, but they never tell you when they’re not—and these days, I think the odds are particularly against my favor.
I’ll wake before the sunlight reaches the shelf and this I will have for breakfast: ice-cold water, eggs, fruit, a bowl of oatmeal just shy of being sweet, and a heart, closing. I’ll crush up the egg shells and press them into soil. I’ll hold the heart between my palms and lock it back within my ribs. I think I can live with this, in all it’s ruined glory.
I think there’ll be others I’ll do the closing for again, too. Others this heart will jump out for.

I don’t know where I learnt this but I think for something to last, you must never talk about it. As if the universe is waiting to take it away, a silent thief, ever-present. But eventually you have to, right? You have to taste the words for yourself, the way they sound in the air, the sting of them against your cheek.
But.
To explain is some admission of defeat. Some evidence of failure.
Can you not simply feel it–know it, even when I don’t?
I think sometimes I forget to account for the humanity of it all. I think sometimes I forget to be human at all—all I am is a pile of rejects, layer upon layer of every unfinished self. You peel back one hollow after another. Every day I reach desperately for some amount of goodness to fill them in with, but most nights I collapse on to the bed, unsuccessful.
Perhaps that is human after all. 

I kiss a silent prayer into my heart and then stand in the middle of a field to offer it to the void. I say I am good and I am free and I am unafraid. I say, ‘Beat away forever and a day!’

And then I flinch when anything moves to accept it.

I am good and free and unafraid only as long as this beating device stays in the middle of this field, under this here sun. It’s the oldest cliche, sure, but if you take it, I may never get it back. I like the sound of it too much to give it up like this. I’m sorry but I know how this goes.
I am afraid to use the stronger word so I will use none. You can take the silence for emptiness. 

I want so much to be done with this. To hear no echoes of whatever words I swallowed. To hear only the stars calling. To hear only songs I do not know the ending note of. 

I think if I wanted this the way you wanted me to, it would be easier. But I do not know how.
There’s a part in this somewhere where I turn translucent where you can see right through me, where you can tell I will break under the size of it all, right before I break.
And I’m afraid when that happens, all that would come out would be too bitter to leave this light unstained, so maybe. Maybe I say the words before they turn sour and acidic, then catch them before they dart away. Slip them into my pockets, safe, stripped of all ruthless desire. 

But sometimes, still. In the middle of a lecture, at the end of a long day just as I start to fall asleep, when I have tea on the brink of boiling over on the stove; sometimes a wind chime, sometimes a harsh, almost-desperate plea: this is yours for the taking.

won’t you? won’t you won’t you won’t you.

But you know, all things fade under the sun. I try to be true because I’m afraid if I stop, the sun would go out. (the moon I can lie to)

Yours sincerely,
Simran

Hello! I don’t know if this site still gets any traffic, I only update thrice in a year (if I’m lucky) and interact with no one heh. I’m twenty one now. it’s raining currently and I’m home for once because we’re still in quarantine and it’s 5 am. I pulled something of an all-nighter to prep for an exam I’m not sure is happening, but ended up writing some, too. I hope you’re staying safe.

morse code

The patterns
you should know them by now,
flickering lanterns
against grey, a furrowed brow

There is something to be said of the way my heart sinks like it’s never known air, pulling, pulling until my whole chest caves in. It would help to know why. Or to know when. How? It does it like it’s spent centuries, eons practising. Like it knows to do this better than it knows to beat, like it’d rather be doing this than going lub-dub-lub-dub–dub. Nothing sets it off, or everything does–songs, echoes, words untrue and borne of pure imagination, words that are anything but.

You’d think my lungs would float but all they know is moss, seemingly collecting the anchors of a thousand ships safely within their walls, waiting only for a signal to fling themselves out into murky depths I will not be able to find my way out of. 

My eyes do not burn underwater. I’m sure there was a time they did, but I cannot remember it. 


An implosion, muted, a few weeks ago, then again last week, and now, and next month and forever. Would the vacuum created suck everything else in, too?

It would just help to know why. 

sincerely,
simran.

I have awaken once again from my unannounced slumber. I don’t know if people still read this, but if you do, I’m very grateful and I hope you’re staying safe.

if love and hate are the same, i love me so.

I’m going to say some things and it’s going to be uncomfortable but it’s also mostly going to be true, so bear with me.
I try to be a good person, mostly–but I don’t think I like myself very much. So full of resentment. So petty. So callous. And so terrible with dealing with people’s feelings. Some days I think as many as 87 mean thoughts–maybe that number isn’t the most accurate, but I’m sure it’s close enough. And the people never deserve it.

And then I try to rectify it and feel like an absolute fake bitxh. Like in high school, when a few people said that’s what I was. That the politeness was a facade and I only did anything I did so people would like me. And it was easy enough to laugh it off in front of them, but it has always stayed.

So in college, I thought maybe I’d adjust. Maybe a little more sarcasm and a little less apologizing and then maybe people would think I’m more genuine. For someone who claims to not care what anybody thinks of her, I sure know to agonize over every little thing that has ever been said.

It’s hard to tell people I’m being myself when I’m not very sure what that is to begin with.

I think I surround myself with people I’ve convinced I’m good so I can coast off of their adoration and never have to actually become good.
I complain too much. Sometimes when someone does something shitty, I don’t confront them about it, and instead vilify them to someone else. Which isn’t right. I shouldn’t be talking about them behind their back, but I do it anyway. Sometimes I think nobody really thinks I’m a good person.

I’m constantly messing up. I get impatient with my younger siblings when all they want to do is spend a little time–and I can hear myself being an absolutely ugly goblin to them but I can’t seem to help myself, some sick pleasure off of furthering my misery (like, yes you deserve this; you’re making them feel terrible and you should suffer with them)

When I was in the 5th grade, me and my cousin bullied a classmate of hers–and at the time I thought it was okay because she used to bully my younger siblings and was always mean and maybe she deserved it. But she went home and cried and her mum called my mum and said she was devastated and I realized I’d forgotten she was human too. And still only a kid too, like all of us–and I’d never disliked myself as much as I did then.
It’s hard for me to admit to doing that then because it is such a vile thing. So hurtful, and for no reason. I try not to be that person ever again, even momentarily.

And sometimes I think I fail. Because however much you think someone has wronged you, you are never righteous in your maliciousness.

I don’t know if this reads like a 3rd grade moral ethics lesson.

Anyway, there is no satisfying conclusion, I’d just been feeling like a terrible, bad person for a while. And I’d like to not be that.

A broken record

There’s a tangle of crushed up daisies and quickweed.

I’ve got so much time. And I know. I know and it still doesn’t feel like it, though. Some days I fantasize about my heartbeat simply ceasing to exist—no fanfare, just a gentle petering out almost unnoticeable over the sound of the breeze. Those are Not Good days. I do not like myself much during them, imagine if someone were to know about that. You’re on the cusp of so many things, imagine if someone were to know this is what you think of instead. It’s bad and it’s stupid so I keep it to myself.

Everything is always changing and I can’t hear myself think over the roar of all the things changing and I have so much to do, do you realize?

But look. For now, I can be twenty.

The cicadas are always screaming. Even on the not-good days, and I wonder if they worry about the screaming they will have to do the next day. And the ones after that. If it’ll measure up to the screaming they’re doing today, if it’ll be better or worse. I’d thought once I stopped being eighteen I would be over worrying about the future and if it’ll ever measure up.

On the Not Quite Bad days my brain feels like it’s snuggled in bubblewrap. My friends think I’m distant on those days, but I’m not I’m not. I love them the same, and the love is just too much for me that day. I do not call my mum on those days either.

I like the solidity of things when I’m not flinging my emotions on to them.

They will not melt under my anger or shrink under my sadness or disappear under my happy. It’s a lot calmer in my head those days and I’m certain my voice could lull every infant to ever exist into the sweetest of dreams. And maybe that sounds wrong, I mean I want to love and be loved but some days (the Not Quite Bad ones), it gets to a little too much and all I want is for myself—bubble-wrapped— smack dab among all the things in my life, perfect- and I can not change them. And I’m thankful. Maybe those days are Just A Little Bit Bad. Those days I have to work and work to stay inside my head or else I’ll float, I will—and no one will know to look for me, or even that I’ve been gone.

On those days, some times they ask. A friend, or two (or family)—and I do not try to explain or justify it, I don’t say anything. On those days there’s a highlight reel of every time I’ve tried to tell them (I love you) and received no form of recognition (which is not their fault. I can be fuxking cryptic with these things)

Some days my heart beats too loud and it’s the absolute best thing I have ever heard.

Like on mornings I don’t have to be anywhere, and it’s too early for any trace of warmth from celestial bodies, so I can breathe, a little desultory—but skin thrumming with the possibilities. Like. I could write today, or paint, or learn a new song, or a new language. It doesn’t matter that I haven’t had any sleep—or that the dark smudges around my eyes make it all too apparent. But on days when it rains and the clouds shield everything from even the slightest hint of sunshine, and I can wake up past 9 am and still have my skin thrum in the cool, I’m grateful.

Night Blooms

get a grip

Your heart, you’ve discovered,
has a habit.
of throwing itself from heights it could never really reach before.

Affection that lingers like the fragrance of the jasmine—sweet—
on the heel that crushed it, stumbling in the dark
—forgetting to ask for forgiveness.

Your lungs mock the air attempting to make its way in:
you can’t sit with us
(laugh please. let it echo across the water. stain it bright blue and purple
—and red, closest to your heart)
inhale
they pretend to not know (how)
(oh bother)

sometimes, you’re so pretty it hurts
like gravity
gravel rushing at you,
–you: poised to smash into it, nose first;
falling.

–and I don’t know if you’re the love-er or the love-ee
but
it’s equally devastating, either way.
I do not want to know how it ends
–even if it’s good
–even if it’s bad

–even if it’s only as light as the kisses the dragonfly grants the water
or heavy like moonlight across tear-streaked sheets
(like in the movies—
far away)

I’m saying act
pretend they don’t taste like the first sip of water at iftaar-
icy cool lullaby soothing away every wrongdoing you’ve been met with
(or meted out)
your ribs exist for a reason
and maybe ‘cage’ is too harsh
but your heart wasn’t built to dangle off of sleeves.

We’ve never been to space
but you say it must feel something like this,
untouchable static

(get a grip, good God)

Anyway, this is about me watching all my friends fall in love and make a (happy, dangerously adorable) fool of themselves. Ah, youth.

The header is my neighbour’s tree at night from when I got to go back home this year and the last image is me at my grandpa’s at 7 in the morning, home alone on the terrace.

Yours,
can’t curse on paper

p.s – was the mean girls’ ref too obvious or not at all. Also, wordpress has such great new features?? Was colouring every block in too much though?

swing

20th October, 2018

Int.  A warmly lit restaurant.}

Devoid of patrons except for four kids who’ve known each other for 17 years. Laughter rings out, shrill, as congratulatory high-fives are exchanged over suggestive innuendos at the expense of each other. They haven’t met in a year,  but it feels like longer; it always feels longer.

Customers trickle in and the failed attempts at muffling hysterical cackling increase in number as everybody is brought up to speed with major-minor life events–but not entirely; no one anecdote sees completion, another always rushes along on its coattails and you think about how when you were little you used to talk about being at each other’s weddings, naming each other’s kids and that might actually happen. It might. Maybe you’ll have these people till the day you die regardless of however many others you find along the way who might stick around too. Cheeks hurt from smiling so much.

           ~* _______ *~

{Int. Childhood bedroom.} 

Although your younger siblings have taken over now, it feels the same. Like nothing could ever touch you here and time has never existed, no obligations except to maybe sleep in the cool dark or cry until you do. Which is a strange juxtaposition, yeah. But so have been your teenage years and it’s tangible here. in this room. You won’t be a teen the next time you visit it

25th October, 2018

{Ext. The local national park.}

The edge of winter, so the 7 am sunlight is extremely forgiving.
Cycling.
It starts off rocky, one of you picks it up quickly, one’s done this before,  the other two struggle until one eventually gives up and decides to just walk the rest of the way, shoving off the others to go on ahead.
You do so reluctantly…until a group of men pass by, eyes lingering for too long, and then all of you turn right back, just to make sure they don’t give her any trouble (they don’t, she’s been keeping to the walking trails). Legs ache and bicycle seats have never been comfortable but it’s beautiful and cool and you take pictures enough to jog even the faintest of memories–for when you’ll need to. Years down the road. older and forgetful. 

~* _______ *~

12th December, 2018

Today’s an ‘I’m the vilest creature in existence’ kinda day. Not a drop of liking myself in sight. Which is fine, I know it’ll pass; but today’s a ‘get home 11 hours later and immediately start crying’ kinda day. An ‘I’m the greatest inconvenience in this dimension’ kinda day. ‘Got a lump in my throat because I can’t find the nail-trimmer and I told daada I’d trim his nails’ kinda day. 

Simran Can’t Curse On Paper

Testing 1 2 3

The afternoon sun beats down on the man I can hear yelling from my window,
pushing his cart, which I’ve never seen up close, except once-

younger than 9 years old and
excited to finally have occasion to do so,
rushing down stairs I’d spent countless evenings imagining to house the vilest of monsters in its hollow banisters
(whispered into this hollow, watched them glow bright and blinding, dull their claws and razor-teeth on lemon-juice secrets sour that reject whatever saccharine relief comes their way; some days I’d whisper them a story on the way back from school; others I’d send them messages to deliver to other realms I cannot set foot into yet)
There was a rumor among the kids that he kept children in the burlap sacks under his cart
fed them overripe aubergines and tomatoes until they too turned purple and red
for all eternity. constantly.
I tried to poke at the sacks as he weighed out herbs and roots
(they were empty)
he smiled, toothless, told me to run straight back to my mum no detours.
I told the hollow that I’d narrowly escaped capture at the hands of the town orc;

knew that to be too unkind; came back once the guilt got to too much and told them that the orc is friendly and counts out the exact change. And that he isn’t an orc at all.
Put my ear to the darkness and try to hear if it forgives me.
It does,
I tell myself.

I’m not so sure of it, anymore.

On nights I threatened to run away,
Clutching paper souls in my hand,
I imagine I could melt into this hollow
and I’d be peaceful–I would.
I could cradle every whisper I’ve ever sent into this space,
hold it close and press warm kisses to its knuckles

I have loved for less.

I love for less, still.
It isn’t as fun anymore.
Movies in Technicolor and
crackling black and white to batter home your beauty.
I’m trying to hear if you’ll forgive me.

You do, I tell myself.
You would. If only, you’d press your ear to the hollow.
I have so much to tell you.

Yer Lad’s journaling again kinda sorta maybe and you get to see them a whole 48 hours later!

14th November, 2018

Hello friends, it has been a minute. Mostly because my laptop malfunctioned, and once I managed to get it up and running again I discovered my preferred medium for recording my priceless musings, Microsoft Word (peace be upon her), is no longer included in the device and I must buy Office 365. ???

Technological expenses? In my good, Christian society? Nah bitxh. Wordpad, it is.

In the meantime, I got done with my first university exams! I passed! I will not be detailing the experience–mostly because it wasn’t the best and I don’t want to relive it, but also because it was so many (3) months ago! In fact, I had my 2nd-year orientation today and I have a migraine. Fun!
Speaking of migraines, I also got my driver’s license and discovered driving gives me a headache. Why do people do it? Are they aware they’re responsible for the lives of multiple complete strangers during it? Are the aforementioned complete strangers aware they’re responsible for my life while they’re driving? Because, it’s high time you start acting like it, buddy.
I’ve always considered road rage extremely silly but it took me being on the road for all of 0.78 seconds before loudly questioning the sanity of every single person on two wheels, and also three wheels.

I’m back at my aunt’s place. I got to go back home for an entire month and a half, which was great, would 10/10 recommend. I touched, smelt, and thought of zero textbooks and did all of that with zero guilt, so that was amazing. I’m trying to ignore the fact that currently, there is no hope for a substantial enough break for me to be able to visit home again in the next year and half. But maybe something will work out somewhere, somehow. Positive thoughts.
One thing that was surprising was the lack of extreme repulsion and melancholy at the sight of this city and the college this time. Which is a good sign, maybe I’ll spend this year (and a half lol) considerably less homesick and less generally unenthusiastic about my immediate future. Who’d have thunk?

I also got a ukulele. It’s sea green and I have zero musical knowledge and this is my first instrument! Although, that’s not strictly true; I used to have a mouth organ when I was very young. It was gifted to me by my mother, and I played it all the time–with great fervor and barely a quarter of the talent– until it mysteriously disappeared after several pleas from those in my general vicinity to stop making that noise. I think about it a lot.
I also think about this music box with a mirror and a dancing lady I think I used to own. But I’m not very certain if one of my friends owned it, or if I’ve simply convinced myself that I owned it, knowing I’ve always really wanted that. Fickle thing, memory.

I’ve decided to get my shitake mushrooms together this academic year. Not just academically, but general mental and physical health too. A lot of the first year of college blended into each other, and I’m not going to have this time or be this age forever, and I feel like I’m not savoring it like I should? I feel like I say that every year. Not to needlessly romanticize every moment but also yes 100% I want to do that? I do want to be less stressed and not leave everything up to the last minute because my heart can genuinely not take it, I can feel it struggling to propel the sludge during anxiety attacks and I don’t want to do that to myself anymore. Not to put all my mushrooms in one basket, but I feel like this is one year where I will have the time to make whatever permanent changes or habits I want to implement.

I lost a lot of the fledgling poems I’d been writing during my absence when the laptop decided to just quit on me out of nowhere (rude) so this is all I have for now.

Tune in same time 2-3 business months later for the next update! (I fricking hope the frick not. I’d like to write more this year too, it’s part of the permanent changes I want to implement)

Scar Tissue

we followed the sun
rested our blistered soles on the moon and spun around the earth
over and over
far above clouds we bounced over with lighter hearts

by which I mean we fell in love
maybe
–and fell out of it–
survived it anyway.
threw up a little from the motion sickness.

tomorrow will be different
drink 8 glasses of water and not miss a single call for prayer
shower in the morning
walk in the rain
have a stranger punch me in the face
(feel something)

by which I mean we cannot crawl into each other
and shut out the cold–
thermodynamics.
you cannot outrun the physics
gravity will pull you down
or your errant heart will buzz about in ever tightening circles until it self-implodes
or you will shoot out of orbit and find yourself untethered within static
I don’t know man, I haven’t touched a physics text in a year
I’ve always been better at rhyme over reason
although not even that. lately.

we swallowed the sun
to maybe soothe our burning lungs
(fight fire with fire)
melt away our insides thinking then we could fit better
I don’t want to end on a bad note
so let’s hitchhike on shooting stars
and press salve onto each other’s palms
hurtle through the atmosphere and sing the alphabet
pretend the heat hasn’t left us shrivelled husks
who (finally) fit into each other like puzzle pieces

there’s a garden here
somewhere
tell me there’s a garden that survived the summer

 

A Highlight Reel of Every Thought I’ve Ever Had:

I

If I can’t lift my feet off the gravel,
I will dive headfirst into tarred roads,
chasing every cloud tethered to a puddle,
what’s one cracked skull, I have other bones

–this is not a metaphor.

 

II

I am tired of the weight of meaning,
of: this leaping toad is me,
I am the toad
and the moon is every possible thing I have ever loved
and the persistent buzz of the fly is the herding call
for all of my failures since the moment I slid out of the womb,
which rumble back from distant, foggy pastures into painful high definition
dragging me right with them
into the pit of endless despair.

 

III

Maybe if I talk to myself loud enough
I can drown out the high-pitched keening
from under my bed.

 

IV

‘This is not a metaphor’ I tell myself
when I accidentally send the last blob of toothpaste down the drain,
already ten minutes late.

 

V

sling chicken bones into the parched night,
an offering in return for the promise of rain
(–pass it off as successful witchcraft when it rains 4 days in a row, nearly 2 months later)

 

VI

You tell your friends I am still in love with you,
and I let you because it seems like you need that and it doesn’t hurt me.

A boy trips over air and I tell him I love him
unburdened of meaning
–and then the girl who sits beside me,
and the ruffled crow overhead as I walk home–
I don’t know much about astrology
but maybe Pluto’s in retrograde.
or was it Uranus?
either way, I fling all my affections onto whatever cosmic rock is willing to take them.

 

VII

Buried and planted seem like polar opposites
even though they’re more or less the same thing.
–and I thought I was the first one to ever think of that
but I saw a picture yesterday that basically said the same thing,
only better.
So. are we all ambitious colonizers
bumbling their way into exotic lands
claiming to ‘discover’ them before afflicting the natives of debilitating disease?

 

VIII

It isn’t comforting to be reminded
that things don’t just happen and then dissipate.
it’s all right here in pockets that I’ve given up trying to empty.
sand clings to things
and I cannot tell what grains I gathered at 12
and what at 19
I went to the beach and I will have gone to the beach for all eternity.

 

IX

if I hold my breath for long enough underwater
I won’t ever have to come up
but I can pretend well enough that my lungs crave the touch of air too much
for me to stay here forever
(–most days anyway.
on others, I stay away from the water)

 

X

Dear Raj,
I’m afraid we must cease our dalliances
for I have joined catholic school and am to become a nun
khuda hafiz.
-Simran

 

XI

I used to think I could be a fortune teller
Tea-leaves were the preferred medium;
I didn’t like tea, however.
A dilemma.
mum got me a set of stories from the stall next to the restaurant
whose name I can never remember
(it sounds like rose petals and kebabs, a hint of green)
I read about Musa (a.s) and thought perhaps tea could work the same way.
I hadn’t understood what sets magic and miracle apart
(faith, I think. I could be wrong)
For the longest time, I was afraid of getting into the pool.
the slightest of ripples was a potential miracle.

 

XII

Imagine getting paid to look at the stars.
(imagine getting paid to heal people)

 

XIII

This is my last year of feeling.
I’m afraid I’ll grow up and nothing will ever be beautiful again.

 

XIV

Perhaps I could grow to be a lighthouse:
always in possession of the safe way home;
but only the ships know of monsters;
there is no value to a home I never leave.

 

XV

I have moulded the fat that hangs from my arm
for maximum aerodynamic efficiency,
I could dive off a cliff and nothing could ever temper my velocity
(nothing would ever try to, I don’t think)

 

XVI

I don’t think I bruise easy
though you wouldn’t agree if you were to look at my forearms or hips or legs
I think it’s just:
every time I think I’m walking through doors (or walls or tall, metal benches)
I’m simply walking into them.
(where would I be if I were to keep count of every hurt)

XVII

On nights less gracious than most
I tell people you were born of fire
smokeless,
I am all the bitter brew I need to keep awake till dawn.
(clay hearts break easy)
Happy poetry month! This might not seem like it, but I wrote this over the course of the past month and I don’t think I have anything more to add to it. Also, the image is a sketch from a few months ago. That’s it. Thank you for your attention.