In the strange land
When lights were out,
It could have been butterflies
in the stomach,
But all I felt was
the need of night moths
that light up the place
even just by a tiny bit,
so that I could find myself.
Old books, older bookmarks
Reminiscing of the past
Setting sun, falling leaves
Town yellows, brown’s retrieved.
When sounds settle, hearts grieve,
that season my love, we’ll meet.
“You are the dreams you chase, the things that keep you awake.
You are the mountains you have climbed and the waters you have dived.
You are the playlists that you listen to, always skipping some songs, while putting others on repeat.
You are the wild car rides, speeding tickets and narrow escapes, those that brought you closer to life and close to end.
You are the karaoke nights and clumsy slumber parties and singing at the top of your voices on the radio with your friends; you are ugly gifts and pranks and arguments and later amends.
You are the stars in the sky that make you think of falling in love and seas and clouds and unicorns all at the same time; you are texts and chats and phone calls after rough patches telling them you’d be fine.
You are the tears of happiness and sighs of pain, you my dear are the first dance of monsoon rains.
You are all the books, the songs, the movies you own, you are the nostalgia of your sweet childhood gone.
You are your first love, the pure glee that it brought, the nervousness, and later the courage that it taught.
You are the shine in your eyes, the curves of your lips, the crooked collarbone of yours that you secretly adore; you are all the beautiful nights chasing after the moon and so much more.
So dont you dare believe them when they tell you they want better, for you my love know what they are missing on later.”
There was a pattern,
always a pattern
In the books read, recent playlists played,
Colors of weather and unwritten letters,
Badly scribbled notes under the mattress of the bed.
There was a pattern in the first said words of that broken conversation—if only you knew
Those tucked away pictures hidden from the world,
And tickets that were never used to fly 7000 miles away.
There was a shameless pattern in all the words unsaid, all the endeavors to make you break away
In the first days when seasons changed—the leaves falling off or turning green,
There were patterns in the first fall of snow and my perfect summer dream,
There were patterns in the waves of the ocean that connected lands in between.
There were perfect patterns in the winds that blew; signs if only you knew.
But oh well, never mind
Why did it matter?
When our minds were always a mess, a hopeless clatter.
You know that part of the second, when a sight of long lost someone reminds you of a memory buried deep in the past, a glimpse from the future, a lovely combination of things said and done, of things that might have been said but thought better of them—all those feelings in one part of the second. The feeling of loving and being loved, the feeling of being needed and needing someone and the force of attraction that stretches that one part of the second—slows it down, repeats those conversations, makes you smile and cry and hates you for feeling so much. That one part of a second—when it becomes more than a lifetime of living.
Oh Chicago, do you see?
You hold my heart
And it kills me.
For when birds fly, you give them the sanctuary
For the ones who’ve lost love, you give them the heart to flee.
But for me, there’s a special grudge,
For how much I await you, you turn away,
you shelter your breed.
The more I miss my love
The more you attract them to thee.
You call them, you kiss them, you engulf them in glee.
And and I, a person of shattered spirits, have nothing to offer, nowhere to retreat.
Oh Chicago, do you see?
How my love is lost in your city?
A play in reversal.
The last tea.
Sunshine dripping through the windows.
Clinking of spoons and tea cups.
Jacket hugging the chair–picked up,
Footsteps on the wooden floor.
Footsteps following the footsteps.
Last day, last night.
Last dance in a quick time lapse,
Violins – bringing back the last 10 years.
Dropped tea cups
Screams and cries
on the thirtieth floor
at 12 am,
blinded by the lights of the skyline.
Violins, hugs and sobs.
embraces, trembling waves, goodbyes.
Flights late at night.
and never ending sighs.
Footsteps in another land.
Nostalgia, pain and frights.
It happened yet again.
How many times
after you really understand?
Manipulated, exploited–excruciating pain,
for you they all turned out to be games.
In a land with no beaches,
Mountains I heard and yes, trees with leeches.
‘It’s just a statement’–but times changed.
And so did the seasons.
When temperatures dropped below
I only had cold dry winds that blew,
taking me away from us, from me and you.
The city no longer existed – the memories, laughs or the trees,
Nor did the bling that connected it with you.
And then the chains, the winters came-
the new year that brought you.
You blame me for knowing.
But how would I know?
Oh yes, the hints. The cues,
The needles kept pricking,
and the time kept ticking
Until one day
I lost my friend–I lost you.
Only the climax was,
I was this close to changing you.
I like small places. Places with low ceilings, faded rugs, round coffee tables, colored cushions and early morning rays of sun through open windows. Where you could sit at a corner, detached from the world and yet feel connected to everyone in the crowded room who is here to have breakfast, drink coffee, or read a book. Where you could meet your friends or the person you love and show them the secrets this world holds through that window from where the sun shines. Where you could listen to everyone’s voices and whispers and could tell the language they speak—of love, goodness and beauty—but not be able to tell what they might be thinking. Where you could marvel at the people and the life that exists outside that small coffee shop, like a silent movie, without judging their motives unlike those of big places and high ceilings.
Big places with high ceilings and glass floors and high tables make me anxious. They hold mysteries and secrets people are not sure to reveal. Big places give refuge to high pitched laughter which doesn’t reach the eye and to people who are more concerned about what purpose you bring them than whether you would like to have tea or coffee—they wouldn’t care if you like to have both. It’s difficult to gauge their feelings. So I choose small places with big hearts. Small places with memories of seeing each other the first time. Small places and dog-eared books. And paragraphs you’ve read a hundred times and still cannot get over them.
Small places and Sunday mornings and Friday nights, when you have all the time in the world to discuss with them, how time flies and why days change.
Small places where no one cares whether the wooden table is newly polished or why the rug still has coffee stains.
I choose small places because they make me realize of the connection I have with the things that are still alive, and with people who still believe in the magic of faith, truth, love and beauty.