Curtains

A perennial shower of peace spreads across my chest

Joy crawls over my body like sticky ants

Their sweet blood infuses with mine

I hear a song these curtains muse~

They’ve been watching me curl up and inside,

They’ve been learning my silent wish;

A lily settles upon my lashes

My fingers extract the elixir that completes me

I tear apart the walls and the couch and the stains

The stains of the waves getting out of control, spinning all over the place

Blue runs deep and high above

The curtains sing your name,

Draw them.

-Nameera.

Image Credit : Unsplash

The Prayer

pink-petaled flowers

There are mosquito bites all over my feet
The itch grows like climbers around my knees
My veins circle the heart
My hands run out of control
I’m spinning in this web of my creation
I’m a collector like spiders
Except that I don’t devour upon my hosts
I watch them grow out of their existence
Until they’re born anew
And I see them fly away
Like all my bad thoughts that disappear into the light
The sun swallows sins at once
Its spine is a constellation lined across the sky
I watch God take a walk in the chambers of my heart
He looks out the window and I gaze into your eyes
He looks at my happiness
I gaze a little more than usual, until he has learnt
The name of my only prayer,
You.

-Nameera.

Image credits: Unsplash

D I V I D E

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The gap between my teeth widens
I’m six years of carelessness and a body clothed in flesh
My flesh is skin and a human anatomy I’m yet to understand
My flesh is carrot juice and French fries
My flesh is a subtraction of the numerical, perhaps the only confusion in my life
My flesh is unafraid and knows how to breathe in and out without having to give it a second thought
My flesh sees other flesh like mine and that’s where the story simply ends
Years later my headscarf has another story to tell
The bindi upon my forehead tells yet another story
And just like that, so many stories gather themselves at the periphery of my existence
My best friend dabs my cheek in pinks and greens
My best friend waits more eagerly for sewiyan than I do for Eid
Do you like horror stories? I do too
I think we all enjoy a little thrill in this mundane existence
We’re all looking for something out of the ordinary to provide forethought to
What if that horror isn’t fiction anymore?
It is as real as the red bindi across your forehead and as dark as my black Hijab
It has its horrors that transform streets into a war zone
Cities into hell
Cold winter mornings smell of gunfire that echoes through these lanes
But do you know what sounds worse than that? The silence
That is the scariest story of this divide
It isn’t secluded to bloodshed and cries for help and hunger and poverty and dirty politics and differences and awkward means of reaching out to each other and change in perspective and the birth of ‘Us’ and ‘Them’ and ‘He’ and ‘She’ and a myriad other pronouns that have been put to shame
It is the silence that has followed this divide
The lack of a proper noun to voice concern
The lack of a proper noun to replace the wrong
Because black will always remain black no
Matter what shade is forced upon it.

Image Credits: Photo by Alex on Unsplash

Open Up

When they say, ‘Open up!’ what I see is the picture of my heart running like a wild goose in a jungle of confusion. It often steps in a puddle of familiarity but slowly, that very puddle begins to wet its feathers in droplets of shame. How could I’ve been so reckless? Did they really need to know that? So on and so forth, goes the troubled web spun by my mind. It’s hard to breathe with the weight of my insignificant over-shared life. I’m a generous listener but not a generous talker and this often puts people in a motion of self-doubt but they’re really not at fault here.

When they say, ‘Open up, you owe it to us after all this time!!’, what I hear is a call for a reason to hold on. Sometimes, it even rains like a warning over my bare head, the drops tapping on my mind to make the move. I still contemplate trust like a child toying with food until it turns cold, sour and hard to penetrate. I’m still the insecure six year old who never grew up, don’t you get it?

When they say, ‘Open up, it’s your last chance’ I hear yet another reason to strike off a name and turn goodbyes into an untitled poem.

Celestial Boundaries

I’ve allowed
Wormholes to breed
Inside me
Astronauts from
Distant universes
Travel down my
Throat each night
Leaving a scent of
Their cosmos upon
My lips

My shoulders bend
From these weightless
Clouds
A clot of inertia rests
In the back of my
Head

Petals wither
Where your touch
Once bloomed
My ribcage leaks
Stardust
I’m the universe
Exploding in your
Eyes
A deathless hangs
In the midst of our
Tragedy
It’s a black hole
Growing,
Darker
Denser
Deeper

Red is the color of love
Black is the color of eternity.

MY FIRST HEART BREAK

A burglary happened on your lips while you had your eyes closed. Maybe that’s why kisses are stolen these days, not planted. You say heart breakers are bullies who will never be happy again, tell me, what do you truly know about being one? We can be poets for all you know, making you cry out to your pillow with metaphors that confuse you because you just don’t want to face the truth. Confusion is the antonym for courage, the courage you lack because what will they say upon finding out that you’ve broken hearts before? It all started when I was thirteen, broken and in search of true friendship. Every person I liked already had someone else, being second choice was a dagger I had been carrying in my heart forever. This was my heart and it went right through it resulting in cracks that resembled a thunderbolt; a mute thunderbolt, one that inhaled and exhaled pretending life was a yoga exercise where some days you ace it or you don’t. It was all about the chance we took and the one we lost. I saw people finding a best friend, I caught myself staring in the mirror, telling a lonely reflection that all she ever needed was herself. People blamed me for being full of myself but I ask them now, where were you when I needed you most? When I, instead of hiding my true feelings and confusing you; told you how much a friend would mean to me, where were you when I wore vulnerabilities upon my sleeve? You were busy finding creative ways to judge me so I left because I was mean, arrogant and evil. You were shy, kind and hopeful but I wasn’t so I packed my luggage – emotions I mean and left without a dagger in my heart because by now, you had broken it in two.

When I was thirteen, a girl in my class broke my heart and today I liberate her from the tangled mess of my thoughts. She’s free to go, and I’m free to use the lessons she taught me. Thank you for being my first heart break, I hope yours would skip a beat right now so you can know that once upon a time; you were one of the reasons why I wanted to stop mine.

Heart breaks can come from friends as well, it doesn’t always take a boy to do it.

COLLECTING CAGES

My hands are stories you never read
Long, slender and painted red
An estuary within me connects to you
Not the whole ocean inside of me
Pandora’s Box lies safely in my stash
I lick the dust upon it to get a taste
They way you slid your fingers under
My sleeve
Made me swallow the suns for I
Believed
When your fingers were intertwined
In mine
I thought we would talk of irrevocable
Love
Yet you forced your way deep in
My skin
Digging a grave out of my elbows
And mounted upon my palms,
You broke the seal
Freeing the secrets within the box
This time
A man led to the ultimate demise
A man who has turned into my
Irrevocable disease
Memories of him is the trauma
I collect
Looking in the mirror, I forget
To reflect
My existence has become a
Prisoner to you
Wherever I see, whatever I touch
Morphs into a remnant of you

Love is the closest thing to magic
You never know when the rabbit
Disappears from the hat forever
Replacing ‘trick’ with ‘tragic’.

-Nameera.

 

A BANQUET WITH MY DEMONS

I saw fear huddled in the back with a hand pressed against his chin, altering the shape of his pale cheek. He looked beautiful tonight in a bow tie and formals, staring listlessly at the dancing duo, depression and insomnia going at it as though it was just the two of them in the gloomy looking hall with a high, ancient ceiling. Depression had a smile so wide that the corners of his lips were uncannily stretched whereas insomnia had her eyes shut while being swayed in exquisite motions that didn’t seem to bother her. Self-doubt was busy eating as usual; tonight the special main course served was his absolute favorite, confidence with a tinge of self-esteem. Anxiety played the morose violin that nearly put a sleeping spell over the guests. Fear had already dozed off. I slid in a chair next to him, watching, wondering, and thinking when a waiter drew beside me and offered happiness for desert. I took a bite, it tasted like my ex and cherry wine; I smiled. My friend sadness just joined the party! We sat atop the chandelier because it was my banquet and anything is possible here. She sang her mother’s lullaby while I wrote it down and together, we created poetry all night long as the demons of my mind busied themselves with celebration and laughter; fading a little as words set me free.

-Nameera.

 

SLIVERS OF THE MOON

 

Last night when I went to sleep 
God spoke to me
He said the moon is a gift
For me to seek light
Even in the face of darkness

I said to him,
But that’s the problem
Darkness has no face
It just is
And it spreads
Without my consent

He asked me to look hard
In the mirror,
Within the reflection you’ll
Find the face of darkness
Look closely inside the eyes
And don't blink
Because the deeper you go
Down the spiral staircase between
The whites of your eyes,
The clearer it becomes

The reason you can see
All the stars and the moon
Even at night
Is because inside each of you
There’s a sliver of the moon,
God said to me
As I woke up,
Smiling at the part of me
Hanging in the night sky
Lighting up my side of the
World.

ACHILLES HEEL

I was Troy and you conquered me

Reckless and bold, you had a way

With my heart

Leaving me with no choice

But to sway the way you

Wanted me to

 

I crowned you with my trust

The only wealth I had ever possessed

 

You put on your armor of gold

But it was too strong for me to

Embrace you

I was weakened by your unruly

Grasp

 

This helpless state is what I termed

Love

And now that I’ve slain all

Memory of you

The temples on my land have been

Dirtied by your presence

A need that glitches in the dark is

What you are

 

You’ve become the weakness in my

Prayer

The reason why I forget that love

Isn’t a murderer

That love can kill but will always earn

My mercy

 

You’re the Achilles heel I can’t wrap

My way around

The mistake that burns brighter than

The sun

It defies the prayers I seek

All my strength eventually leaks.

-Nameera