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Birthday in Heaven

Dear Mom,

I’m writing to you tonight.

I miss you tonight,
and I know I’ve not always treated you right
you loved me regardless;
unconditional love.
a mother’s love never measures

you observed my rise and fall, and through it all.
but with every stumble and every fall,
you were there to lift me up and dust me off.

mumma you are gone but not forgotten
you’re still with all of us somehow.

I am blessed to be an exact image of you.
it makes me happy when people say I look like you.

so when I get lonely and I feel out of place.
I’ll stare at the mirror at any time and place.
I don’t see me,
I see you.

and in the morning skies,
and in the moon light that illuminates the sky,
I see you,

I miss you so much today
as I do every single day

I’m missing your beautiful face
but I know you’re in a better place

I’m trying my best to have hope

and I know you want me to cope

but at times there’s just too much pain 
I can’t help but go insane


at times I do things you wouldn’t condone

but I hope you understand I just feel so alone

I loved you more than you ever knew

and I never doubted for a second that you loved me too

I miss every single thing about you

without you I’m unsure of what to do

I don’t know anymore, what to say

A part of me left with with you that day

but every single night 
I’ve heard you whisper “I love you" as I fell asleep.

I know that you’re watching me
guiding me still and helping me to see

you still love me and you’re always here
I know you want me to be better,
and I know you’re reading this letter

and on nights, I go and stand under the open sky,
the cool breeze encompasses me,
its your fingers running through my hair.

The skies are brighter,
and the heaven pours tonight,
Happy Birthday Mumma,
you’re the brightest star in the sky every night.

Happy Birthday Mumma

veins

I

the veins on my hand look like
road maps
and still I’ve been trying to follow my heart home.

II

the road map of veins ends at my forearm
where I’ve etched your name countless times with shards of stained glass

home isn’t where the heart is

drowned in lilac

I

I was trying to keep you close
close so you wouldn’t slip away
i was trying to cheer you up.
your smile so bright; illuminate the world

II

you repaid me in the coldest way
i came home and you weren’t there
you left no trace

III

you left nothing but your scent
and that’s all that remained
it was present in the room, like a presence of its own

IV

too many words were left unsaid
you made the choice without a care
even when I felt lost I wanted to feel numb

V

ever since that day
all my kisses like the word ‘sorry’ wrapped in silk and drowned in lilac, with ‘am I not lovable?’ sprinkled on top

rise

i was
somewhere below the depths of the eye of the hurricanes made
only of butterflies that answer only to your name

there are carpets of moss
between your toes
and dandelions commit suicide to every one of your wishes

Autumn and winter meet at the snow-capped peaks
of your shoulders at the mountainous
valleys of your collarbones

"we all want to get lost"
i am forever lost in your eyes

if we’re all myths, and nothing really exists
then why are
our hearts strung in the patterns that
you make out of the stars in the sky?

let me walk to you on the fire i stole from
mount Olympus, and let me unravel the phoenix flames
from Pandora’s box

i was at my lowest, when you found me.
your indecisive averted looks
took my heart away.
brown eyes, you held me close
and hold me so tight, so tenderly
that my heart still has your finger impressions on it.

you’re my rise, you’re my high.
you’re the Urooj, to my miserable life.

dead and buried

I

with held breaths we passed through the graveyard of all the summers spent together

II

we both walked in perfect silence past all those bleeding lips, scratched backs and claw marks we’d buried those hot summer nights

III

every night on our anniversary, the dead and buried come to life.

they knock on your window while you’re kissing lips that aren’t mine

because she can’t love herself

one.

    When she cries herself to sleep
    six out of seven nights a week you must
    say nothing. You must simply take
    her in your arms and kiss her gaunt,
    pale cheeks and wait for her to
    slumber at the sound of your heart.

two.

    On the days where she wishes she
    were part of the stars, tell her
    no. Tell her that there are too many
    lights in the sky and that just one
    would be forgotten the moment you looked
    away from it. Tell her that she is perfect
    the way she is: completely human.

three.

     Don’t let her think about the scars
     that no one but her can see. If she 
     says “I think I’m broken” smile like you
     know a secret and say, “No, you’re mending.”
     But do not be the one to fix her - no, she
     must be the one to do it herself, and you
     merely are there to quietly encourage her.

four.

     Read her poetry (even if you are
     not a poet), the kind that uses
     flowery words and compares girls to
     the moon; the kind that you will
     rewrite for her. Make her a warrior.
     Make her a goddess with eyes like a
     wolf’s and a smile like a tiger’s.

five.

     Laugh with her the first thing in
     the morning and the last thing before
     you fall asleep. Tell her cheap puns
     that you’ve been thinking of for weeks.
     And when she smiles - the type of smile
     that could bring you to your knees if
     you aren’t careful - know that for the
     moment, she’s yours. She is whole. 

six.

    Love her. Love her like a fish loves
    the sea or a bird loves the sky. Love 
    her in the way that your heart feels like
    it’s going to burst at any moment every
    time it beats. Love her skin and the way
    it feels against your own, soft and warm
    and utterly flawless. Love her for the way
    her voice trembles when she can’t keep it
    together anymore and love her when she
    holds onto you as if you were the only
    thing that was keeping her alive.

seven.

     Love her, because some days she just can’t do it herself.
    

titans

There were titans once;
before the moon laid claim to the stars,
they walked the lands in great lumbering herds,
tearing chunks from the Sun

There were titans once;
before the seas stretched out passed the horizons spine,
they danced long in the dust of yet-to-be diamonds.

These diamonds you wear,
that gleam like the Sun, are titanous,
but ominously dull to the glistening in your eyes
when you smile.

scars

Scars whispering to one another while you sleep.

Scars itching as wicked things wander about.

Scars quivering as the candlelight flips and flickers liquid sparks.

Scars changing positions as the moon crawls above the pitch black plains above.

Scars mapping constellations as you wander through the dark.

Scars keeping me up, DEAFENINGLY SCREAMING YOUR NAME.

dreamstate

candles shiver, too bright to brave
fading into night and their delicate
pin tip wicks flicker-flash, 
dancing in the ocean-tide winds
betraying the presence of 
your ghostly breath
you sneak in like a whisper
(you didn’t use to be so quiet)
but now you tip-toe, weaving fog across 
mirror edges in my mind and 
you are just a moment
past midnight; three (strike.. strike.. strike..)
it is too late to resurrect you 
the love-linger of your warm skin
atop mine or revive our
skewed dependent cycle of your
breath in my crushed rose lungs or relive
memories more faded than 
sun-drenched photographs
darling, it is too late, let me sleep;
I’ll dream of you anyways

Insomnia

I am the sun
and you
are the moon:
my tidal-wave
tears
are controlled
by you

So when it’s 2am
in the middle of the night,
I know why
I can’t
sleep tight.

hands on fire

let it not be confused
let no one else’s name 
ring throughout these sentences 
let this be a hatchet 
let me put this to rest
this is not a test
I don’t want to think 
about shipwrecks anymore 
I am tired of folding apologies 
into origami birds 
and placing them 
at the headstones to your tantrums
this is not is not geology class
these are promises 
written on razorblades
so feel it out on your throat 
for the last time
   & if you are getting choked up 
    then maybe you should be

maybe we should be buried 
with our telescopes face down 
my mouth is full of sorry 
for just being honest
we are falling out of orbit
we are burning bystanders
so cast away your callous condolences
because no one is clapping 
in this waist deep water
this is not a cleansing
do not tell strangers 
that this was a chance to drown 
any differently
I am not a catalogue 
of constellations you cannot name
this is not mythology
so stop believing your horoscope
I am not a wishing well
I am just a wall for you
to paint post nuclear fallout & antonyms for catharsis on
we destroy the things 
that are not ours-
the wanton ways 
we embody wrecking balls 
and then cry over the rubble
this is not a heap or a mosaic
this is leaping 
off a thousand story building 
with no one to catch you 
at the bottom & maybe 
that’s why some quiet moments 
are so fragile, maybe that’s why butterflies have mimicry
your words are black powder 
and poetry is your musketry
I guess that makes me your blindfold

I am lost in this emptyness,
come and save me.

the duality of choice in life

Life is not a choice.
We don’t choose whom we are born from,
Or when we must leave.

No one requests birth.
If you saw the world before
You came, would you come?

Its end is not yours.
If your mom didn’t want you,
The end is your start.

If life gets cut off,
It’s called an accident so
no one can claim why.

And when your life ends,
You don’t decide the moment,
Because it’s old age.

So life’s not a choice.
No, the only choice you have
Is how you live it.

XII

one day the earth will dim;
the light in the sun will flicker and die,
and the moon will sigh and roll over,
keeping her back to the world

our shadows will say farewell
to our bodies, and go their own
way in the darkness

In Every Season

i.

This month, branches are outstretching
timidly, naked, shy of leaves. Autumn
is burning, the rich golds and twigs
snapping underfoot: a funeral pyre for every
late dawn and crisp, woodland scent that ever
trickled like honey down the throat.


ii. 

when the ice awakens, colours have already
gone to sleep, tired from their all-year curtain call
of full bloom. powder falls, the stars are 
shedding their skins, congealing in gentle dustings
on your eyelashes. you blink, and the dream is gone.


iii.

if winter is a sigh, spring is a gasp for breath:
rhythmic, unsure, but fully alive, as buds tremble
an ostinato in the breeze. tulips tenderly sing
lullabies to tiny green leaves, peeking with awe
out at a brave new world, straining to listen to
what will become a floral symphony, half dreams
and half oak and acorns. 

iv. 

when summer pulls on a garish shawl strung of
rose petals and water lily scents, the world
laughs, ricochets of mirth up to the atmosphere,
hot breath forming in clouds trailing peacefully
across the oceanic sky. 

v.

i am dreaming hazily of goldenrod fields 
brushing sleepily against the peach blossom of
my ankles. you are leaning against dewy window
panes, watching green burn to red
then combust into dust, swirling around
your knees.

vi.


in every season
i am there.

On Writing

Write for today
And like it’s all 
That’ll be left of you
Tomorrow. 

Never write for popularity.
Write with clarity, but
‘Don’t make everything said’.

Write a million things;
An ode to the voice
Inside your head,
An elegy for the living,
A carpe diem for the dead.

Write to tell
People going 
Through hell,
To just keep
Going;
They’ll find a way out.

Don’t write for approval,
Or judgement;
That way misery lies.
Poetry can’t be judged,
Not properly –
It’s subjective,
Different to 
Different eyes.

Write for yourself;
Doesn’t matter if it’s 
Good enough for 
Anyone else.

You’ll never be Shakespeare.
But he’d never 
Have been you;
Pour your heart into it,
That’s the best 
That you can do.

WRITING DOWN LOVE by RAHIB