You weave around me with the grace of a swordsman,
only your weapon of choice is your words.
What a lethal dance we engage in,
striking with focused precision,
sliding that unbearable hurt between my ribs with a lovers skill.
How beautifully I fall apart before you,
as you watch in silence with glittering,
Like a melody that I once knew,
you sink into the buried spaces of
my mind and stain all the dull grays
a vibrant carmine.
Echoes of conversations long since past drift on a million horizons,
illusions of a mirage,
tattooing my retinas with a constellation of loss.
I weave your words from threads of
and run them across my body.
But they lose their way in the
you refused to venture near,
with the same spectacular way
I used to lose myself
at the mere thought of you.
Men and women are so different. The contrast fascinates me all the time, until sometimes, it doesn’t. Like when men and women cannot read each other’s signs or body language they are giving off.
There is this little grocery store down the street from my neighborhood that I frequent because it is so convenient. Well, one of the workers there recently took a shine to me. He works behind the seafood counter and maybe he interpreted my questioning him what type of salmon was the best to buy as an interest in him, I’m not sure. Well, the next time I ran into him in the store, he asked me for a hug. Being a little taken aback and not wanting to be rude, I said sure. So we hugged. Well, that quickly escalated into him exhibiting stalkerish behavior. Every time I go into that store, even when I’m nowhere near the seafood section, he will pop up right beside me and start chatting. And now he goes in for a hug without asking me. It’s making me hesitate as to whether or not I even want to go there anymore, and I hate that because it is so convenient for me! I know the best thing for me to do is to tell him straight out that he needs to tone it down because my silent hints of avoiding that side of the store are not carrying over, but honestly, that is so much easier said than done. Ugh what to do what to do 😕
On the flip side, I tend to read way too much into something when I like a guy, especially if I’m not certain if he likes me back, and I’ve certainly lost my sh*t before in former relationships where I misread or overthought a situation. You would think that with all this information at our fingertips in this day and age, we would certainly learn how to communicate more effectively, but nope. We revert to our lizard brain when certain chemicals are triggered in the brain.
It happened late that Thursday night after all the guests had gone home. Technically, it was already Friday because it was sometime after midnight when the visitor came. That year, I had volunteered to host Thanksgiving dinner at my parents house and I had gone to great lengths to ensure that the evening would go off flawlessly—arranging the table centerpiece with care, decorating the house with Fall and Winter hues to inspire coziness and conversation, and putting just the right amount of red paprika on the deviled eggs. The guests had started arriving, filling the house with laughter and conversation and a steady stream of food being brought in to the kitchen. There was a sense of contented relaxation in the air, with soft music playing in the background and twinkling lights hung up in preparation for Christmas to further add to the ambience. Even I was able to sense the joy in the evening through my haze of hopelessness. The evening progressed and we said our prayers, thanking God for everything He had given us that year, and then we proceeded to have a fabulous Thanksgiving dinner. After the tea and dessert were consumed and the guests were warm and sleepy, the families started packing up and heading home. It was approximately after 10:00pm when the last guest had left and I didn’t want to go to sleep without first bringing the house to order and cleaning up after the entire affair. By the time I had washed the last dish and was ready to retire to my room, it was well after midnight. My parents had long since gone to bed so I quietly let myself out of their house and stepped out into the pitch-black and deathly silent night of the countryside. Situated on 5 acres in a farming town, they lived well out on the outskirts of the town amidst their neighbors who also owned large swaths of land. I picked my way through the yard to where a small guest dwelling sat on the very edge of their property, bypassing dark shapes in the form of bushes and skeletal trees that I kept reminding myself were not reaching for me in the dark. Making it safely to the small dwelling place, I quickly stepped inside and locked the door. Turning on the electric fireplace mounted on the wall in the room, I started preparing for bed. Feeling chilled and somewhat jittery, I sensed that something about the night felt off, but I couldn’t quite put a finger on it. My skin felt too tight on my frame, like it was trying to shrink itself to become less visible. Chafing my arms with my hands, I forced myself to start thinking about how positive the night had gone and thanking God for helping to pull it off. Not feeling comforted, I started thinking about all the things I was grateful for while still resuming to put away the dress clothes I had been wearing that evening. Then, an ominous cold descended on the room. I felt myself starting to hyperventilate and cast about frantically in my mind about what to do. I knew that running outside into the freezing, deserted night was not an option, and yet I was alone in the room and possibly the only one awake at that hour. The ominous feeling turned malicious, and I started fearing that I was going to be hurt in some way. I darted to my phone and with shaking hands turned on some music. Rising up and spinning around to the closet, I was standing there attempting to calm myself when I heard something angrily hit the heavy drapes hanging on the window. Jumping clear out of my skin, I turned with eyes wide as saucers to see the drapes go flying from the force. Time froze. I was a solid block of ice for what seemed an eternity and yet only lasted for about 3 seconds. In my frozen and shocked state, I also happened to register that after that angry outburst from the invisible presence, the ominous feeling of danger had lifted and was no longer present. Still shocked and not quite believing what I had just seen and heard, I tiptoed to the drapes and forced myself to peer behind them to see if there was anyone there. There was no one.
“Please don’t ask me how I’m doing,
I’m feeling fragile
That’s okay, I will mind my own garden
But please remember that I’m
just on the other side
of this broken
And when you’re ready, I will
be there to admire the
flowers growing in
Inheritance My cupped hands carry ancient lines of dark rooms dense with hookah, chai, and mad men who bang on the daff and chant ‘Oraat mard kor dosak mei lakae jai gee’. * My cupped hands are fed, wed to speculative phrases, bound in his interpretations, fluent with accusations. I am made of his rib yet I deserve his spit. Ancient lines of moonlit […]
via Inheritance — Qudsia Akhtar
Such a hauntingly beautiful poem, words cannot do it justice. Thank you for gifting us with it Qudsia.
I unzipped my skin and tore away
entire parts of me in my desperate attempt
to please you. Staring dispassionately,
your only remark was to note
what a mess I created.