When Not-Love Comes Knocking.

Love knocked on my door again last night, but I closed my eyes and put my hands over my ears. I hid under the bed, in the space between reality and dream, and told myself that this wasn’t love, because love was supposed to walk straight in the front door. Love wouldn’t knock on windows and whisper from under doors but disappear once I tried to let it in, love wouldn’t haunt me like the ghost of everyone I let go because they weren’t love. Love would know all the words that always got stuck in the thorns between my ribs, and love would know why they never even got to my throat; love would know all about the skeletons I bury under the wilting blue flowers beneath my window, and why I dig them up every night to cry over them- love would know I’d sooner turn it into one of those skeletons than let it leave me again, and maybe love did know all that but chose to ignore it, so I ignored love as it called me beloved and tried to peer in through lightless windows, because it wasn’t, it wasn’t love. It couldn’t be.

So I let love or maybe love (read: definitely not love) knock softly on my door all through the night, and at dawn, when not-love left, I finally fell asleep to loveless nightmares less scary than the knocks on my door. You see, in my dreams, love didn’t exist, but then neither did maybe love or not love or a possibly, almost kind of love.


Image credits go to owner/s.


​A Poem For The Boy I’m Not Sure Exists.

I dream of you every night, 

And it’s always the same;

You sneak into my semi conscious brain

With the subtle footsteps 

Of foamy seawaves on a very windy day,

But, that’s okay,

I mean, writing you love letters before I even knew you existed?

I might not know what subtle is, 

But if you open the dictionary to the word that’s the opposite of it, 

You’re gonna find my picture.

See, you visited me one night,

So is it really my fault if I only sleep in hopes that you will maybe once again?

But I only catch glimpses of your shadow here and there,

I chase your footsteps across the ruins of my mind,

And I think I’m only going around forming crop circles in the blue flower fields.

But then, I wake up in the mornings to 4 PM sunbeams, golden and lovely, scattered all over my pillows and on my cheeks,

And really, I think you need to stop playing this hide and seek with me,

Just drop over into my reality the way I drop my pencils all over the place,

And believe me, love, I’ll draw you like it’s the only thing I’ve ever lived for,

Because that’s true, 

And I’ll make you my best masterpiece. 

Just the way you are.

I sleep with the nightlight on these days,

And my father looked at me like he didn’t know who I was anymore the next morning 

After he saw the faint light peek out under my door one night, 

But you change me into someone I never knew I wanted to be,

And I’m here waiting for you with my nightlight on,

In hopes that maybe if you sneak by into my dreams again, 

I’ll wake up with your laughter streaked across my eyelids, 

In hopes that maybe I’ll see it clearer, 

Remember it this time, 

Sew your crescent lips into the dark split seconds of each blink,

Hold it close every time the world goes black.


Image found on Tumblr.

A Poem In 24 Lines.

1. I used to pray for happiness, now all I wish for is peace.

But my mother never taught me how to pray for something when I can hardly speak, when my words jumble and clash and slice the inside of my throat as I try to get them out – my mother’s god is a god of words and the mute are all damned by default.

2. Heaven’s pearly gates burnt my eyes, so I knocked on the devil’s door instead – it seems to be though, that even he has chosen to abandon me.

3. I would’ve set fire to the doors of both heaven and hell, and laughed with you over the screams of gods and demons, indiscernible across the heat, if you’d have asked me to.

4. But my brand of love always comes too cheap and gets bland after a while, like gum you have chewed for too long, my love leaves an abrupt bitter aftertaste, so of course you left in search of better things.

5. After you left, I spent six months pouring out the mess you left me with into my words. The six months after, I put away my pens and paper in a locked box at the top of my wardrobe, out of reach and hidden like scissors and knives from a child with an affinity for sharp objects and blood, with an affinity for self-destruction.

6. Somewhere along the way, I got used to the holes in my lungs, I learnt to breathe with them.

7. At 17, I read that everything we ever lose comes back to us, one way or another.

8. Everything was fine until you decided to drop into my dreams. I started to wake up with screams of please don’t let me leave stuck in my throat again.

9. In my mother’s world, consciousness is life. When you sleep, you are semi conscious, you are between life and death. Your consciousness is divided into two, and what you see when you dream, is what the half of your consciousness that travels experiences.

10. My mother’s world is the one I grew up with. It is my default world, and when there are holes in the new world that I am trying to create for myself, they are filled by default.

11. I would like it if your consciousness stays to other realms, far, far away from mine. Because –

12. When she broke your heart again and you told her I had been right it did not magically unbreak my heart, stitch my broken skin back along every scar. It did not break and put together perfectly again the last three knuckles of my right hand.

13. Some cold days my hands still bruise again at the knuckles, as if my body remembers how I tore it apart after you left. As if it swears over and over again to never forgive me for it.

14. At 18, I realize that the only truth of my universe is Murphy’s Law – anything and everything that can go wrong does go wrong.

15. I have been cursed for centuries, my atoms cursed from every life they have lived. I am being punished for sins I have not committed, for lives I have not ruined.

16. My soul has collapsed into itself with a pitiful whisper, and my ribs have cracked from the weight that pushes down on me, twisting into my lungs until every breath splutters with blood like old car engines on cold mornings. Your consciousness must stay away from me, you must stay away from me because –

17. Seeing you dug up memories I had buried deep under 6 feet of concrete. But somehow I was the one who ended up buried under years worth of memories, heavier than concrete, heavier than anything could physically, possibly be. I am trying to dig out now, with only my hands for tools. How much more damage will you do before you leave me alone for good?

18. These cursed hands were made to create, I scream at the grey faceless walls that cage me in. They laugh at me instead and watch in silent amusement as I destroy my own hopes for salvation.

19. Everything I have ever started but never finished still stares at me through the incomplete painting still stuck to my bedroom wall with tape.

20. But I don’t know what completion feels like – what it is like to be whole. How can I make something whole when I am not?

21. And yet, if you’d have let me, I would’ve thought you my best project – you would’ve been what I was most proud of.

Complete or not, you could’ve been what I was most proud of.

22. My mother’s god is one worth praying to, but only when you’ve worked as hard as you can, as much as you can, for the fulfillment of your prayer – a god that grants you only the fruit of your labors.

23. Maybe that’s why my words fail me as I try to form a prayer, maybe that is why all my wordless pleas fall on ears that only turn away from me. Maybe, at the end of the day, I have never wanted anything enough to actually get it.

24. So tell me, where do you damn your life and everything in it to, when it’s all already going to hell?

Image taken from Tumblr.

Second Loves And What They Feel Like.

Falling in love for the first time is like being an adrenaline junkie and jumping off a cliff, full of naive courage and only thinking of the wind rushing through your hair. But your second love is harder because as you lay there on the sharp rocks, the adrenaline of the flight down wearing off and your body battered, bruised and bleeding, you’ll promise yourself to never go through anything that risky, that damaging ever again, because it’s just not worth it. 

The ecstasy is not worth the pain.

You’ll promise yourself to never let your fragile heart in someone else’s ruthless palms ever again after seeing it smash down onto the rocks and scatter into a million pieces, and as the water will start to rise, tides lapping up the shore, at first the cool water will feel good on your broken body until you’ll realize it’s pulling you out to sea now, and you’ll hold on to whatever rocks you can, cutting your hands and making rivulets of blood flow down your arms, to keep yourself from going into the water because you know you won’t be able to keep afloat, but the water is strong, and you are not, and now you’re in the water with no more energy. You’ll stop fighting, and go under water, but you will not drown. You’ll sink to the bottom of the sea, and sometimes swallow salty sea water that burns down your throat, but you’ll be alive, and you’ll be more alive than you’ll have ever been, sitting on the seabed with the fishes around you, and you’ll realize that maybe you thought yourself stupid for thinking you’d be one of those who found their wings on the way down from the cliff and flew off into glorious sunsets, but you’ll know you were stupid for fighting the water when you’ll find that you can breathe in the sea easier than you did in the purest of air. This is where you were meant to be, and you know now that anything can happen.

You believe again.

This is what your second love is like.

Image taken from here.

Letters To The Dead.

Oh darling, I’ve heard them say life is about building bridges for someone without knowing if you’ll cross it with them, and every time I come across those words my heart almost stops to beat, and not in a good way either. If there’s one thing I’ve never wanted to be, it is selfish, but all these words do is tell me that this mourning, this grief that I have sunk into after laying you to rest is selfish, as if they expect me to be fine! What do they know about the fire in my heart, the hole in my gut? What do you know about the extent of my love, and now of my rage? I will not return, and neither will you; we were always filled with too much pride, too much ego to look beyond at anything else, but you never knew that, did you? You couldn’t see your own two feet because of that ego of yours, and it is what drove you to your ruin. No one knows anything at all about the sluggish blood that flows through my veins as if it were gasoline, burning the fire in my heart brighter and brighter every second, I cannot sleep, I cannot rest, all I can do is wait with bated breath for the beginning of your fall.

For you must know by now mon cher, everything that rises must face an equal fall. It is the law this universe swirls upon, and it will be the harbringer of your demise, my love.

Image credits: Shafaq Mujtaba

Cycle Of Life.

We’re humans, and we are sad creatures with an affinity for self destruction.

We fall in love; true, mad and deep love; destructive love; love that brings us together only to tear us apart, as if it were but a figment of our cruel imagination, as if it never really existed. It leaves us empty and broken, and we break ourselves even more in efforts to forget the euphoria, we look to other substances in desperate attempts to recreate the high but can you ever try to replay a dream?

So we smile in our sadness, and we laugh and laugh until we’ve forgotten the difference between real and fake; we perfect the art of deceit so well, standing in front of mascara stained and bearded reflections that you wouldn’t be able to tell from our eyes the chaos that resides inside, the shards that pierce through our guts.

And thus, we trudge on through life, breaking and falling apart more and more each day, until love puts us back together again, but only to rip us apart even more fiercely this time; this is the cycle of life.

Image credits: Shafaq Mujtaba

Summer Love.

It was an early summer evening, I still remember, or twilight as she’d call it, with the sun burning up in blues, purples, rich goldens, all those pretty colors all at once as if it couldn’t decide on a single color to be, and she was laughing. No giggles, mind you, it was full blown, all out laughter, the kind that starts deep in your belly and travels up with the same feeling you get when you see your favorite person in the whole wide world, the feeling you get when you hug them, the feeling I got whenever she was around.
And I was looking at her, and I remember smiling so hard my cheeks felt they’d split open like pomegranates hitting concrete, but I didn’t care because she was so beautiful, I could hardly think of anything else.

How incredibly cliché, you must be thinking, but that was what we were, an incredibly cliché, heartbreakingly tragic summer love, that’s all we were. I realized I loved her in the summer, and almost exactly an year later, I had to let go of her, forever, but all the time we spent together, it was summer.
Even in the winters, it was summer.
Autumn, spring, rains and thunderstorms, they were all a never ending stretch of summer with her, because she was my sun, my moon, my thunder clouds and every particle of starlight, she was all of the universe and I was just boring old, physics-loving me, but I loved her with every atom and all of my force field.
With her, nothing made sense, and yet everything did. The world stopped working according to laws and algorithms, and physics and logic ceased to exist, but it all carried on fueled by the sheer power of her voice as she talked about the funniest things in the world, things I’d never believed in before her gypsy soul.

Sometimes I think the end shouldn’t have come as such a surprise to me, doesn’t logic say that nothing lasts forever? But I hoped, prayed even, that we would, because oh God, she felt like waking up from a coma I’d been in all my life, like the first sight of a rainbow after a lifetime of blindness. Nothing prepared me for the end, and nothing ever will, I guess, because every time I think of her it’s the same all over again, that feeling of being skinned and gutted alive and set on fire while someone keeps pouring vinegar all over you.
Oh, and you’re locked in a tiny closet.
I don’t regret anything though, I’d go over a million times this pain if I had to, but lord, I’d cut off both my arms, sell my goddamned soul even, anything to see her once again, hug her maybe.

I know it’s not possible, but I think about it all the time these days, you know, about meeting her again, about what if I do come across her. On an abandoned beach, or maybe on the swings of an old park late at night where it’s just us two, and we’ll look down on the stars and the moon for once, and they’ll envy us, eat their hearts out wishing for a love like ours, but that only happens once in infinity, doesn’t it?
And I was the lucky one.

Image taken from here.


Some Nights.

Some nights you try to convince yourself that you never loved her, but that it was only the familiarity of her laughter in a room full of strangers which drew you in, that the twinkle in her eyes was only so endearing to you because it reminded you of the night sky, but then you get up to look out the window and all is dark, the moon has hidden behind a curtain of grey clouds and the stars seem to have dimmed and you laugh as you realize that even the universe doesn’t know what to do without her, how can you expect to be able to put yourself together ever again? And the moon peeks out guiltily from behind its veil at that moment, you start to miss her with a ferocity you never knew your tired bones held.

Image taken from here.
And Happy Valentines to ya’ll out there. 🙂


Human Forgetfulness.

We are humans, terribly forgetful creatures with a touch of sadism.
We rarely remember.
We mostly forget.
We remember bitterly, how vulnerable love made us feel.
We forget how it was vulnerability that fueled our passion, passion that could have caused us to burn cities and drown continents in our desperation, passion that destroyed us, ate away at our insides.
We remember how shattered love made us feel after it abandoned us.
We forget how it gave us the courage to do what we’d never done before, the strength to endure till our very last breath.
We remember tears, fights, wilted roses and heartbreak.
We forget coy smiles and unstoppable laughter, sleepless nights and the thrill of having inside secrets that only made sense to us.
What we forget, we cease to understand.
And what we cannot understand, we berate mercilessly, we ridicule ruthlessly.
So, we laugh. We laugh at the Romeos and Juliets of the world, the star crossed lovers, the tragic couples, we laugh at their passion.
We call them rash, we call them impulsive.
Stupid,sentimental, desperate.
But we’ve forgotten what it was to be one of them; young and rash, impulsive and desperate.
We’ve forgotten what it meant, to throw away all caution to the wind, to not give a rat’s piss about what the world thought of us.
We’ve forgotten what it meant to be in love.

Painting by a very talented young artist and great friend, Waleed Ahmad.


A Mid-Winter Day Dream.

Oh, oh, oh, where do I even start today?
The birds chirped, the sun shone bright, but only enough to bask us in a lovely warmth, it did not blaze and a gentle breeze that would caress your hair lovingly every now and then fluttered about; it was difficult for me to imagine why people thought winters were gloomy if this was how a winter day felt.
It was one of those ‘high’ days, where it feels like the lows never exist, oh, it was a beautiful day.
The butterflies were everywhere, they fluttered around my heart, weaved in and out of my ribs, they made home in my abdomen and some even made their way to my throat in the form of a few I love you’s, those I forced back down in a moment that I spent thinking too long, and I’m sorry for that, I’ll let them out another day, I promise.
But I haven’t stopped smiling since even though I have two exams to study for, and I doubt I will, because oh, your smile and your laugh and your eyes, you.
I might be low again tomorrow, but I’m glad I’ll have today to remember, and I’ll keep it close to my heart for a rainy day.

Image taken from here.