Why I Love History

10 Reasons why I love history-
10. It fascinates me how paper
can hold the weight of blood, ink
and weapons alike.
9. There is no way it will ever get old.
8. I do not know the half of it yet, and that what I know is vast.
7. The past is a beautiful place to live in sometimes,
no matter how hard they try to get me back from there.
6. It’s in my blood, and yours too.
There is no way we can escape what runs within us.
5. Have you ever tried to smell mistakes and glory?
They exchange their scents once in a while.
4. No two textbooks are similar.
We always won a war more or a war less.
3. It bridges time itself.
The past is like a predator with its claws around the shoulder of our future.
The present can be dated back too.
2. Somewhere, sometime, blood
was spilled, maybe when
a king was beheaded or a dictator was glorified.
You see, blood never stops spilling out of fault lines.
History is just a reminder of that.
1. However tailored our history may be today,
our past will not change as long as
the earth stands witness.

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Neutral

I wasn’t born with skin on my body-
I was raw, flesh singing and muscles dancing,
with crystals for eyes and flowers for hands,
I grew, I bloomed, I blossomed and
my flesh learnt how to make peace
with the air singeing it from all sides,
but I then I was asked to choose
a skin to wear, and I couldn’t make sense
of this, because how was I supposed to
wrap myself up in assorted lies
when I spent all my life being nothing
but naked truth,
how could I suddenly cover
the sinews that only ever tasted fire?
I do not know what skin to choose
and I do not know which one fits,
but I know that I do not I need one
to define my identity,
I know, that baring my skin
to the earth is the only way it can
identify with itself,
and my flesh will need no labels,
no masquerade and no coat
when I do so.

Beauty

They say beauty heals, in a world
covered by grotesque patterns of
blood flowing out of veins too tired
to not melt into the oceans that
surround them, like acid inching
toward lives waiting to perish;
but what happens when the blood
itself is deemed beautiful?

They say beauty shapes you, in a world
full of chains waiting to wrap themselves
around you and stick to your skin
till you are more rust than human,
but what happens when beauty
is forced to live in the fetters themselves?

They say beauty will never fall, in a world
where mortals only succumb to
the perversity of staying stoic for too long,
but what good does beauty stand for
in a world where we only know how
to stab it in the knees?

Ghost

There’s a ghost living inside me,
and it is all smoke and dust
and sickeningly sweet incense-
it moves in and out of my bones,
eating parts of me in some places
and spitting them out in my gut-
it does not know that rumination
is not something my system
is immune to; the holes in my bones
look like immobile vortexes that
cannot take anything in despite
the empty space, and this ghost
refuses to leave, no matter how
much I beg- the most it does is
hold it’s wispy hand out of my mouth
and take it back in, clawing at my throat
so I cannot call for help, and
I have tried, I have tried calling for help,
but every time I do, my throat burns
and all that escapes my mouth,
is a black, cackling flame that
this ghost offers in mockery;
It has morphed me into a grave set on fire.

Assumptions

I never knew what war looked like;
I often imagine that it will feel like
closing my eyes- for a moment,
I can see everything and in the next,
I’m struggling to make sense of the dark.
I think war feels like kisses planted
on backs unwilling to receive any,
and like morsels of the leftovers from supper last night
shoved down throats already trying
to fight the bile rising in them.
Maybe war looks like burnt skin and
scorched organs scattered in fields
no one dares to tread upon, where
our forefathers sowed seeds of feuds
that we proudly carry on into
the dark, dark night that doesn’t know
what is to happen next.
Perhaps war is just an excuse for
a love gone wrong,
or an affair foiled by circumstance.
War, I assume, looks like memories of a love
that has forgotten how to beg
in the right ways.

A letter to my future daughter

Hold dandelion clusters in your hands
and make all the wishes you want, dream, dream
till you run out of stars to string fantasies into.

Grab the wind in your palms
and don’t let it go, breathe, breathe
till your lungs fall in love with life.

Look at the world with the eyes of an infant,
no matter how old you are, learn, learn
all you can from anything that has magic to offer.

Express who you are in any way
you wish to and don’t shy away, teach, teach
the world your methods to collect oceans in jars.

Love your lover with all your heart and
don’t be afraid of tragedies, walk, walk
into love with welcoming arms.

Handle yourself with prudence and know that
you are beautiful by all means, love, love
yourself more than your mother cares for you.

Dictionary

Force the words stuck between
the strings of your heart out of your
chest onto the skin of your thighs,
wrench them out of your throat
and spread a layer of them on your
forearms, invent new ones with
absurd definitions and coat your
belly with pages from your own
dictionary, while the sweat on your
back gets washed away by syllables
you couldn’t pronounce and your
fingers will bleed with languages
you never heard, your body slowly
morphing into a book about
everything and nothing in particular,
with meanings and synonyms
of the words you were forbidden to know.

To the dress I saw in the mall.

(A friend of mine asked me to write something about a dress she saw.)

You looked like fire burning on
the sides of the plastic hanger
you hung from; I wanted to know
how the sides of my torso would look
through your slits; I wanted to see
what my chest could contain when
you got stuck to my skin; I wanted to feel
the air hit my back and run away
when you couldn’t cover my spine; I wanted to touch
your fabric and then my thighs to learn
the difference between my skin and fire,
but most of all,
I wanted to look at you hugging my body
to see what sins and saffron look like together.

Terror

‚ÄčOur world is falling apart, borders

of countries are turning into jagged

edges of torn sheets of paper that 

were full of histories written in ink

and blood, festivals are turning into

feasts for Death, fireworks are 

turning into omens of terror, their

noise doesn’t mean celebration anymore,

it is a siren that warns us against

guns and knives, the colourful

sparks have stopped dispersing in

glee, they now leave quietly after an ephemeral

display of false brightness, 

our safety has turned into mockery

by those who have the audacity 

to come forth and paint our world

with the darker shades of terror;

our world is falling apart and terror

for terror is not the answer, only

our solidarity can help us now.

Monument

I was assigned to study a monument
for my history class, and it didn’t take me long
to start working on it; so I went to the site,
and smiled when I saw the lovers of today
immortalising their love on walls
that enshrined a historical romance since centuries,
and while taking notes, I breathed
four centuries in- four hundred years.    

of standing strong, in glory that

deemed fit only for this structure made of baked bricks

and sublime cravings,
I ran my fingers over the smooth walls
that were warm during the afternoon,
and crevices that eavesdropped on
conversations between tour guides and tourists,
scoffing at the little and erroneous knowledge
they had of its story, and these crevices also revealed
certain age-old mummers of their choice
at irregular intervals, and captured light that got lost
in them, and they smiled at me in mockery
when I made vague assumptions about
the lattice work on the windows,
so I smiled at the crevices and let them laugh,
for I know that however little I knew,
I always found a home within ancient walls.