you

you
a tall container of emotional idiosyncrasies that no one would ever see unless they
talk to you
necessary to invite you to spew out your mental insecurities and reveal deepest secrets
excreting what exactly makes you
you
making sense of all that you choose to do
and why you smile at sad things

from these lenses of affection they are a changing shade of colour every time you tell me something
new
that exposes a novel part of your soul to me
making the solid colours swirl like the palettes of the galaxy
shining and twinkling in some parts
and pitch dark black in others

i feel like i have this
very prized telescope
being able to look into you
like this
that you have so hesitantly given me because you are afraid that
whoever knows your preferred method of taking tea
will also be able to hurt you

that whoever knows of your childhood fears and current guilts
will use this knowledge
to bring you harm

that whoever has such a peculiar interest in you
may be malicious indefinitely,
taking these precious details about you
to ridicule and reduce to stupid habits
most likely due to the fact that someone has harmed your heart
before

i have come to learn that those who i have loved
and who have hurt me
have never done so intentionally
and all had happened due to miscommunication
and a refusal to admit
and answer questions
that had difficult replies

talking honestly makes everything better
at least,
i believe
most of the time.

so while you hold yourself so rigid and afraid to open yourself up
horrified to see some spillage of some undesirable aspect
you should know that people are hardly ever judging you.
and if they are, that is more a reflection of themselves than you
since people are more prone to be ruthless to themselves rather than others
and that you deserve to be cherished and valued
than to be apprehensive of someone who wants to gift you nothing but
love and kindness
even if you cannot detect or refuse to admit it –

you
a lovely human who has so much to say
and so much to do
unable to access the courage to loosen up the grips of protective latches
or to be vulnerable and confident and strong on the surface
like how you say i am whenever i emerge.

i am these things because i draw strength from your quiet bravery
i am overtly terrified and shielded and overwhelmed
i am only able to admit this because i want you to listen and understand
that i understand
even if you don’t want to talk about it.

and that you are beautiful regardless.
and that you are loved by a lot of people.

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can you see me now?

I hold a picture from a distance of one metre
Of a smiling man
I ask you what you think of it-
You say
“It’s cute”
So
I hold the same picture from the distance of 50 centimetres
I ask you again
You say
“Nothing out of the ordinary.”

You look at me perplexed as I slowly glide towards you
violating your private bubble as
I hold it again from the distance of 30
centimetres.

You notice in the background
a swastika is branded
on the sleeve of the man
He is tattooed and bald and very pale
He is at a neo-naxi rally
And you can see
If you squint real carefully
You can make out a
“Make America Great Again” sticker.

I’m asking you to look a little closer
at every little thing
because you’ll never know what
you’re not seeing
unless you leave your comfort zone.

click clack

as she loudly talked on the phone
complaining to whatever friend who would listen
about her “miserable existence”
while swiping on her new iPhone 10
clutching her Gucci bag
flipping a freshly groomed haircut
hailing for a taxi
glaring at passerbyers
for their stunned stares
in reaction to this oblivious
and rather obnoxious woman
whose privilege
was more thunderous
than the sound of her voice
that had only faced hardship
in not always getting something
the way she wanted.