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hey if the stars were aligned

in ascending order of righteousness,

and if my birth chart wasn’t a nightmare,

do you think we could hold hands

and gaze up at them?

maybe kiss a little?

and hey

if i were squeezed out through the vagina again

and plonked into the hands of fortune,

do you think maybe we could plan things together?

maybe even dream of it?

Rumi said that there is a meadow

where a meeting is destined,

i wonder if that place is meant for us.

oh but wait,

excuse me sir,

in this meadow,

is the grass mowed evenly?

is there a clean place to sit?

will there be time for us at all?

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Fall through

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Perspective

is that soft suggestive breeze

that utters itself

through the mouth

of a friend

who means no harm

Mind the gap between his

two front teeth

as I lean in to kiss him

out of habit.

A force stronger than

the tickle of a breeze

“The kiss, it’s only in your head, “

whispers the wind,

“Memory is just as suggestive, no?”

No!

Memory trickles down into my skin,

embeds in my nerves,

gets to every tip and follicle

Mind the gap

between his presence and his memory

As you lean in to kiss him,

the fog engulfs and

you fall right through.

Black and mould.

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If I had to see you again

I wouldn’t, simply out of fear.

 

Would we still have it?

That soft fluid burning on a thread

between us

each end tied to the pit of our stomachs.

 

And what if it isn’t there anymore?

I would perish all over again, I would mourn,

I would turn to black and mould.

And then there would be the other questions.

 

Did it take a marriage to forget me or just an afternoon?

Did you have to exorcise my memory and feed them

to your demons?

And where do you keep the carcass?

 

Mine sleeps beside me, snuggled,

as you did,

almost every night.

Curve, color, repeat

 

Purple. That is what I think the color of ripples are. I don’t know what purple is the way people know what purple is, neither am I familiar with blue, as water is described.But if the ripple of water must have a color, it has to be purple.

I was born from the curse of denatured alcohol, completely blind. Mama has been put away for the knots in her mind. I was also put away for the very same knots many years ago. Since then, I have tried to stay afloat.

Water caresses the thickness of my skin. When I am submerged, the cold fluid embraces the tire rings of my belly, the miles of stretch marks starting from my ass to my well cushioned carpels and all of my chins. I have never seen what I look like, yet being in water is what it’s like to those who seek rewards in mirrors.

My reflection is a bright white. White reflects all colors is the word on the street. I curve into myself, fetal position and uncurl repeatedly, but very slowly. The curve of the curves on my bones will go on curving until I am infinite. There is no trajectory as light bounces off my vessels and veins, hairs and nails, all the colors, slowly and one by one. I am the disco ball in the salty ocean. And since I have no memory of a moon or a sun, I challenge them to match my brightness.

He and his loud friends called me an old walrus when we were all 12. So here I am, I came to the ocean. I met the tide and her waves, and now there is nothing else to hear.

The ocean rumbles and belches, just like I do.

Red.

The ocean gets nervous, starts to think in strong currents, the way I do when I’m alone, and when I’m not.

Orange.

The ocean shivers and shakes and dances to songs of the winds much like the way I can’t help but try to bend, blend, bend in.

Yellow.

The ocean has a bed that goes deeper and deeper and gets softer and softer to stand on. The recesses of my mind and the tunnels in my heart, they start like hot sand and end like cold silt. A little more refined, more knowing.

Green.

The ocean has a temperament that I feel I can match because nobody can see the way I see. They only see what they see.

Blue.

The ocean is fierce on the surface, but once my ears feel the pressure of water, the mighty sea and I sigh and sigh together. We celebrate joy and loss, the subtleties together.

Indigo.

The ocean is all that is there for the ocean. I am all I have too.

Violet.

Where is the purple? It’s somewhere between indigo and violet, somewhere far from sandy shores, miles under water, between my jiggly thighs, behind my hazy cornea, somewhere ensconced in safety. It is also loud and defiant, resonating from the hairs all over my body, making the water ripple. Small ripples first, then waves. Those ripples are purple. Only the blind can see that purple.

 

~fin~

 

Scorpio, Scorpius, Scorpion

  1. Scorpions, belonging to the class Arachnida, are a highly adaptable species. They’re fond of the desert but you can find them in rain forests too. They’re found everywhere but Antarctica, but who, other than the Penguins of Madagascar and their zebra friend, Marty, want to live there anyway?
  2. My Scorpius went off to New York City, he went to meet a potential mate, life partner, whatever. He was here, legs entangled with mine, but then he left.
  3. There are approximately two thousand species of Scorpions and thirty to forty types have a venomous sting. If you factor in the average Scorpion life span, that is 3-8 years then…
  4. The chances of my Scorpius meeting a lady Scorpio with a deathly sting is going to be rare. And so he did, maybe.
  5. Apparently, scientists are baffled as to why Scorpions glow under a certain wavelength of ultra-violet light.
  6. My Scorpius is a magical creature. He knows his science and his food and his making me laugh.
  7. When food is scarce, a Scorpion can slow down it’s metabolism to as low as a third of the typical rate, consequently allowing the being to be able to survive on just about one insect a year if it has to.
  8. My Scorpius can live with close to nothing. What does he need me for. I’m too much of everything, I guess.
  9. Scorpions have two to five pairs of eyes on the sides of their heads.
  10. Has he always been looking around?
  11. A male Scorpion and a his lady friend to be, size each other up. This is in order to evaluate if they are of the same species.
  12. My Scorpius matched birth charts and horoscopes and everything.
  13. Once Scorpions of the opposite sex meet, they engage in a promenade a deux, a dance in which they clasp claws and move around in order to find a suitable place for ejaculation.
  14. My Scorpius, he likes his Bollywood dance, and his lady Scorpio is trained in Bharat Natyam. She’s also a doctor, but what the hell does that matter, right?
  15. To pacify the female, the mating Scorpions may even kiss and share venom.
  16. My Scorpius is a good kisser, when he’s kissing me.
  17. If the dance takes too long, the lady Scorpion is known to get bored and walk away.
  18. Oh but he’s so sensual with his hands and hips. She is going to love him.
  19. Most Scorpion stings are painful but harmless, really.
  20. What about the pain?

Graze

I would mock those hips

Had you not strung me in,

flung me out.

 

My nails would love to scratch your neck

But your flesh is so close, too close

galaxies or centimeters apart.

 

I can’t stomp when you have me

twirling,

When you your arms are bending me

backward,

 

You can’t hear me cuss

in my head

when I exhale and sweat

and my desire

curtains the dread.

 

 

Aliya*

What weighs the wisdom of memory

What weighs the spear

What weighs the thud of step

When the tusked warrior draws near

What weighs the water

when the trunk droops deep

What weighs the wind when

the ears hear the fleet

How feels the sand

against the skin so dry then wet

How tears the small eyes

when kin decay

and the end

is met

*Tamil/Sinhala for Elephant

Burning winds

farahfilasteen:

Sebastia near Nablus, Palestine

“Careful, Samaya. You will burn the naan if you let it sit too long. Flip it now!”

Samaya flipped the flat dough in the furnace obediently and sighed. Her ammi knew all too well, how impatient her oldest child was. What the twelve year old wouldn’t give to run off and join the boys racing their bicycles in the next community. Samaya never cared that her parents would never afford a brand new bicycle. Her friends would share theirs because Samaya was almost faster than the speediest of the juvenile lot.

“You shouldn’t be playing with boys anymore, Samaya. This is not the age for that.”

“You will bleed soon, you are taking a big risk by racing with them. You will understand my words when your body begins to change.”

“You think they are your friends now, but wait and see how they look at you, how they speak to you when you have breasts, when your hips show.”

“Your father disapproves, Samaya. He will be angry if he finds out you’ve been over there again. Your father disapproves. So does your grandmother.”

Ammi didn’t really want to say all those things to her daughter, so vibrant, competitive, adventurous, living the dreams she dreamed as she slept soundlessly. She didn’t want to take away the innocence of play time, the drive to run off, keep running, running. Teaching her how to mix and knead the dough, roll it out and put it on the flame, this was tradition. Samaya understood that too. But there was always times for making naan, it was made every single day. It wasn’t every evening that the boys took their cycles out. Samaya was angry at her father, she knew it was he who choreographed this. He and her grumpy grandmother who stayed in bed all day, never lifting a finger. Ammi was an angel. She only chastised Samaya as she ran off, never before. So Samaya sacrificed an evening of cold biting winds knocking the cotton dupatta off her head and ruffling her curls as she sped down hill, weaved around potholes and made hair pin turns.

The neighborhood gossips twittered about Samaya, fashioning her out to be a whore in the making, craving the company and attention of young boys at such a fertile age. Samaya and her ammi jaan knew they were lies, words for the hens to chew on, instead of paan. Only the truth hurt Samaya, however. These four boys had already begun to look at her through different eyes. Not because Samaya was changing, but because they were. Their shoulders broadened, their hips looked narrow, their voices deepened, the hair on their faces thickened, their hands turned rough as their touched lingered.

Of course they weren’t malignant, none of them.Their bodies were only morphing, puzzling their spirits, setting the stage for new discovery. Samaya made this day about recalculation. She can decide to oppose the wishes of the snarky old woman and her son, continue seeking the rush of racing on two wheels in the face of the setting sun. Or she could realize that these days will end, and at the end she wanted to have her own bicycle. If she were to acquire one by herself, with her own earnings, no one could take her joys away from her. Not the warble of society, not the furrows of her family, not even the sense of belonging in the adjacent neighborhood. She would have a choice. She could do both. Race the chill winds in the afternoon and then snuggle beside the furnace, breathing in the smell of butter spreading on the warm naan.

She looked at ammi. Her old eyes, older hands punching the ball of dough, pulling, rolling, balling some more. Samaya turned to the pile of freshly cooked bread, broke off a piece, blew onto it and leaned over to her mother, interrupting the process.

“What-“

Ammi took the food into her mouth, felt Samaya’s long fingers cover her hand and heard a voice full of assertion.

“Don’t worry ammi. It will not burn.”