A confusion between Habit and Home defines me;
an illusion of routine and dream
I stride in-between,
a consolidation of comfort and the future, seen
through the kaleidoscope of my past familiarities.
I’m pretty sure they call these memories; Pandora’s box.
Innocence rolled on the grass with me-
We played in the mud and learnt
how to draw what words meant,
and what shadows smelt
like under the old pine tree.
What the shape of a white puffed cloud
whispered to the wind as it moved to meet
another under the melting sun.
I travelled too to meet you,
I suffered too to greet you,
I bled too as a girl and blamed you,
I shed tears and fled you,
Failure scared you,
so fear paired you
But I cared for you,
I cared for you,
Now guide me,
now trial me,
stand beside me.
Now fire at me.
I am a woman.
And where you live I have to go, Heart,
though you fleet from one state to another
though you caress one cheek then another.
When will you guide the unfaithful
When will you teach the ungrateful
how to pray?
I remain unlawful
and for you I stay
outside the boundaries of comfort.
I remain powerless
towards your beauty;
like a rose you blossom
and like Hope you wither.
I am a slave to your silence,
like Atlas indebted to my punishment
I shoulder Hope.
I am a solider to your poetry,
like Ulysses, sea-wrecked by my heart’s nostos,
I travel Home.
After years you know this:
that the course of reliable love runs
not through a slough of habit
but along a curving hillside
where even familiar landscape
offers daily surprises.
Those palms, those pine trees
outside the window, that stretch
of shoreline, this sleeping face,
so surprisingly familiar, still
catch you unawares in
a shock of recognition.
What you have done before
you do again: you say yes.
You wake, and turn, and are thankful
to rise even from the happiest dream
into what, solid, factual, still strange,
you keep choosing.
Practice makes more deliberate
the thing you’ve done a thousand times,
each time an act of consent:
you pour the coffee
you feed the cat
you turn off the bedside lamp,
loving the simple labors
of shared life, loving
the changing light, evening and morning
and the currents of dailiness that run
deep under the whitecaps
and the waves.
i have this silly little habit.
this habit of thinking.
overthinking, worrying, fearing.
but you make me happy.
you make me feel safe.
i trust you fully.
i love you completely.
& i don't want to overthink
or be fearful.
i just want this.
so i'll ignore the voice screaming in my head
saying it must be too good to be true
& listen to my heart whispering
"it's okay to be happy."
because the things it screams about
will only come true
if i let it.
I can't take this shit nuh more
I haven't been healthy since
Nine fucking teen
Plus two years and I found the way to love myself
First step hit the corner for the bottom shelf
Second, retire to my tomb of a bedroom
drinkin for two, staunching wounds
breathin in toxic air through filters
for my chemical fix
I can't stand that my lungs hurt, my heart burns
I exhale hard and
I see black tar pull away in smoke form
Knowing I'm black inside, too
What do I do but spark one more white tip
I could get used to the silence.
The birds chirping, the bees buzzing, the leaves rustling…
Trivial treasures compared to the screaming isolation.
Louder than anything you’ll hear, quieter than nothing,
Lasting eternally until broken, emphatically.
I could get used to my breath, didn’t notice it before today.
I must have been dead this whole time.
Without a voice, bereft of noise,
That which only feels but never reveals.
I could get used to that.
I could get used to this.
I wake up at odd hours
staring at the glowing stars,
wanting to hold you
just a little bit closer;
Sleepy and nude,
studying how we got here.
"Are you happy?"
we ask each other;
And how could I not be
when I have you to smother,
with all my affection,
and love and time;
And then with recollection
in these amateur rhymes.
The in-betweens have changed forms,
we’ve adapted to new norms.
From guilty visits & secret thrills,
to bhindi, roti & aamras refills.
Feeding off fiction
on Netflix in tandem,
Followed by theories,
and religious fandom.
while you clash with clans,
after making me promise
on some serious gym plans.
about the taste of matar
over cold chocolate milkshakes
and peanut butter.
Chewing your earlobe
and tugging at your toes;
Occasionally consoling you
out of old scars & woes.
That specific laugh
from tickling your collarbone -
it's so satisfying -
an intoxication of it’s own.
Smelling your armpits,
in that long drawn embrace.
Rolling my eyes
when you mock my mirror face.
That impossible hunt
for your perfect pair of jeans.
And now I know that
is filled with proteins.
Summer afternoon sex -
sweaty and sticky;
Teaching you how to give
a bruising hickey.
Recording cheap home porn
out of curiosity ,
And also fulfilling
that underwater fantasy-
which turned out to be tricky.
And then when you leave,
it fills me up with lustful greed,
as I try to make myself believe
that you’re a want & not a need.
But I’d rather you know
what I want and how I feel,
for you feel like home
and you’re where I'm at peace.