I Can’t See.

It’s strange, to look at yourself in a mirror, and not know what you look like.

I’d like to think that I understand. Of all days, of all times, now when I know better, when I’m better. But I wonder, if there’s some things you never know about yourself. Ever. If you spend your life burning through your time, trying to get where you’ll be ready, for understanding or realization. And it never happens- does it ever happen? Do we ever simply open our eyes one day, and just know?

Will I?

I go days without looking at myself closely in the mirror. These are the same days that I sit in front of my old fashioned dresser and comb my hair for minutes together. It’s hip length, and tangles easy, so I used a fine toothed comb. Always over the left shoulder, and then half that time over the right, to get that one fluffy spot I can’t reach otherwise. It shines when I comb it. I take care of it.

I use three different lotions, for my face, body, and hands. I moisturize every morning and night, and always put lotion on my skin while watching a movie on Sundays. I try not to think of Silence of the Lambs when I do that. I always end up doing exactly that. The same, repetitive, calming motions every night. I stand in front of the mirror and moisturize my face, before I leave my ponytail loose, strip in front of the mirror, and get into bed.

I have three mirrors in my room.

And I have no fucking idea, what I look like.

I want to know. I fucking want, to fucking know, what I fucking look like. I’ve spent the first half of my life convinced that I was ugly, because that’s what I was taught, so earnestly, so utterly without a lack of certainty that I was ugly, ugly, ugly, that I’d never be loved. My version of rebellion was shouting at myself inside my head that I wasn’t. I wasn’t ugly, even if I wasn’t beautiful, and I was good enough. I wasn’t, I wasn’t, I wasn’t ugly. I told myself enough times to make up for every time that I was told the other.

And then I outgrew both. Those sets of understandings, of different halves of my lives. Because people came into my life who convinced me that I was both. That I was one, because I was the other. I was beautiful, because I was ugly. I was a good girl, I’m a good girl, because I can’t afford not to be. _She’s not pretty but she’s so nice!_ _I fell for you because you were sweeter than the other girls I knew. I thought that’d be enough. I’m sorry, I thought it’d be._ _My friend thinks I can do better. So I told him how intelligent you are_. _I Love you. I just can’t be with you. It’s just how things are._

And I don’t fucking blame you, any of you. Who didn’t see me any more clearly than I ever did. I don’t blame you because I don’t care anymore. You didn’t. You cared about your conveniences and your images and not about what it’d leave me with, when you trampled through my self image with your big muddy feet and out the same way. I didn’t know where I was going before, but I’m still more lost now.

I have no reason to be, now more than ever. I’m the closest to my ideal size I’ve ever been, have a good job, and a life ahead of me, with the chance to finally close a chapter of horrors I’d given up on leaving behind. But I’ve been so engrossed with eyeing what I want to escape, and that that walked away from me, that I never stopped to realize I had no idea who I was walking with. The face in the mirror that I wash with water, cleanse with Neutrogena, and pat dry, not rub, is a stranger, a stranger I can’t objectively decide is beautiful or ugly or completely nondescript, nothing at all. You’re too familiar for me to judge you one way or the other. You’re too alien to me for me to accept you, one way or the other. Who even are you? And when people call you beautiful, or ugly, or simply let their glances slide off your face… which one of them is lying? Do you even know?

Can you even know?

Why did you spend so much time working on your scars? You spent so much time on your arms to make up for cutting them open, hugging the scars close to compensate for making them, and then learning to love them, and all the time, you forgot to pay attention to your eyes, or your nose, or your lips, or anything people look at you, when they look at you. If they look at you.

Who the fuck are you?

Who are you?

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All Of Us Pagans Cry

I am seeking, again

The restlessness shimmers

under my skin

I walk in the sun, reflective

Look at my hands- they darken

As the heat of realization

effectively

Beats every frivolity out of me

Burnt tongues and

singed fingertips

And the bare, bleached bones

Floating in the meandering Styx

-This is my day

Thus I answer my own question,

Why I seek refuge in the

Nothingnesses, the recesses of night

By dawn, I am unsettled again

The thought wanders stray,

into a vein

These tattooed bands of

radiance in the sunlight

sift

Reality drifts –

The heat hazes

My lips twitch

I shy from coherence

Consummation fades

A lone raindrop falls from the sky

Oh, all of us pagans cry

All of Us Pagans Cry

©️ Yusra

02.03.2018

And Then, I Flew

I’m behind on my words. I fell off the world for a few weeks.

I didn’t fall back on love.

Nothing to do with the paper-heart explosion every shop has turned into these days, but- I love y’all so. ❤️

Hugs and cookies, always

~ Y

Querulous 

If you were to sit in front of me, and talk about the weather, it would take the turn of seasons for us to find and understanding. If you were to find me when looking for a canvas to display your musing on, then.. that’s what you’d see. All men are somewhere between white paper and mirrors, to those who know the right questions, we are but answers. So scratch the table with your fingernail, stand on edge of that cliff, and ask. We are two steps away at any moment from cabbages and kings, from ravens and nevermores, and irreparably broken wrists. Take the step and unsettle me, look for all the wrong words with the right intentions, stain your fingertips in my glass and for god’s sake, ask. I am an answer for those waiting to be rendered querulous. 

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(I blame my coffee entirely, for how full of myself I am today. 😄) 
Have a lovely day, my beauties. ❤️
-yusra 

Rock and Sea

Rock, and stone, and hill. The first step I take, into the air- I know this air. The first step I take, onto the ground- and I know this ground. This salt, this earth, this dry, cracked dust, this is what I learnt to stand in. This parched sky is what i took my first breath to. This tract of land, shunned and forgotten, is what I walked out of, the last truly happy days my childlike mind would know. This is the ocean, that let me sail away. This is the shore, that brought me back. And every night, where I sailed the restless seas of the night in the ship my dreams builds, I’d come home to rest.

No, my country. I am coming back to you- but I was never away…

Electro-Cursive Therapy 





Electro-Cursive Therapy 

There used to be a beat, 

at the back of my head

A song that went somewhat awry 

And the words that used to dance 

At the whim of my demands 

Decided that they needed to fly 

So a-one a-vowel went up, 

A few inches ascent  

The other three slipped a verse or two 

And I told myself no, 

It’s internal, not infernal 

And well, poems don’t have to 

Always rhyme, you’re just learning

Your style’s still disconcerting

so what if the endings don’t match 

And fist meets pissed just fine 

No serious writer minds 

A sonnet that’s slipped off the tracks.

Well, now,

screw that. 

The problem with prose is 

It’s more ‘lose’ that rose, it’s 

Pretty, but just so wafer thin 

And I miss poetry 

The kind that sustained me 

Verses deep enough to drown in 

Of balls and ballads, I 

Cannot more defy, my

Visceral need to straighten, organize 

These six line limericks, these 

Odes epileptic 

Today, this rebellion dies! 

So please do forgive me 

if my renaissance is clumsy

My syllables are a little slow to revive 

 

But I’m treating this first 

This arrhythmia of my words 

Because- how else is a poet to stay alive? 

©yusra 

24.08.2017