Fallen 

Some men do not carry your heart safely in their chest. They keep it in their pocket, shuffling their daily things around it. Sometimes they leave it lying somewhere. Other times, they forget and jam a pack and a lighter on top of it, and remember many cigarettes later. And you don’t care. Because no matter how bruised it gets, you’re happy knowing that they’re still there to carry it at all.
At least it hasn’t fallen out of their hands. Yet. 

Love 

You watch him

You watch him laugh 

He’s holding her hand

They walk 

As if he’s stepping on air

In her wake

You might as well not

Be there

You stare

At that hand

You used to hold 

At that man

Who was yours 

Who walked out of your heart like

He never even was 

She laughs and

He gazes with the wonder

Of a thousand glittering stars 

In his eyes 

He finally sees 

Even though he doesn’t understand yet

For you

That’s what he used

To be

He bobs his head eagerly

Holds the door open

She sails past

She’s amused, he’s oblivious 

to the fact that

She’s not gazing back tenderly

Even from the sidewalk, you recognize 

That bemused expression

That detached air 

You remember your nerves fluttering around him 

And that’s the smile

He used to wear 

You watch the pantomime unfold

Not sure yet if

You’ve seen enough 

If you’re ready to go

You’ve crossed the signpost he’s

Walking towards

She will break his heart, too 

And he too will know 

Love 

©CM

10.03.2017

Letters To No One

Dear Spence,

I’ve been meaning to talk to you for a while. Only it’s been twelve years and I don’t know where you are, anymore. The last time I looked for you, I saw that you’d done a live performance at a bar near your house that got a huge turn out and blitzed everywhere on Facebook. That made me so happy. That you were still pursuing your dream. Some dreams shouldn’t ever die.

 

Things have been strange for me. Recently my boyfriend got very drunk and said a lot of things, hurtful things, that have made me think, nonetheless. One of those things is that I’m an ’emotion hag’. I’m not sure if you know what one of those is. It’s like fag-hag, a gay man’s female best friend, only according to him, my area of expertise is people who want to talk about their emotions, not gay men.

 

And he meant it in an insulting way, because he was drunk and hurting and trying to be as hurtful to me as he could. It’s just one of the things he said, and one of the things that stayed with me, but I’m not sure it’s a bad thing at all. I tried explaining to him when he was sober that he’s right, it is a pattern of my behavior. I do ‘listen’ too much, and let people vent to me, but that’s because that’s all I can do for them. These are people who are hurting, and the least I can do is to listen to them. I don’t have the finances to help them and I don’t have any way of changing their situation- Hell, I can’t even change my own. All I can do is listen, give them someone to bounce thoughts off, so I do that. It makes him uncomfortable because he doesn’t like my ‘range of emotion’, or at least, the amount of emotion I fluctuate through on a daily basis. It’s not that he doesn’t feel the same. He does, he just doesn’t believe in acknowledging it.

He likes to think he’s above such base human tendencies such as feeling. Only he refuses to see, and I’d never point it out, but every time he gets that drunk, he does just the same thing we all do. We feel. We let ourselves feel.
I thought of you that day. It was not the first time I’d seen an angry drunk, but the frustration, the desperation to lash out at someone, to see them hurt the same way he was hurting… It made me think of you. You got just as furious every Friday, when you could drink without having to worry about work the next day. The odd beers in the week days would just leave you dour, and sometimes surly, but never full blown bitter. That was reserved for weekends, when you could drink yourself blind and blame me for being sixteen when you were forty already. For being young when you weren’t anymore, for having a future when you hated your job, for being smart, and for not moving to UK to be with you, or for having guy friends were closer to my age.

I think a lot of that went over my head at the time. I was just a girl, even though I won’t deny I was perceptive even for my age. But that only helped me handle your bad moods. It didn’t help me understand them, or understand that that the relationship was fundamentally wrong. I was not your muse. That sounds a little silly, said out loud. I was not your partner or your lover. I was a damaged young girl who was unbelievably grateful for even having anyone around me who said they loved me, or gave me any respect. Because what you gave me was not respect by anyone else’s standards, but compared to what I got from the ‘real’ people in my life, it was still one of the best things to be happening to me.

 

I got scared, though. Over time, I couldn’t keep blaming the beer believably enough, and I couldn’t justify your resentment of my not being there with you. And somewhere during that period I started growing a spine in secret. Still battered emotionally and physically, but a spine nonetheless. And I’m sorry. The entire situation had veered off from being a place of comfort to a place where more hurt stemmed from. I was an adult at sixteen, like I was an adult at twelve, but even adults are slow to learn their lessons sometimes. And I was afraid of you, you gave me reason to be. I should have been more afraid of you, in retrospect. But I knew then as I know now, you were never a bad man. You are a good man. You were just troubled. And a sixteen year old girl an ocean away was not the answer to anything. Except more pain. And I regret causing you that pain.

I heard the recordings of your live performance. You still brush the hair off your forehead exactly the same way. And you still smoke incessantly. Although I can’t look at you scoldingly for that anymore, given that I’ve started smoking too ( I know, right? Who would’ve thought?) And you smile more fully. And no matter what happened between us, it is so heartwarmingly, gloriously wonderful to see you smile that way.

 

One day, I will too.

 

 

 

Your friend,
Cookie

To A Kind Man

 

A man walks past a child, and
Smiles down at it
That is softness
Another stops his day to console a friend
That is benevolence
But there is a man, who sit miles away
From the object of his attention
And ceaselessly radiates hope
Warmth
He gives freely his affection
And words falter when faced with
Such kindnesses
To him who spends so lavishly his love
In such excesses
I don’t know what to say
I cannot thank him enough in any way
Because I am that corner
Where the sun doesn’t reach
But love does, and I receive
It in such intensity
That eclipses are dwarfed
By the immensity
Of that kindness
And I turn to that radiance
When mountains loom, when
the monsters of the mind hold sway

And I will confess
I aspire to be you, to
Someone who needs to borrow light
Some day

 

 

To A Kind Man

 

©CM
02.12.2016

 

 

Kind men. The world doesn’t have enough of them. Blessedly, I do. People who stop by with love, with comfort, who have no self serving reason to do what they do, but they do it anyway. Ashish, Don, Hershel, Furqan, Samee, Sharath– Thank you for helping me, and thank you for supporting me. I am grateful to you and for you.