Cilice

I wear my unhappinesses on my sleeve

Carefully rolled up and tucked away

Never farther than two fingers’ reach

I work, with my laughter elbow deep,

Cuffs stained with streaks of artifice

While I prevaricate- wherefrom do I secede?

As the painfully cultivated illusions recede-

I pluck my hems unconsciously

Too nervous to confess or deceive

So I hide it all, in plain sight

I wear my unhappiness on my sleeve

I save my lonelinesses for the night

Where I can, uninterrupted, keep sole company

Judge, witness, lawyer, mob, and jury

Pass my own sentences, give verdict

Justify and deny with equal practice

I weigh the twilight of dawn against dusk

Somewhere, in betwixt, sleep visits us

And all the hopes gentle pass into the void

-the cold warmth of pillow on pillow, on my side

Subterfuge borne of necessity

-but an expedient ploy

So I save my lonelinesses, for the night

And mornings come fraught

with anticipation, overwrought

with promises, potential, all these glorious things

hovering just out of reach,

but not out of thought

All these fallacies and fantasies

That I am capable of – but I’m not

I need my sorrow like monks their cilices

A reminder to self, even when not displayed

Even when rolled up and tucked neat away

I work with my laughter, loud and elbow deep

But never farther than two fingers’ reach

I wear my unhappinesses on my sleeve

.

.

.

Cilice

©️Yusra

06.09.2018

⚫️♥️⚫️

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A Confession and a Continuation: Day Eleven and Day One

The Eleventh of April, 2018.

There is no reason to start today. Therefore, I shall.

I wrote those two lines just after midnight last night, because I’d had enough of nothing. Then, almost as expected, came the ringing call with the last syllable of my name draaaaaaaaaaaaawn out, for the seventh time in twenty minutes, from the living room. My father, summoning me again, to hand him a black pen from the table four feet to his left.

The reason I stopped writing. The reason I stopped ‘stopped writing’.

Over the last year, the frequency of my posts has slowed down. The longer I am at home, the lesser time I am ‘alotted’ for myself. The nearly overwhelming feelings of uselessness, stagnation, and mental decay I struggle with, while being told how useless I am, what a failure I am, all of these words, have been taking large bites out of the words I wanted to write. The words I am kept being pushed back, and back, and further back, till they stopped trying to come out.

I stopped writing, because I couldn’t. I stopped trying to write, because I couldn’t. Even that little time of me for myself, was taken away. August became November became April. I don’t know what I have done these last few months. It was probably nothing. Because these last few months, I have felt nothing.

I have been a nothing. I think I am a nothing now. When not a complete nothing, at least a little nothing.

I turned twenty eight. I resolved my citizenship issue. I studied for exams I won’t be writing. I played surrogate housekeeper and peacemaker and resident doormat at home. I did what  I always did- take blame. Take responsibility for actions that weren’t mine. Handle the mood swings of the people supposedly my elders. I played nursemaid and resentful grateful. I played parts and roles and forgot my face when I slept at night.

This time last year, I was a doctor with no country to belong to, and no civil rights to speak of. I have to wonder, which the more nothing was. The one where I didn’t belong, and was? Or the one where I belong, but am not.

One nothing is not like the other.

One nothing was emptier.

I woke up yesterday afternoon. I was walking to the supermarket, and I stopped on the sidewalk, holding eggs and a liter of milk, and I woke up. I could feel cobwebs fluttering in my mind, regurgitating uninspired remnants of something I wish I’d written down, even if it was only some angry words of choice. Words, as it turns out, are important. I stopped speaking and that didn’t matter, but  I stopped writing, and I forgot how to breathe out. It was choking me. I woke up yesterday, and I exhaled. I sat down last night, and wrote the two lines at the top of this page. Then I was called away. Like I was called away in this moment, to call someone up, when the phone was next to him. The difference between today and every other day before this, at least in the last six months, was that I came back.

Because not writing had been hurting me so long that I’d stopped realising the source of this particular pain. Because I am my words, and maybe that’s the only existence I have, the only trace I’ll leave behind in a world where I am told that I AM NOTHING at least twice a day, where I’m so inconsequential, that I’ve taken to feeding crows for some company. I was staring at the calendar while writing checks for my father this morning, and it dawned upon me that ten days of NaPoWriMo had passed already. This is the first year that I missed it, since I started blogging. But not in its entirety. Not just yet.

This nothing’s still got something left. I warn you that it’s old. It’s everything I’ve said multiple times before, but I will say it again, even if only to say it.

I will not stop saying it. Even if takes a calendar and a dim reminder for cement bills to be paid on the fifteenth of April to do it. Every time that I forget, I will remember.

And I will write. Even if I’m writing old nothings, I’ll write.

A Little Nothing     

I am a Nothing,
or so I’m told
A waste of space that’s
twenty eight years old

I’m a big Zero
They like to repeat
I’m worth less than
the food I eat

They call me buffalo
They don’t use my name
I don’t mind anymore, I
answer just the same

My mealtimes are totalled
in calories
I’m given a thousand more
than necessary.

But like a good girl
I clean my whole plate
Wash everyone’s dishes
but not my own face

I wear wrinkled clothes and
don’t comb my hair
So that men don’t notice
a woman’s even there

I keep my voice down
I act like I’m dead
I’m quiet and bitter
I’m words in my head

I’m a little nothing
short and stout
Here are my fingers
Here is my mouth

Hands longing to be held
Lips that no longer kiss
Rusty rhyme and stagnation
A throatful of risks

I’m a little nothing
As I’m often told
An ugly little cow
forgotten fourfold

They like to pretend
that they can’t see
Except that I know
They’re afraid of me

That I’ll walk out
That I’ll realise
My chains lie in pieces
I’m in sight of my prize

I keep my head down
I work, and I watch
One day they’ll fall careless
And I’ll be gone

And I won’t even care
If they never see
I was and always will be
Something
Something free

Yusra
11.04.2018

Day Eleven of NaPoWriMo. I won’t stop writing.

I love  you all. ❤

-Yusra

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

The Pretty Man 

*

For a man of your stature

You’d think I’d be used 

To standing in the span

Of your arms, less confused 

Less unsettled, not unnerved 

Not so throughly dwarfed 

By the sudden lack of air in my lungs 

That you cause

Your hands fit my waist, your chin 

 on my shoulder,

I always start at that small

 touch of your breath 

We murmur like lost lovers, like

 Star crossed the others 

Whose very existence tempts death 

In this darkness, I am allowed 

To believe all you’ve said 
There is a warmth in faith awry

In your arms there is a belief 

That no lack of conviction or

Fear in the night can steal from me

And all I need, is sacrifice 

One hour against the dawn, is all 

To turn my face and close my eyes 

And not watch the light fall on our wall 

To watch instead your fingers move 

In my hair as I’ll blind disrobe 

Behind me is a lone shadow 

You cast none-  

Pretty words rarely do. 

.

The Pretty Man 

© Yusra 

01.11.2017 .

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.

.

Here’s to pretty men who turn your heads inside out. ❤️
Also.. Good morning, my lovelies 😘