To Remember

You, for whose wrongs I live in torture,

I wish I knew your name, at least;

I’m not you wife, I’m not your daughter –

You are whose soul lives on through me;

/

My hands are mine, my hands are yours,

And there were thousands before us;

Our own hands shaped and broke the world

With them we clung on and let go;

/

My voice is mine, and yet at times

It speaks in tones and tongues unknown,

To people just like you, long gone,

Trying to make peace with their ghosts;

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And with my eyes on quiet nights

I see not dreams but recollections;

That life was yours, but it is me

Who keeps its skeletons and treasures;

/

Paths which my feet sometimes tread on

I recognize, and feel exhausted:

I’ve walked on them as you before,

And just like me, you were so lost then;

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As I depart, with him I’ll plead,

With him, who’ll take from me the burden

Of all the wisdom and the ignorance,

Of all the love and all the hurt,

/

I’ll plead that, at the very least,

By him my name may be remembered,

So he can call to me and ask me of my sins

For which he must atone forever

The Offering

I sat before you in the dark,

Bare, nameless, fearful and courageous;

That night I offered you my all,

Not knowing what might happen if you take it;

/

I sit before you in the dark,

Bare, nameless, fearless, ruined

I love you so, I cannot break

The deadly bond which links you to me;

/

I’ll sit before you in the dark,

Bare, loving, hopeless, lifeless

And reaffirm my every vow:

You heard my voice, you held my hand –

And took my all in your wild kindness

The Monster

So often hurt would follow laughter;

At times a smile would help a tear dry faster;

By different people uttered, the same words

Sound wise in one voice, in another one – absurd;

/

On a dark winter day a ray of sunshine

Would offer solace, hope and joy;

While on an afternoon in summer

It may feel like but an annoyance;

/

Today you think I am a monster,

Who knows no empathy or love;

Tomorrow you might change your mind but,

Unlike today, you might be wrong

The Shadow

If I were a rock, I wouldn’t

Keep your passing shadow’s trace;

If I were an endless river,

I would carry not for days

/

On my ever-changing body

Burns from tears nor scars from curses:

Your cold words would disappear

Like in a swift current — stones;

/

If I were a desert wind,

I’d but brush past you on my way

To the ball that starts are throwing

In the middle of nowhere;

/

If I were the blue of heavens,

Our lifelines would never cross:

Mine — the immovable horizon,

And yours — the curve of the spinning Earth;

/

But I’m not a rock nor river,

I can’t be like skies or winds,

Which was why I must have let you

Come to mean so much to me;

/

Yet, I stand while time flows through me,

Rushed forth by the gale and breeze,

The night devours the darkest shadows,

And so from yours I’ll soon be free

The Bucket List

I should have gone to touch the ocean

And watch the golden sun disk rise

Above the line of the horizon

In this one life at least one time;

/

I should have let white winds embrace me

Up on the sharpest mountain peaks;

I should have dared Saharan heat to melt me

As I chased after desert ghosts and visions;

/

I should have learned forbidden spells and curses

And in my heart reforged them into prayers;

I should have fought, not run, from battles;

I should have bled, and won, and lost;

/

I should have easier abandoned

Those who would waste a second of my life,

I should have easier surrendered,

And watched with calm the passing of my hours;

/

I should have doubled and returned

Each smallest gift I have been granted;

I should have used up every breath that

I did not know the worth of till tonight;

/

Tonight it is too late to travel

To see the sun spread wings over the sea;

Tonight’s no time to climb a mountain

For tonight it is monsoon season;

/

Tonight all desert jinns are sleeping

A sleep no human can disturb;

Tonight no witch, no ghost, no demon

Need teach me: by myself I’ll learn

/

That fights are only for the living,

That blood, victories and defeats

Are merely clouds, forever crossing

The skies above the river Styx;

/

I fidget in my empty pockets:

What little that I had is gone;

All I have left is but two coins

To pay the ferryman Charon