Heart

The Language Of The Heart

 

But who needs a reason when the language of the heart speaks so loud?

I don’t mind that she leaves her underwear on the floor most of the time. It’s not because of some bullshit feminist mindset, it’s just that I do it all the time. And if she can clean up after my mess, why can’t I feel okay to clean up after her?

When I asked her to marry me, I knew she’d say yes. But it was equally important that the stakes were high. We’d come through nearly a decade of love, hate, distance, discovery, and self-examination. I knew I was never going to be enough for her dreams. I knew I’d had to work at myself. I also understood that she had her demons and would need my help. The reason why she was reading books on marriage lately. At least, she was trying- actively. Me? I still needed to recede into my cave to pull the strength to finally pop the question.

And I’m glad I did when I was most vulnerable.

I don’t think vulnerability is sexy. Neither is it the new cool- to be in touch with your emotions and all that media gender equality crap.

I like how real she is when she opens up to me. It freaks me out when she looks at me with those big brown eyes. It’s terrifying. Knowing that she could do anything for me. That she would turn her back on her family in a split second just for me.

That’s what terrified me when we knelt down in the room that evening.

She was going to say yes to my introverted mind. She was going to say yes to my years of baggage and loneliness. To all the times I had asked a girl out and either broken up or been broken. She was going to say yes to the future conversations that our families would use as a vent to pull skeletons from years ago.

Or not.

About the time when she was the cause of all my life failure. Or the time when she’d wanted me to move in with her and be her slave on the other end of the world.

God, I was so naïve.

But her kisses make sense now. Even though I wish (secretly) they’d be less- I understand. I understand her. I understand her need to be close- emotionally, mentally, spiritually and physically. We’d both wanted this for so long. For so many years, that having it for those first few days drained me.

But she’d wanted it more than I’d ever had.

For that, I love and respect her. I respect her need. She deserves my best. Not because she’s special and loving and cute and hardworking and prayerful and really, really kind.

But because I love her.

I don’t even know why I love her. For all these years, I’ve dated other women. I’ve kissed other women. I’ve imagined myself building a family with another. I’ve been infatuated, I’ve sprawled with desire over women more physically attractive, more sensual, more emotionally stable (include other unnecessary relationship criteria).

I’m not proud of my streak. But I’ll own it any time, any day. Because all that has made me who and what I am today- me.

I don’t know why I have chosen to spend the rest of my existence on earth with her- in my intellectual respite, I’ve computed the logic behind my decision. The answer?

Nothing.

There’s no reason why she’s the perfect fit. There’s no reason why I know I’ll have to talk about my feelings and fight and believe that we can grow and change together. There’s still no reason why I have chosen to start my family with her.

But who needs a reason when the language of the heart speaks so loud?

Originally published on our Medium Publication- Self-ish.

The Alter Boy Who Panicked #Poetry

Not long ago, in a church yonder,
A suave neighbor swept Martha.
I was there, I watched from the altar.
The Mass went on, and me, being a server, couldn’t falter.

They giggled and wiggled during the sermon.
The itch in my throat grew strong.
An attempt to clear felt wrong.
Even the priest seemed worried. It showed in his stare, long.

Mother had warned me of love come fast.
In the age of twitter”, she said, “these things do not last”.
I could feel her eyes on my skull as I stared into the crowd aghast.

The burden of loss is never a light one.
To ponder alone at the time all was fun.
When I thought my Martha was my only one.
Even against my mother’s wishes, I’d promised her we’d run.

When mass ended. I rushed to clear my robe.
The crowd moved slow-a well played joke.
I found Martha crossing the road with the bloke.
I screamed and cursed at the heavenly poke.

Now, here’s the real joke, that was Martha’s long gone cousin who just came back from four years out of the country.

She was so excited she literally burned all her home including the pantry.

When I found out, I rushed in tears and reached her home panting.

She took me into her arms and said those words I needed to hear: It’s okay boo boo, I am not angry.

Stories I never Tell…

A light touch. Her smile, I wish.
A soft voice.Her thoughts. I wonder.
A faint skin rub. A soft touch.

Linger. Longer. Lead.

Adequate, her features. Neither harsh nor feeble.
Adequate her tone. Neither commanding nor demanding.
She waltzes her way into my dreams.
Yet, errs at the rim.

Linger. Longer. Lead.

Her thoughts? I’d pay to own.
Her hand? I’d kill to touch. Soft firm heaven.
A piece of blessed flesh.

How does she look when the lights are out?
What does she whisper when her voice is low?
What do her hands say?
What does her body scream?

Who does she want to be?
Who does she want to be with?
Who can’t she be without?

The thoughts. Questions. Puzzles.
Dreaded answers and ghostly futures.
Answers only she knows. Yet…my mind…

Linger. Longer. Lead.

Her face lingers in my lids.
Her touch feels longer when I’m alone.
Her voice leads my heart.

Linger. Longer. Lead.

Stories you’ll never know.
Stories I never tell.
Stories you shouldn’t know.

Behind Closed Doors

A smile, is what I give you.
My tears you never see.

A kiss is what you feel too.
My lips at night they weep.

I long to connect.
For our souls to resonate.
For our hearts to sing.
And our love to bloom.

I long to detect.
Your moods and caprices.
So that miles away.
I soothe you at bay.

In truth, I cannot.

I wasn’t born this way.
The way you want me.
You want me to not be.
Not be the true me.
The true me is angry.
Angry at the banality of reality.
Reality smashes at a certain age.
The age of maturity or recognition.
Recognition at 15 , 26 or 40.
That life choices have consequences.
That life’s consequences could be a meal -or death.
The death of freedom, the death of choice.
Choices harder to make as time swims by.
Time the relentless ref.

I cannot give you that which you seek.
Your fight with me is lost in advance.
Take me for me or let me be.
Fight me and you will eventually flee.

I am one of them. The tale tellers. The observers.
We relish in the beauty of others’ dreams fulfilled.

Our dream is to narrate their dreams.
Our purpose, to document their purpose.

We are the observers. Our lives are meant as a passage. A mirror to existence.
My sacrifice is to edify. To express beauty and narrate excellence.

I cannot be tamed. I cannot be owned.

You either share me with the world or let me be.
My loneliness has never left me.
She shares my bed and my keyboard.
She shares my fears and deep thoughts.

We are dark roommates, bonded by the past and awake in our present.
She sees what you will never see.
She knows what you will never know.

Do not be jealous of her.
Your pain will only breathe more life to her. She fuels me.
You are my respite. My love, you are my respite.
Until she leaves me, you are my respite.

Would you be the last to leave?

“Can I have your number now?”

I wrote this for a short story contest…of course I didn’t win…but I’d like to get your take.

I even smuggled a smile.
She stopped halfway through the heart-shaped biscuit, looked distractedly at the child carrying a tray of “Miondo”. Then she turned towards me.
It was the first time she looked into my eyes. Our random chat on family and old times had drowned the 2-hour wait. The conductor had just announced the departure of my bus and I knew,deep in my right knee,that this was the lady I would spend my life with.
“Give me one good reason.”
I don’t know why my throat went dry. She had grinned at my stupid stories on travel misfortunes but her dimples this time glowed different. They were carved into her sun burnt skin. Her white teeth punctuated by a single brown spot.
I thought my shirt will tear open from the pounding.
“We have known each other since Form 2.We have grown by each other’s side. My mother loves you, your father hates me.”
Another smile.
“He …has his reasons”, I added.
I came closer, surprised myself by taking her farm bruised hands into my sweaty palms. My breath quickened.
“Amina… I don’t know how to tell you what I’m feeling. The only thing I know is; when I come back from the village, I want to be complete and I feel in here, in my heart,that that smile … is the only thing that can make me happy.”
She pulled her hands abruptly. Stood up and straightened her skirt. Then, she walked away.
I prayed for the tray of “Miondo” to crash on my head.
How appropriate-my watch stopped.
14-05-2020 12.15pm.
Then, the sweetest sound on earth:
“So… are you coming to take the number or what?”