what is it about people that makes the letters coming out of my mouth trip and tumble. is it their masculinity, femininity, androgyny. is it the way they carry themselves or the way they hold your gaze, as if the longer they stare, the more they peer into your soul. time seems to stand still but in reality it is just hammering away at you to keep your pace up. so when someone says it’s okay slow down take your time my mind is trying to find a hundred ways to say the same phrase while my mouth, flustered, tries to gather the fallen letters and produce, somewhat, the original words. and when it does, sighing a “i did it” relief, they have the audacity to say i’m sorry i wasn’t paying attention what did you say. SIGH.
i wish i could express myself in a picture
but you’ll just have to deal with my words
and my silence instead.
i am no artist.
i do not make people’s heart sway.
I wish time wouldn’t live up to its name sometimes. It runs when there’s no need and slows when I can’t handle it any longer. The tic toc tic … tic toc tic toc tic toc tic toc drives me bonkers sometimes. In a silent room, that’s all there is to that. I wish we could’ve had a nice chat over coffee, but its hands are bound, its feet running. My future, unspoken of. So I sit here not knowing who I can be or what is to be made of me. Mold me like clay but don’t destroy me. I’m already shattered.
How can I expect me to be me when I’m shattering into a million fragments. Even if I could be put together again, will I be the same. Missing pieces will forever be lost pieces. Even if, and when, I were to be me again, would I be me. Or would it be the me that was lost in the first place. Or ….on second thought…the me that will be never found again. Hmm?
I know, I know. I shouldn’t have. But you know what? When life’s got you down, treat yourself. Buy more books!
There are times I wonder what if the day was flipped. What if we slept for 16 hours and stayed awake for the remaining 8. Because all the things that cause us pain, hurt us, could slip away as we stray away from reality. I could be breaking into a million pieces right now but it would all be taken away. I could be breaking into a million pieces again and everything would be whisked away, as if a dream. Lull me to sleep, won’t you?
Sorry it took me this long to come here. I was in NYC, 5th grade, when 9/11 happened. I still remember to this day how teachers got us together and told us we were having an early dismissal. Confused, we asked why. The day had barely even started. My teacher said that the twin towers have been attacked. I couldn’t tell you the so many questions I had running through my mind. In the meanwhile, my dad was in Manhattan, seeing with his eyes, in disbelief, how the people on the rooftops screamed for help but the helicopters could not get close and then ultimately called back because all aircrafts were ordered down, how the towers were engulfed in flames, how many jumped off and took their own lives when they saw that no help was coming, and ultimately how, one after the other, the towers fell. Phone lines cut off, no communication. My dad just called my mom once and told her to stay inside the house, there had been a terrorist attack by Muslim terrorists , and people out of rage could be targeting us, Muslims, who were just as angry as they were. I could go on and on. But I’ll put this to rest.
I’ve finally made it. And I pray for all these individuals who lost their life here on 9/11.
I recently submitted a poem to Robi, an online literary journal, by Bangladeshi Identity Project. As it says on its introduction page, this journal in intended for the Bengali diaspora by the Bengali diaspora. It’s for us Bengalis that belong there, in our native country, but call this place our home too. Despite speaking our foreign tongue, we keep our mother tongue close to our heart, interchanging words consistently, their meanings translucent. My poem was accepted and published. If you’d like to read the journal, please do. I chose to submit my poem, Immigrant.