You won’t allow me to go to school.
I won’t become a doctor.
One day you will be sick.
Poem written by an 11 year old Afghan girl
This poem was recorded in a NYT magazine article about female underground poetry groups in Afghanistan. An amazing article about the ways in which women are using a traditional two line poetry form to express their resistance to male oppression, their feelings about love (considered blasphemous).
Luc Tuymans - The Conversation (1995)
I like people too much or not at all.
a story in post it notes
How can I tell you how much I love you if I feel like you won’t believe me? I let you go because I couldn’t handle my unexplainable sadness and I thought that maybe I’d be okay if I was the one to end it first. I mean isn’t that how its supposed to go? I need to know and love myself before anyone else and I thought that the source of my emptiness was coming from this part of me I haven’t unearthed in a while. I couldn’t stand the thought of bringing you down with me, I mean, I’m sad—you’re sad right? I’m happy and you are? I know that your happiness is mine and when I saw how unhappy you were I felt my unhappiness too and I couldn’t tell whose came first. I still can’t.
I couldn’t stop seeing that emptiness in your eyes and I couldn’t stop wondering If I was the one who hollowed them out.
I know how you are, and I know that you’re not empty at all, in fact you are collected—rational all the time. What am I without that? I am drowning into thin air, into my irrational; thoughts, impulses, and feelings. I need you, I’ll admit it a thousand times. I need you to remind me of who I am, to keep me from falling the wrong way. But I know that you don’t need me.
Miles into this make-believe world that I have, I found the brutality of truth. I can’t make someone love and need me the way I want to be. Who am I to denote good attributes like pride and independence? In the same sense I would be contradicting myself, especially in finding that these attributes are what I love so much about you. Even your intelligence I admire, which would be especially compromised if you admitted a thousand times, or even once, that you needed me too.
I felt like I was sinking harder into myself, I lost the rest of what I wanted to say. It was almost like the words weren’t mine when they left my lips, like that moment wasn’t even real in the first place. I don’t even remember hearing anything, even the snow coming down as hard as it was blurred the moment. I’ve thought about it every morning now, when I’m trying to find a reason to get out of bed. When I’m trying to figure out what the fuck happened.
The truth is that I don’t really know. I’m more in love with you now than I’ve ever been and all I can see is how I saw you when I looked back that day. You were being swallowed by particles of white flakes coming in all directions, disappearing from me only fifty feet away. I stopped at the corner and watched you disappear entirely, frozen in the idea of crossing the street and actually never seeing you again. I felt the bottom of my sadness fall out almost instantly in that moment, as if you were holding it there the entire time.
And I realized the brutal truth in this was that all I did was make everything worse.
When I jerk away
from holding hands with you
I know these habits hurt
important parts of you
Remember when I was
sweet and unexplainable
Nothing like this person, unlovable
I just want back in your head
Sometimes I think I can love someone or something so much that it makes me incapable of the act itself. I’m afraid of it. I find this consistent feeling or fear of being vulnerable that lurks along side me. I find it sometimes in the faces of the people who know me. They’re just empty bodies. They’re an illusion. Like the love I think I’m feeling. An empty lurking feeling, almost bottomless. I still wish I saw it in everyone although I hate feeling it distilled in myself. I’ve only found myself human in all the mistakes I’ve made and I think my most reoccurring mistake is my belief that love has a healing power unlike any medication one can get their hands on. I think this belief is the reason why I can’t get out of bed in the morning. I feel a void in my life, incapable of everything. I’m in a fish bowl and I can’t wait until the waters poured out.