Tell me why you’ve been worshipping poets. What is it they’ve given you that God hasn’t?

La Muse by Pablo Picasso
La Muse by Pablo Picasso (1935)

“Talk to me about the poem you wrote to pass the unbearable. Tell me why you prefer the second generation of English Romantic poets over millennial poets. Tell me why you want to pull your eyes out when you think of Lord Byron’s death. Tell me why you’ve been worshipping poets. What is it they’ve given you that God hasn’t? Talk to me about that loop of fantasy you’re stuck in. Point out the errors in my grammar. Talk books to me. Talk Shakespeare to me. Talk everything you love to me. I want to see your eyes gleam with happiness. I want to drown you in happiness, so much that you forget you don’t know how to swim. Then count my sins and proclaim I won’t be granted heaven. Cut me into a million pieces so you can leave me in all your poems. Ruin me in them. Write poems about my vulnerability, my weakness, the things only you and the God I stopped praying to know of. Shatter me. Skin me alive. Eat my flesh. Spit me back on the ground. Tell me I taste rotten. Make me beg for forgiveness. Watch me as I slowly kill myself. Tell me I should have jumped off the roof instead of burying myself alive. Then write a poem about my final breaths, the agony in my death, my arrival in hell, my meeting with Satan. Write me in everything. Just write. Don’t ever stop writing.”

“I’ll tell you about this recurring dream I’ve never told anyone, where you burn my thighs and I burn your tongue. I’ll tell you about the first time I saw you. I felt sick to my stomach. I‘ll tell you about the ache, the desire, the maddening hunger I had to see you again. I’ll tell you how my limbs stopped working when you asked for a glass of water. I want to tell you how I prayed, whined, cried for you. I’ll tell you how your smallest gesture of affection, irrespective of whether or not it was directed at me, healed me and destroyed me at the same time. I think of you with the same agonising tenderness with which you once held my hands. I think of you in my bed, your mouth half Nutella, half cemetery. I think of you in waking, in sleep, in my cat’s purring, in my grandmother’s temper. You claim you haven’t done anything nice for me, but tell me, is there anything nicer, gentler, a more glorious privilege you can give me than just letting me sit next to you. I am stuck between dreaming about us discussing the line break in Shelley’s poems on a famous beach in my city and reluctantly trying to convince myself to see the reality. I want to tell you that God created us from the same mud, I am you and you are me, but you don’t believe in God, so I beg Him night after night to show you His kindness. I think of burying you in all the places I would never visit, but what’s the point, you always end up in my moving fingers. I don’t just write poems to you. I write my love to you.”

Simra Sadaf