a conversation with an introvert

i ask –
why me? with all my baggage, and secrets, and inaccessibility. i am open only marginally – sometimes – in imaginations and insane desire. i cross that bridge, briefly, as if in a dream, and come back – unsatisfied, undiscovered.

he answers –
‘you have this light about you.’
and i burst into a fit of giggles,
i cannot stop myself.
[on the way to work, a child smiles at me and holds out his arms. that is enough to make my day! i bounce away like the world belongs to me and i belong to it. i kiss it, i lick it – minute, pulsing]

what light!!????
are you by any chance referring to that thing i catch lurking when i walk by the mirror?
sometimes when i pretend not to be looking and my mind is empty,
resentment, pain and sadness leave me fleetingly!
that thing that hides the moment i wake up?
the one that makes you wish you were me – bathed in blissful radiance, and barely touching the ground?
but can’t you see i’ve lost that?

i want to know you he says…i want to be invisible and follow you around…i want to read your mind, dig all that dirt up and see you – you know – like no one ever has? can you allow me to do that? i want to say yes… i’m flattered…i’m scared…and i know he’ll take me – even after that. my heart expands with that knowledge. i feel the heat coming out of me and engulfing the stars, and him. i go out of hiding.

[i hide in every corner i can find…
in bedrooms and meeting rooms,
in words and in stories,
in dark, stinking pathways.
i hold on in secret because i know,
the fact that i’ve kissed a girl once upon a time
will definitely damage some well-cemented relationships.]

and now you say i have the light?
what are you trying to do?
uproot these days where i float by patching up loosened plaster from the walls?
school, work, traffic, home, rush rush rush, and hide in the other room
from the voice in my head that screams ‘what are you doing?’
and your ‘light’ comment?

just look at where that conversation brought us!

© Tsion B., 2015


Lemn Sissay reads ‘Invisible Kisses’ and I move on

I went to a reading by Lemn Sissay recently. His performance was phenomenal as always. He was recording a comedy show for a BBC Radio 4 programme entitled ‘Lemn Sissay’s Homecoming’. At the end of the show he said ‘let me read you a poem called invisible kisses; it’s way off script but I’ll do it anyway’. I felt my heart skip a little because this poem is probably my favourite from him.

While he was reading, I heard some of the ladies at the back sniffling and sobbing. My tears were threatening to break but I found out I’ve lost the innocence of abrupt emotions. I felt my heart breaking over and over again in those few minutes. It was brutal, almost masochistic that I glued myself to that seat, denying my need to flee. Listening to a love poem, I discovered that sometimes irony is just a realisation of procrastinated decisions!!

Lemn writes:

If there was ever one
Whom when you were sleeping
Would wipe your tears
When in dreams you were weeping;
Who would offer you time
When others demand;
Whose love lay more infinite
Than grains of sand.

If there was ever one
To whom you could cry;
Who would gather each tear
And blow it dry;
Who would offer help
On the mountains of time;
Who would stop to let each sunset
Soothe the jaded mind.

If there was ever one
To whom when you run
Will push back the clouds
So you are bathed in sun;
Who would open arms
If you would fall;
Who would show you everything
If you lost it all.

If there was ever one
Who when you achieve
Was there before the dream
And even then believed;
Who would clear the air
When it’s full of loss;
Who would count love
Before the cost.

If there was ever one
Who when you are cold
Will summon warm air
For your hands to hold;
Who would make peace
In pouring pain,
Make laughter fall
In falling rain.

If there was ever one
Who can offer you this and more;
Who in keyless rooms
Can open doors;
Who in open doors
Can see open fields
And in open fields
See harvests yield.

Then see only my face
In the reflection of these tides
Trough the clear water
Beyond the river side.
All I can send is love
In all that this is
A poem and a necklace
Of invisible kisses.

Here he is reading that night. Live recording!!