I want you to understand

I want you to understand long poem

Tonight, I am angry.

Tonight, I am angry that, you don’t lie in my arms
and I don’t know if you ever will again.

Tonight, I am angry that these days
we speak with words and not with caresses.
that now, between us,
there are dogs howling,
there are skies crying with pain,
there are old men laughing and laughing
with their empty mouths.

Tonight, I am angry that you don’t lie in my arms
and I don’t know if you ever will again.

I want to know, my love.

I want to know
what bitter winds brought
these black clouds that hover over you and me?
I want to know, who stole our red moons?
I want to know, who planted these lightnings?
who went green as thunder?
I want to ask these walls
among which we have kissed and kissed,
where are the bed sheets
smeared with sweat and semen?
where are the hairs that haunt the corners?
where, the pillows of white clouds?
where, my beloved’s thighs of snakes and marbles?
I want to ask the chairs, the utensils,
the books, the bookshelves,

who stole our silences?
who stole our silences?
who stole our silences?

I want to know, my love,
I want to know.

If we were meant to live like worms,
how come our hearts are busting with birds?

If we were never meant to be together,
how come we are not able to go away?

My love, why do you scare away the birds
that nest in our hair with reasons and necessities?
why do you build walls
between us with silver and gold?
is this how one loves, with dices and coins?
is this how one loves, with snakes and ladders?
is this how one loves, with crooked question marks
and horrible full stops?

Tonight, I am angry that
everything is what it is
and everything is not what it is not.

Why can’t we be like children
and write in sand each other’s names?

What does it matter that
someday, life’s waves might wash them away?

Why can’t we be like children
and hold under sandcastles each other’s hands?

what does it matter that
someday, life’s winds might blow them away?

what does it matter?
and who really knows these things?
who has followed a river?
who has touched the horizon?
who knows the origin of dewdrops
or the destiny of clouds?

don’t ask me, my love.
don’t ask me, from where or to what end?
don’t ask me, how or how soon?
I don’t know.

all I know is that, these days,
your kisses aren’t as sweet.
all I know is that, these days,
when I touch you, I don’t know
whether you will be rock or water.
when I hold you, I don’t know
whether you will collapse as the waves
or resist as the roots.

my love, all I seem to be saying is that
as we run after the impossible moons,
let’s not forget to hold hands.
as we fly towards impossible islands,
let’s not lose the homes that are already ours.

my love, tonight I am angry
and I want you to understand.

my sadness is but the sadness of a child
as it leaves behind a city with its friends and foes.

I want you to understand.

my suffering is but the suffering of a fruit
that holds in its heart, countless trees.

I want you to understand.

my pain is but the pain of the bird
that has to leave the sky to find a home.

I want you to understand, my love,
I want you to understand.

This poem is part of the Poetry Book Oblivion

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Balaji Gopalan

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I owe all of my poetry to the influence of Pablo Neruda. Reading him 10 years ago on the beaches of Goa, gave me the permission to be who I am and write what I feel. My poetry has never been the same after that. All that I write is an offering to Neruda.
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