Last Walls is a partnership between Thiscene Media and If Walls Could Talk. Every week, Melizarani T. Selva gives us one of her favorite poems from the last If Walls Could Talk and we put it up on the site.
This poem was performed at IF WALLS COULD TALK vol 23. feat Bani Haykal (SG) + Peter Brown, on Thursday, October 20, 2016.
Two Sides of the Moon
by Siti Nasyrah
We live on a moon.
This is the story about me, and the man from the other side.
The side everybody knows exists, but exaggerate theories based on worries and fury.
To be fair, it is a two-way street.
Both sides worship the same God but each claim they are more entitled, that the other side is the dark side of the moon.
The soils of both places are pieces of houses and battered corpses.
It would be easier if he comes from a different solar system.
But I see past the genetics in the bones that hold his soul.
Beyond the value that comes with the name he was given I have known what love is,
So I know that this is not a mere-something,
Even though yes
He calls me “my love” like it’s my given name
And that is heartbreakingly beautiful.
If the amount of time I stared at him can radiate power in physical quantity, the arc in his back will be hurt by all my gazes.
The way he sees the world,
He thinks that men need to be strong not because women are supposedly weak
But it’s because back in his home town,
Strength is for his palms to withstand heat to mould roofs from shields,
To make steel out of collarbones so his loved ones can cry in sturdy arms
Or make feathers out of shoulders so tears can seep into embraces,
Turn ears into radars
To hear fire and run on feet with instinct as soles.
When I was young, the loudest things that hurt my ears were the songs that I put on high volume.
He was deaf for seven painful days after a near-miss explosion.
I grew up reading romance,
He grew up memorising poems for the fallen.
Between the two of us,
We often have to pause to find the right word,
To be fluent in the one thousand ways to say “I care about you”
In the language that we picked up and not born into
But this language barrier is [silence]
When language is used,
I learn to thank the morning birds that now bring something more than breakfast time. It means that our air is not polluted, not with smoke that instantly kills.
Muddy grass have always meant wet socks,
But now it also means that I will live still knowing the colour green when some have only known dimmed coloured skies and dusty hued homes.
Though like grass that dies under the burning sun, It’s a countdown.
Reality will dust over the crater that we found solace in.
If we stay, future archaeologists will excavate and ponder over the artefacts, and we will be a story of miracles.
But the present is eating away at our lungs
And we are both on the last tank of oxygen.
If the similarities in our hearts may not fight the differences that we carry on our backs Let my eyes live through these last moments.
There will be no girl or boy with my lips and his eyes,
There will be no girl or boy with my imagination and his intelligence,
There will only be days where memories shimmer like passing rainbows.
When the world is never good enough anymore, as he goes back to his side of the moon,
I will remember feeling happy in the sunny days that we have had, not judging the different ways we see light or darkness.
I will go back to the poem he translated to me,
“When we part, it’s not one pain on my chest, but it’s a shower of bullets all over my body.”
SITI NASYRAH depends on coffee and sad songs, and can stay up writing or wake up to write.