It feels like,
Companions you’ve been greeted by every morning,
The mourning you feel when they’re not there.
Familiarity is destructive when it makes you an addict,
Addicted to pain.
I induced pain so I can learn the art of healing,
So in mending myself, I can mend you.
Here I am,
A monument of war,
Eat your fill, heal yourself.
I thought I was content being alone,
I thought I was indifferent to societies prodding,
Poking at people, I made myself not one of those people,
A wolf in sheep’s clothing.
Twenty five years of battering my body because I didn’t want to batter others,
Each punch thrown, each kick landed, I smiled and shrugged it off.
‘If that’s all you got mother fuckers, keep it coming’,
Like a diesel engine I’m gonna’ get better the hotter I get,
Keep it coming…. You’ll wear out long before I’m out.
Look at me….. Here I am, all these scars, a pool of misery, tales and stories,
And yet I smile, invite more.
Look at what you’ve done, undone,
Unstitched all my stitches,
Here I am, thinking I wore them as a mark of my history,
My war stories.
War horses are ever so elegant I thought,
But we can’t trot, we are ashamed to, lest our gait is scrutinised.
Here I am, all these scars, a pool of aches as soon as the weather changes,
Torn ligaments, scar tissue,
Calcified joints, callused knuckles, cellulitis shins,
A metaphor for unrepairable synapses come haunting back to remind me of my frailty,
Big burly Arab – wannabe white blonde, blue eyed,
Wannabe exotic Latino sensual,
Wannabe poised Asian Zen master,
Wannabe severed, madman nomad,
Wannabe Rumi’s tears,
Wannabe anything but all this fear,
Confused for a brute, a savage, a something, a label.
So here I sit… Forced solitude,
Pretending this is high monasticism,
Pretending to be an artist of introversion,
Maybe I took one beating too many.
The bravery in me I fought so hard to refine,
Carve and chisel, make it my badge,
Because you pointed out how little I know.
My bravery is only a reflex in fight or flight situations,
Always dukes up ready to fight.
I hate that you pointed that out how little I know about myself,
Despite being myself,
Myself is there selves, everyone else, not me,
I don’t hate the image of them,
I hate the image of me,
An imaginary bludgeoned figment of solitary confinement,
But un-free, fake non-conformity.
I hate that I’m only allowed to speak about me and my descendants,
Because all men,
They’re all my brethren,
The labels of ‘middle-eastern descent’,
That convenient description to separate us from other men,
White Anglo Saxon,
African American, Indian, Asian,
All men, slotted conveniently into,
Palatables, mandibles, edibles, digestible,
Swallow that then,
If that’s your definition of men,
If that’s what will make you heal again, see us again.