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Riya N. Hamid/20/NYC This is a space for fictional & nonfictional brain spillage in the form of poetry and the occasional appreciation for film. All writing belongs to me, unless specified otherwise facebook.com/riya.hamid instagram: riyahamid rnhamid93@gmail.com Creative Commons Licence
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Source:

thursday

marry me in
your childhood 
backyard with vines
spreading
across the wooden fence like
cancer of the aggressive
kind. on a wednesday
morning, turn over & taste
tuesday from the nape
of my neck & whisper, “we’ll
need more sugar 
today.” grab my wrist
as though it were
the sole 
item remaining 
on the holiday sales rack
that miraculously fits your
disappearing limbs &
comforts the eye. pull me
out of a bathtub
filled
with the type of
blood that is
invisible. place me
in front of a dusty
mirror as i
study
the chipped navy
lingering on
my toenails & 
make me
look at
myself

rh

confetti


i eat a meal and promptly apologize to myself. i watch the dust particles float in between the crimson curtains and the wooden armrest, pretending as though they are stars falling gently like glittering snow onto the earth. i want to collect rainwater from the dents of pavements and throw fistfuls at my face like a religious ritual until i learn how to stop sleeping while smiling at men from across tables. i glare as the wrinkles on my mother’s forehead become living things while she scoops rice and potatoes from a plate with her hands. she used these same hands to feed me, to clothe me, to beat me. i dip my limbs into a bathtub and recall the way a lover used to rinse the shampoo from my hair in a way that did not make my eyes burn. how he would use my thighs as pillows and sleep during every train ride and how i would use this opportunity to squint at him as though he were a stranger who had never seen the beauty mark below my breast or the way my eyes resemble a burning city when i am neck-deep in panic. thunder runs down lexington avenue like a wild animal and i realize suddenly that i have never purchased an umbrella. i walk through rain as though raindrops were confetti in a party and my heart is a candle that cannot be blown out. men glare at the way the moisture makes the back of my skirt cling to my ass while cheap, running mascara burns into my eyes like acid. courage climbs the steps of my ribcage and tugs at my collarbones— call him, it says. but i know better.

rh

Source:

still here, still there

my spine feels weathered from obscene posture and napping in waiting rooms with my head nestled deep into my lap. my mother pushed me out of her body, but i gave birth to myself. i am a twenty-year-old with a twenty-year-old child—i comb knots from her hair and sweep them from the floor, i feed her when the very smell of toast forces her stomach to circle furiously like the vision of a young boy secretly chugging nyquil in his father’s garage, i cradle her in bed when a man turns her heart into something resembling a broken umbrella that can no longer open. my insides are a broken filter and the contents are hot and need to be spilt. a stranger’s chiffon slides by my knee; it feels nice. a crowd in the bar to the right cheers suddenly with enough enthusiasm to fill a stadium. america must’ve won—or i am surrounded by a cluster of traitors. i am not enthusiastic about sports, but i am appreciative of any event that allows people to tolerate each other with a smile in a large room. sometimes i wonder if god exists. if he does, he must simply be a bad parent who made up hell just to scare his children into doing the right thing, and no matter how much we lie or steal we will all be okay. i mock religion over beer in social situations and find myself crossing my fingers and speaking to him later in the evening when i am walking home alone in the rain in a dark alley.

i catch myself missing everyone and everything when i am sunk into moments like this—even if everyone and everything feels like sand in your shoes from an old trip to the beach. the smell of testosterone and sweat and dirty laundry in a hotel room. the humidity traversing paris’ metro and the impractically narrow gaps between seats. overpriced dinners with mediocre taste. using the wrong gendered definite article while ordering food.  the columbia ph.d student studying european history who was completely unable to talk about anything but european history. then, the nice things. flowers hanging from balconies like jewelry on a body made of cement. the sound of bicycles running free near dusk. tasting crème brulée on someone’s lips. the way the moon seemed as though it was speaking to me as I laid rosé-drunk on a field of grass. kissing you that last time on that last morning and realizing that my heart felt heavier than usual.

we snuck into the empty bathtub in the middle of the previous night after tiptoeing around snores. you cradled me as i laid unaware of how to handle your warmth while feeling overwhelmed with the desire to talk to you about the longing that ceaselessly lurks behind me like a possessive lover with bloodshot eyes and nothingness inside; how i crossed an entire ocean to escape from a pair of lungs that couldn’t handle new york city’s air only to realize that they just can’t handle air. instead, i said mostly nothing while hearing you whisper as you brushed against the scars on my left arm. i learned more about you in that hour than i learn about most people after knowing them for weeks and talking to them about television and the weather.

you spoke of the benefits of meditation; listening to you felt meditative. when the talking and the weeping was over there was no sound aside from your body slamming against my body, your lips searching for my lips. i let you leave the lights on this time. i let you watch in the mirror. the meat around my bones was fuller than usual and i was afraid to look at at it—but i mustered the courage to, anyway, and thought “this is me. this is also me. this is still me. ”

you finished on my face and then you kissed me, unafraid to taste what was yours. i found a dry part of you on a discreet corner of my scalp days later in the metro and smiled.

later that evening, i went home and still didn’t wash it off—what does this say about me?

r.h. 

05/22

the words fall
onto your lap like
crumbs from your favorite
cookie. you collect them off
of the denim, one by
one; you do your best to
stuff them back inside but
somehow they are no longer
so sweet & appetite is 
a prickly creature with pupils
like quicksand & long
nails that graze slowly against
the other side of your
skin
it is summertime now & the
trees are no longer skeletons; they
feed off of the sun & have head-fulls of
hair that sway along with the
breeze, accompanied by the sound
the blue-haired boy makes
when his mouth touches
the holes on the
flute, but you 
are not fooled. the new leaves
exist only to keep you
from glaring into the
sun for hours &
hours until you forget
his eyes, how they swelled
with rivers while he laughed
so hard that he felt 
the urge to place his hands 
firmly on his rib-cage to 
make sure his guts
didn’t leave
his body
rh 

molly made me cry

it is friday morning, the watch
fidgets away from 2:32. you look at
every woman convinced that she is
his woman— the brunette half-heartedly
skimming through nietzsche, the blonde
twiddling with neon green headphones, the
one drifting off to sleep with the weight
of her skull tucked into her palm. her wrists
are tiny. you wonder if he wraps
his fists around them
with a glare that feels like
alcohol against a fresh paper
cut. is his tongue
still a machete? does he squeeze
her right hand on the verge of
orgasm as though he is on
the verge of falling from
a building? has she
met his mother? has she seen her
shoulders move like an earthquake  
while weeping silently on the
kitchen table? your eyes
are dry but your insides
are a burning city, a
window that does not open, 
a one-armed hug. you have
lists to write and people to
meet and dinners to eat

1. so what?
2. so what?
3. so what?
rh
Source:
I didn’t do anything. I’m a nice man. I mind my own business.

I didn’t do anything. I’m a nice man. I mind my own business.

Source:
Source:

if you love me don’t offer me your cigarette

your eyebrows furrow
as though they are dying
to escape your
forehead; i tell you how
fond i am of the word
"apricity" and your gesture
resembles a nod; we drive
through a sunset so
red it reminds me
of the color of my father’s
fingerprints on the left
side of my face and sometimes
my right— wilting 
away in the corner of the
kitchen like a kicked
dog, counting my
breaths as though i had 
discovered numbers for the
first time— amazed that i 
had a tongue that could
give birth to sound &
sometimes even
words

rh

brilliant.

brilliant.

dr. pepper & twix bars (accidentally deleted)

i met you on the night of my birthday. i had a boyfriend. you had a smile that felt like quicksand.  you hugged me as tightly as your jeans hugged your willowy legs. i didn’t even know you. we were the only straight people in a crowded gay bar. you bought me four different drinks because you didn’t know what i wanted. i didn’t know what i wanted, either. you said you loved me the following morning. i didn’t think you were crazy. what was i doing in your bed still? on new years eve we drank two cans of dr. pepper. your lips had been disloyal to alcohol for over a year. your liver was home to bottles of lexapro. we sprinted aggressively for blocks after blocks in park slope wearing nothing but our underwear when the ball dropped. it was 30 degrees outside but my ribcage was holding in a radiator. we got drunk from the frigid air violently attacking our skin. you told your dad you wanted to marry me. he was concerned about his will. you cried like a maniac at the NQR union square station. your body trembled like a dog rescued from a lake. people looked at us strangely. you taught me to order avocado with my turkey burgers. i was convinced that my tiny fingers against your head would comfort you. they didn’t. once, i got intensely stoned and you tickled me for what seemed like an eternity on your kitchen floor because you wanted to hear me laugh for a long time. i didn’t realize that then but i do now. we would chase running trains and wave at passengers for fun. your mother was raped by a catholic priest. she was manic depressive. she asked you to kiss her once. you liked being softly kissed on your eyelids before you went to sleep. once, you were convinced i was making eye contact with your best friend’s boyfriend in a way that made your stomach twist and turn like a dirty rag against bathroom tiles. we rode the train back and forth until i managed to convince you that it wasn’t true. i don’t remember your smile anymore.

rh