Back to Basics By Ramna Safeer

Back to Basics

Washing my mouth of you.
Brushing until my gums bleed.
Sink is a cloud of pink
and my tongue is metal in my mouth.
Brushing until you become
the open wound, not the salt.

I bit my nails to the tender today.
I took 53 pictures of my lips and
wished I had a stranger to send them to,
a stranger who would recognize them
as ones he once wanted to kiss.

I wonder if anyone has ever wanted to climb
the hill my eyes make when they close.
I wonder if falling in love is bullshit.
If it’s just another store with only one size
or chocolates that go on sale the day after Valentine’s.

I wonder if falling out of love
is not just another way of saying,
‘I’m going to pretend I didn’t think
this was a wonderful idea when he looked at me
like I was first snowfall and I answered with
hands to his cheeks like church bells.’

I forgive myself for you.
This heart is underground parking lot
where all the cars start at once,
a hundred engines rumbling softly like belly laughs.

That is where the laugh is born.
Underground. Between the lungs.
Inside the inside.
That is where I learn to snap my neck to the sky
and be the kind of happy that made you
weak in the first place.

By Ramna Safeer

Biography:

Ramna Safeer is a pre-Law English Lit student. She is a writer, blogger, researcher, activist and perpetual coffee-spiller. Her poetry has been previously published in The ASUS Undergraduate Review, Atwood Mag and Words-on-Pages Magazine. Her essays and articles have appeared in The Huffington Post, New Canadian Media and The Queen’s Journal, where she works as the Editorials Editor. She is the founder and blogger at CherishChai.com, an online space that maps her journey to recapture her Pakistani, Muslim heritage. 

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