Sheheryar Badar Sheikh
Watch the walk, especially the strut, jingle. Hear the curious
tinktink of coins, metallic sound in his pocket like rhythm.
He lingers in air, suspended, arced in step suspended still in
air suspended like air like substance in air. The god in him
set to roast out the truth and go deeper until evaporation,
until rain. Broad shoulders, cool expanse swarthy balmy calm
sea, his shoulders the morph of a sun's arc. Hear jingle, see
arcs, see strut, see rhythm in flesh, the timing. Sunchoked
sun split sunblonde, dancer in walks sunkissed. Almost god,
mostly sun, younger brother of the murderer.
perch he's watched, accounted for, believed in, worshipped and
kept vigil for. You will climb elevators with glass outsides
to rise as you see him walk. Ina, hon, how could you, baby
why? What's he going to give you except burns? What's his walk
got that's not in anyone else's? Put coins in your pocket, my
pocket, they'll jingle just like that. He's not the soundgod,
Hon. SUN not SOUND. Nor noise. Hon, you know he's in for it if
you keep looking right? I warned you: keep looking and you're
going to kill him.
he says, awake. "W-what?" he repeats.
"Nothing, go back to sleep," I, with a
hammer in hand.
I'll make a list of the reasons then a list of ways. The
happiness in you when he makes you laugh, I like that. Keep it
when he's gone, 'kay? Y'know what I mean? When there's the
probability of murder, the passion usually ends right after,
and then it's all about children. But here, there's the
promise of more violent, more fervent rapture after him.
Reasons being excuses to not let live, a rampage of excuses
may be needed at once to fling me into fury, Hon. See, I don't
really love you. Flipflops and tubetops, you do them justice,
but you're just one pretty woman, and there's three billion of
your sex growing exponentially each day. Could dump you and
move on, and be shifty as my own hero for having given way to
jealousy. It's inevitable that we break because when I used to
think of you, I used to think to you with a lightness,
but now it's in the negative. I think still to you, addressing
it over the system of vari-linked nerves arteries spatial
immaterial energy bonds. But it's so sad and negative,
whatever I think of. It's.. like.. sick! I mean: murder?
Y'know what I mean?
the reasons: because he's so much better.
if we lived in a small town, I'd understand, if it were in
Africa I'd understand. They do it for food, and a full belly's
needed for love.
another reason: he ate my food once.
list of last requests too.
give anything for mon-ney. Wouldn't you-y-you?" he
asks, changing channels.
"Anything?" I, rhetorically; the coins in his
pocket make a settling sound.
Our worlds are so full of maybe's. Maybe I'll buy you this, or
that. Maybe you'll come over so my ache for you isn't
extinguished. Perhaps there will be an emergency, perhaps not.
His isn't like that. The sun will rise and set, move through
the day, calling on the ring of weather in his hand to change
lives. He will shine, whether you see him or not. If all the
people we are with are dead, the day is going to come. He was
angry once, and two meters of water gathered.
he's better than me, because it rains when he's angry, I
imagine him going through a tunnel and a gush of water come up
behind him, and thinking he's invincible, he keeps strutting
along. In the dream he doesn't glow, he hasn't the heat to
glow. He is not the god of dreams. The water reaches mid-calf
and he's fine, sure as a deity of the future. He keeps his
airs in my dreams. But the air doesn't help him to breathe. It
gives the rush of water a passage to consume him. Without heat
he sizzles, like a signal of extreme distress, put out, and
parts of him grow naked as the clothes boil off. His perfect,
grotesque muscles show next, after skin vaporizes. And his
strut's little calf-contraction shows without the veil, what a
tiny glint of movement flutters to your sick self, Ina. You
hanker after this.
another life, he'd be a soaring statue of the sun god, seeing
ages pass stoically, blinkless, then with an ear fallen off
because he was sick of sound, mostly due to rock concerts and
car horns. Before he lost more in that life I'd plan a little
at night, take stock of my life as statue-protector, plant a
bomb and maybe stay as he blew to bits. In our world there is
no air, water, fire, only sun and god. In our world, we are
full of sun. He promises day after day, and most listen.
another way I'd do it. With sound, a large blast of noise-I'd
tune away the earth's rumbling to a frequency that we could
hear, and then his eardrums would burst. Under water, the
sound wouldn't reach us. We'd be in a bathtub, all our clothes
on, all our inhibitions awake under water as the crack of rock
with rock would surge a noise to strike hammer on anvil, and
the inner stirrup of his ear would run amok, hurtled into the
sun's core, crashing his light out. Then you would clutch me,
because of the noise.
on tight p-please," he says, climbing to the roof to
unclog the drainpipe after two meters of rain.
"Kay," I, holding a ladder two floors below.
Your confessions baby, the ones you slipped into: that you
were watching him as you rose in that elevator, that while he
was walking you timed the tap of your ring and the metal on
your purse to his inaudible strut, so you heard the jingle
still; Hon, could you be a little more articulate with the
other one, because you're not the goddess of night.
keep us away from each other, don't you?" your vincible
"Did your doctor put you up to this?" I, playing
Your, sighing, "No." Your pressing a card,
"It just feels like you keep us in separate
compartments. Like, of your life."
"Maybe you don't like that we're so different. That
he's him and I'm me," my not king, my not knowing, low
So say it Ina, if you can, if it's from you. You can't stop
being right, but tenderfooted, you droplet of tinktink, the
little banners of your protest go only so far.
okay. But I'm really not dressed," Like really
undressed. Flops jeans and t-shirt so why now?
"Baby if I've ever asked you anything.. this is
it," his needing voice switching on. Like.. great.
Yesterday of all the things and now this. Like right okay I'm
the guinea pig like I'm little TinaMinaLinaIna like come here
LinaMinaInaTina and I will. Like right sure. If it's an
emergency sure why not but.. whatever. Call her baby and
she'll come she's a doll y'know. Y'know what I mean? Yesterday
that and like then.. this. Covering my heart with a
long-sleeved sweater. That should be a country song I'd sing
it loudly otherwise my voice cracks. I'd like to introduce
MinaTinaLina and Ina. From the first I should have known, and
now yesterday that. Remember how good we were? He was silly as
a wombat.. a goose of a man. Trust me he was. He taught me to
say fukk with meaning. He's so good at that y'know what I mean
like best at that.
my name was a broken-off partitioned world where he could
choose his own adventure said if I chose I could be any Ina in
the world. And after that too. Maybe that's why yesterday the
InaMinaTinaLina stopped listening. She talked o yes she talked
with everybody who'd listen like everybody who was there. The
past is the past he says whenever I bring it and then we won't
talk about it. But I've told people.
you talk about us?" he wants me to lie and that's why
he's not looking concerned right?
No, should I?" Like does he want me to? "Do you
want me to now.. like even though you said you didn't?"
Maybe keep it as a lyric I'd keep it as not the chorus I'd
keep it somewhere hidden maybe a hidden track with no title
and then maybe I'd sing it low like a whisper near the fading
ending and with a crack that'd be original: covering your
heart with a sweater-sleeve covering your heart in a sleeve a
heart up your sleeve. Maybe later right now TinaMinaLinaIna
has to go go go. Wake me up before you go go. I'd cover it and
it'd give me credibility because I'd sing it without
instruments like with voice cracking letting the pain show.
Real slow I'd sing it and that'd be the other track worth
buying the album for. TinaLinaInaMina's cover of the Wham hit
ladies and gentlemen and with the surprise hit single about
hearts hidden up sweater-sleeves.
Yesterday I shouldn't have. He'll notice when I slip the
sweater off but I won't slip it off. He's a silly goose though
he'll know he'll cuddle me. No it's an emergency he won't
cuddle maybe if I hug him first. Ina needs a hug and then
he'll comment like he does on every fucking thing. Fukk he
taught me to say fukk right. Like hey baby are you cold why
Hon is everything okay but he won't because it's an emergency.
met remember? How he said all the Ina names things? Remember
how he said that I could be any Ina? Not knowing about maa
basically not knowing anything at all he said I could be any
Ina. Any Ina and it'd start with the one-syllable ones he
said. He said Mina or Tina or Lina could be me and knowing
nothing about maa. He said that. Like.. fate.. should've
known. At when he said I was his choose your own adventure I
should've known he wasn't but maybe I knew and then he said
that about the other Inas: the Marina the Angelina the
Anne-Marie-Regina and then I told him about maa. And about
grandmaa and her maa. And then he said faaaaak real slow.
Should've known maybe knew until then. Maybe should have
shaken free and sung a song and make him leave me alone and go
away and make him really go fukk off.
one thing you can give me, before you hate me for life as a
stranger who said things without knowing you. And they were
terrible things to say to someone, especially you; but I
said them only because I was enchanted by something all of a
sudden. You can let me say that you make me want to let go
of inhibitions, and let myself be hurt, and two hours with
you even.. It sounds right in my head though it's emotional
and I'm a logical man. You can give me a chance to say
something nice, you can let me teach you how to say what you
want.. to me for what I said," his eyes hands back soul
"Yes," my saying that beyond that nothing that and
His knowing then to say what I felt his teaching me how to say
fukk with meaning. And his body warm quickly like heat pulling
me from feet in distance him and me pulling like current like
he said fukk and I said fuck then fukc and then finally fukk
like he could teach me anything and then us in love and going
to bed in a public bathroom a clean bathroom we thought and we
didn't say. Should've known that something like that is bad
because it starts bad and mixes good and bad ingredients like
bad lyrics and good tune. That day that and now this. Like
yesterday that and now this.
cuddle and the hospital's clean like that bathroom was like
nobody dies here like it's clean and he's here and now what
and the nurse says there in that hall and then down and he's
waiting in the waiting room outside. Yesterday that and now
this. The sweater yeah it's covering the heart and the heart's
the sun and sunheart's one song I'll never make because it'll
sound too big for an Ina or even an Anne-Marie-Regina.
Sunheart by the Ina's come one come all no ladies and
gentlemen no just no. This one room here and he's not here o
that's him he's so silly like a goose. Ladies and gentlemen no
folks yeah folks that's him in the waiting room and here's the
Ina's Tina Mina Lina and Ina they'll sing for you and cuddle
tell me you'll listen to everything I say. Tell me you'll
stay, I don't care. There's.. there's a reason why this
happened, and you have to stay," him being someone
broken like someone I don't know.. a beggar with all the
things he's said and now this.
Maybe stay tonight but not now I can't not after he hasn't
seen the heart and doesn't know and want to know not now not
like this. Maybe today tell him no but not not like this maybe
not today but tomorrow when eyes dry up and sobriety and
there's sense. Yesterday that today that and now this. And
then tomorrow when he's ready and look he's looking forward
there see his eyes. Yes he knows.
After collision it's a rushback; something jolts. See splash
like water, see fire like hotblood, parched face and hands too
far, in awkward play, even ready as if to clap, that's the
rough edge of the spliced thought after waking. See opened up
suncore bleeding from blackholes. Watching coins peeking
silver glint from pockets, some flown all the way back. Turn
twisted around the neck muscle to watch blood; silly mortal
soak splashed. Suntwist sunjarred sun asunder for miles.
two cars Ina, and they're making noises, they're groaning
complaints after crashing, silence elsewise, someone's
injured, baby. It's him Ina, younger and murdered, baby we
need blankets because this wasn't it.
S-stop the c-car," he says, thumbing open the lock.
"What?" I, "what?"
We walk, navigating roughly, and if I'd known he was opening
the door without waiting, baby, if I'd known. We walk and you
say things and they collide like puzzlepieces of metal, faster
and then could have knocked me. But tinktink, and you say life
is such a towel. There was a lake and a push possible, in
dreaming the lake would be so much deeper, more ferocious.
Rapids would form and in the dream it wouldn't hurt in a flood
from lip to toe if I said your name.