Words: A Poem by Muhammad Nadeem

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Have you ever read something
that worked as a stitch
on an open wound?

The words that feel like
the ointment on the painful limb
or the plaster on a broken bone?
Words you read and feel stress-free
or give relief to a grieving heart?
Words that tranquilize you
like a child’s first smile?
Words that soothe the roiling soul?
Words working like a mason
rebuilding a broken wall?

Have you ever read words
that made you
laugh, smile and wonder?

Words that smell
like the blooming crimson roses?
Words you read again and again
to absorb the ecstasy?
Words, poems, phrases, sentences
that could make you happy,
and give you peace.

I failed!

I failed to write such words.
My words can’t soothe
anyone’s soul.

They won’t work miracles.
I write what destroys the beautiful
castle of peaceful dreams.

My words work as bleach
in the baby’s eyes.
Like nails in the ankles.
Like acid on the silky skin.

My words poison the peace
in the sinless heart.
My words work as a sharp blade
on a virgin’s throat.

My words cause darkness
in the summer sky.
My words are burnt souls
in the shining full-moon.

My words now burn down to ashes;
the worlds I once made for you.
My words cancer the pages
they are written on.

My words are chronic tumors
in the perfect lungs.
My words corrupt the beats
of an innocent heart.

My words are the epitaph
on the tombstone of love.
My words are bullets
to a hungry stomach.

My words are the sobs and sighs
of a loving and kind
childless mother.
My words are dedicated to
nobody now.

They don’t come happily to me.
They don’t run peacefully
through my veins.
They don’t come as easily
as they used to.

Every alphabet chokes me to death;
They give me violent nightmares.
They give migraines to my soul.
They fire the peace inside me.
They need tears to grow.

I bleed words.
I scream them,
on silent innocent papers.
I mercilessly carve them
with the blunt knife
on the fresh skin.

They aren’t just the words.
They are the insane chaos
left inside.
They are the dreadful dead cries
of sanity.
They are the mutilated voices
of simple dreams.

My words are only
what’s left of me.

Who will dare to read?

Who will have the courage
to scratch these blood clots
I honor the pages with?


Muhammad Nadeem is an avid-reader and writes reviews, poetry and short stories. He currently edits Harmukh Magazine. He also works with translation and criticism and has previously been published in Prachya Review Journal, Cafe Dissensus Magazine, KashmirLit Journal, Oracle Opinions, Greater Kashmir, Free Press Kashmir, Kashmir Reader, Kashmir Life, Kashmir Pen, Kashmir Vision, Inverse Journal among other reputed literary newspapers, magazines and journals. He can be reached at his Instagram handle @nadeem_reads or at his e-mail address here.

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