What It Takes
It takes compromise.
Some kind of click happens in your mind’s back switch,
and you realise that you’re never going to do any better.
I always thought-
It takes a look in the eyes,
some kind of crazed search for salvation
against a backdrop of don’t want to be alone anymore,
of reprieve from too many salty pillow cases.
It takes a serious lack of self-respect.
Aren’t the people who are never alone afraid of who they are?
It takes too many barbie dolls.
Somehow along the way they decided that
36-18-34 was a star we should strive for,
and that the fragility of our wrists
should be a cross taken up by
the man who is so blessed to keep us.
It takes water-soluble paint.
You don’t want to be stuck with something permanent,
What if you realise you want it in a different colour?
What if you signed on the wrong line?
What if it was someone else’s contract?
It takes a temporary lapse of judgement.
Too much ecstasy tricking you to false empathy,
a thousand words through some unhindered receptor,
affection of a moment holding time from the truth.
It takes breaking point-
too many questions at family reunions.
It takes some ancient social construct…
which predates recorded history!
It takes blackmail.
It takes barter.
It takes a child in the hands of a monster.
It takes a broken condom and a missed pill.
It takes the death of someone else’s partner.
It takes something else.
Sometimes we actually do things for the right reason.
It takes guts.
When you cover the final stretch
between you and that person,
and the twisting in your abdominal cavity
is negated by the inflation in your chest
because the silences between breaths
are filled with the sound of I love you.
It takes commitment.
Like the measured steps we have to take
for the sake of something we want to grow,
when the thorns on which you prick your finger
are irrelevant- you have to get rid of the weeds.
It takes some precise planning.
Some foresight about when to do what,
some laying down the tracks for
some eventual destination,
some preventing of a derail.
It takes trust.
two hands finding each other in darkness,
fingertips the only thing giving off light,
you see nobody really knows for sure,
you just start guessing that
there isn’t anybody else who
could light your sky up the same way.
It takes belief.
Faith is not a gift you can get in a box,
it either wells up inside you,
or you try and fail to build it,
but being here right now,
with smiles dancing between you,
and contentment sitting like a child across your laps,
I feel like there might be hope yet.
Each moment in a place like this
helps me to believe that it might be all possible.
Thank you both for helping me to believe.
Written for performance at the marriage of my dear friends Siti Nurfaizah and Razi Razak.