Awaken

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BURNING at the center
of mere being
there is a radiant star
blazing in all of its agony
to reveal a secret
that you never knew existed.

You are asleep
haunted by the phantoms
of illusory dream-world;
caught and entangled
in the chaos
of false liberation.

Awaken
to the sound of
shockwaves tearing
across the sky
as the whirling dervish rotates
with the dance of the universe;
pound the drum that stimulates
the mystery of heart and soul;
listen to the rhythm that pulsates
with mystic solar energy
of time immemorial.

You are dizzy
lost in this ecstatic high
ailing from confusion
the dervish says:
you have been drinking poison
all of your life
you have been a victim
of a sadistic science experiment
reprogrammed by greedy corporations
implanted with falsehood
artificiality of living
you are an android
dreaming to be
human.

Unplug yourself
From the lies
From deceit and deception
From the fear and misery
Unplug
From the system.

Come, this way
to the open field
where the blade of sunlight
pierces through darkness;
open your mouth
and drink some of this
become absorbed
in this hyper trance
turn, spin, whirl
up, down, left, right
let go
and become
nameless, faceless
directionless.

Discover your luminary self
conquer dizziness
burn through the shell
of temporal chrysalis;
radiate like celestial fire
emerge and bloom
into flowery madness.

Yes, you know who you are
You are here to set the world ablaze;
open your eyes
with the flame of ignited stars
and see the universe
that was created with One Divine Breath.

Inhale and exhale with that.

~BM~

Immortal Love

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He wrapped his arms around her
beneath the shade of a magic willow tree.
The sweet orchard glowed soft
with leaves painted like water color.

Lover and Beloved were in a special place;
a secret sky only Love can conceive.
To them, it was visible and bright as day;
to others, it was “make believe.”

The radiant colors showered upon them,
each leaf dripping with passion and poetry;
swirling around them like fireflies.
She asked him, “Won’t you read one for me?”

He smiled at the falling leaves
and said to her: Tell them, my dear
that we are falling too,
into a sea of roses where eternity awaits.

For years – he continued – I listened for secrets
until one day, the whispers in the wind began to whistle
and revealed to be the sonorous melody of your voice,
a romantic overture to release my heart from the shackles.

She gazed deep into his eyes
“Beloved,” she said, “I have seen the oasis,
that place inside of you – a desire burning in ecstasy;
together we are one flame, a dream made manifest.”

As you know, reader, the world is a miserable place,
filled with the corrupt and sinister faces.
There are demons running in this field,
lurking in the grove and hiding – until now.

Even in a dream-world like this,
darkness can still penetrate the sphere you created.
The unknown creatures lay siege to the Lover’s kingdom;
trees, gardens, animals, – burned, slaughtered.

Lover and Beloved stood by and watched.
An unforeseen storm worked its mayhem,
like a massive whirlwind taunting their Love.
For the first time in a long time, fear had struck them.

Their eyes were locked on each other,
as the violent wind tore at their flesh.
He said: “It doesn’t want us to go any further.”
“If our Love is true, we have to brave the storm.”

Should the Lovers separate,
the storm would magically disappear.
But should they return to one another,
the brutal cyclone would reappear.

She grabbed his hand – it was meant to be.
Her strength channeling into his veins,
her faith coursing through his blood.
Their bodies and souls working in absolute harmony.

They raced across the quaking terrain,
charging towards the wild tornado without fear.
She tightened her grip – I’m here.
He squeezed back – I feel you.

And suddenly, something sharp hit him,
like an unseen blade puncturing his heart;
he screamed without a sound: Beloved!
He lost her – and tumbled hard to the ground.

Debris of broken branches cut across her forearms
as she rushed back to her fallen Beloved.
He said to her: Maybe this is how it’s meant to be,
maybe there is no way ahead.

Oh Beloved, she replied,
Don’t you already know?
We are twin halves of one another,
intertwined, inseparable; friendship aglow.

You are me, and I am you
We are alpha and omega,
elements of the universe
working in perfect unison.

Come spend forever with me, my Love,
In the same way joy lives with sorrow.
Witness the birth of a supernova,
two fiery stars we are, fused with the cosmos.

He said: Beloved, you are the torchbearer,
your words burn through my skin
and set my soul ablaze;
reminding me there is always strength within.

He rose to his feet and held her hand again.
She smiled: What is there to fear
when the storm is wind
and we are Fire?

He smiled back and replied:

Let’s go – into mystery.
Death or life, whatever awaits us,
I am with you – eternally
For I belong nowhere else.

I would die for you, Sayonee.

~BM~

A Mirror for You

Morning_Star
In her silent glow
the full moon shines
with her Creator’s beauty

She knows you wander down below
feeling so helpless
and wounded in the dark

Look how He made me, she says
so radiant and beautiful
serving as a mirror for you

The violet stars can feel your heart tremble
who taught you to be afraid of the dark, azizam?
bring your gaze here and dive into moonlight

Become my guest on this lonely night
and see the Creator’s work in you
look into yourself to see Him

Realize…

You,
like the moon,
luminous and beautiful

~Broken Mystic~

Delirium

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The mystics invited me to their gathering
On the way, a strange man met me on the road
He stood before me, eclipsing the sun in his black robes
He said, “Come to the carnival instead”

I followed him like a ghost crossing into another world
Where everything is spoken through symbols and metaphor
I watched as we passed through the crowded fair
Of old and young lost in the recreation of ancient folklore

Wizards with their tarot cards, magicians in medieval costumes
Mimes trapped in their imaginary prisons
Fire breathers lighting up the sky in wonder
Appearing like dragons in the imagination of children

A sun-colored butterfly fluttered amidst the strange
I followed its flight to a stone-faced audience
Watching the puppet show of Crusaders and Saracens
Hypnotized by the centuries of cruelty and violence

My eyes sank in sorrow
Not realizing that the man I came with
Vanished into the unknown
Leaving only a compass around my neck

It pointed to a tall, thin man watching me with his gothic eyes
A crystal ball levitating in the palm of his hand
I looked inside and saw myself soaring through clouded skies
He veiled the image and invited me into the large tent behind him

“Come, step inside,” he said

Walking through, I listened to the magical bells
Echoing in peaceful jubilee
As a garden bloomed on the concert stage
With rose petals raining like dream-like fantasy

A young girl dressed as a princess
Whirling beneath the falling tulips
With a halo hovering over her head
And a precious smile painted on her lips

She reminds me of the ocean’s dance
When I was another child
Dreaming about portals in the sea
And escaping far, far away into self-exile

For a moment, it was all happiness and bliss
Like living in a floating sphere vibrant with color
Like beautiful words blown into the wind
Touching skin and heart softly like an Angel’s kiss

But how transitory that was
When the wild lights began to spiral
And I heard those crazy circus clowns
Laughing wickedly on their unicycles

Their laughter reminds me of hellfire
Roaring through those endless fields of mine
Burning every flower, slaughtering every dream
Leaving nothing left to grow, nothing left to find

They juggled their sharp and deadly blades
Grinning at the audience like cardboard cartoons
Each dagger spinning and slicing through the air
I can only hear violence and murder in their tune

As if they were putting on a sadistic show
Where I was the dummy flown to the highest cloud
Only to have my strings cut and fall below
Deep into the heart of the darkest abyss

I left the tent, not wanting to stay any longer
Yet it were gypsy strings that called me to another street
Beyond the ferris wheel where families gathered
Beyond the swan boats where Lovers drifted upon the lake

I saw the fiddle player sitting upon a stage
Next to a luminous unicorn glowing like a star in Heaven
A magician bowed her head as the marveled audience clapped
Her eyes searched through the sea of faces and met mine in unison

She smiled and said, “I need a volunteer”

As if it was instinct and meant to be
I rose my hand and made my way through the masses
She opened her hand, waiting for me
Like a savior offering eternal refuge and escape

Our fingers touched, our hands merged
I felt my heart tremble as a current rippled inside
She drew me silently up the steps
Like I was the seeker and she the guide

“This Way,” she whispered
While walking me to a double-sided door
Nothing behind it, nothing within
Just a frame of wood, nothing more

She wrapped a blindfold around my eyes
Mystified and blinded in darkness
She told me I could remove it soon
After I opened the door and walked inside

I took my careful steps, hoping for answers
And closed the door behind me
I finally removed the blindfold
Only to find myself in a hall of spiraling mirrors

I turned around and reached for the knob
But watched it unscrew and fall to the crimson floor
Pounding at the door, I heard nothing from the other side
The past sealed shut – no other way but forward

I walked to the center of the room
Watching infinite reflections follow myself
Gazing deep into my own eyes, I saw a storm gather
The joys, the pain, the misery, the light, the gloom

I became lost in my own self
Not wanting the heart’s agony anymore
A desire to flee from this shell swept over me
A desire I never recognized before

I thought to myself and longed for escape:

I’d rather be a statue in the water fountain
Engraved with a smile on my face
Handing out roses to the lonely souls
Who just want to live in a beautiful place

I’d rather be a voice in your mind
Telling you that it’s going to be ok
As you drive home alone late at night
Dwelling on your sorrows and contemplating suicide

I’d rather be the ever-present spirit of Love
Holding you in arms, whispering comfort in your ears
As you weep over your broken heart
And wallow in unwanted fear

I’d rather be a guardian Angel
For an innocent prisoner sitting on death row
Adoring her paintings and releasing her from the shackles
Carrying her beautiful soul into the next life

I’d rather be a drop of rain
Kissing your cheek for comfort
Or a ray of light from the sun
Reminding your heart that it will shine again

I’d rather be the gentle breeze blowing through your hair
Accompanied by the magical tune of the santour
A sheet of wind wrapping around you
Carrying your imagination to a distant seashore

I’d rather be a vision of a better world
Rushing into the arms of artists and activists
Celebrating in tears of joy as each and every dream
Is made real and manifest

I’d rather feel nothing
No anger, no hate, no pain
No one to hurt, no one to blame
Nothing to take, nothing to gain

“I” would rather not exist

And suddenly, the hallway erupted in laughter
My eyes darted down both ends of the room
Before realizing it came from my reflection in the mirror
“Why do you laugh?” I ask

“Because you are the real lunatic,” he answered
Mysteriously, he stepped out of the reflection
Standing in front of me, he said: “Yet you remain a coward”
“For all you know how to do is merely speak of non-existence”

Without warning, like a being possessed
I broke the mirror with my fist
And with one swift motion
I slit my clone’s throat with a blade of glass

The blood splashed on the mirrors
The entire glass hallway shattered – Kshhh!!
The pieces flew into my skin
As the ground beneath me shook like an earthquake

I fell through the floor
And found myself tumbling through outer space
Debris floating around me as I plunged deeper
I became surrounded by stars, distant planets and nebulae

Comets, meteors, galaxies whirling in darkness
I spun like a pinwheel, spiraling in every direction
My arms extending, my fingers reaching
Reaching for something in desperation

Reaching for Love, hope, beauty
For happiness, joy, euphoria
For peace, balance, tranquility
For life, home – something, anything!

My skin turning pale
My body surrendering
My blood freezing to ice
My heart beginning to fail

A voice enters my mind – Look, over here!
I turn and see Simurgh – my old Friend
Soaring through the heavens like a shooting star
Oh, Simurgh, I thought you were dead

Carried by the solar winds
She swoops above me – bloodied from our past
Before I could smile, her talons dig into my chest
And violently tears me open

My screams suffocated by the cosmic void
Only tears and blood can trickle from my eyes
When murdered by the Friend of Love
Only the soul can fill the universe with my endless cries

Amidst the pain, I heard sound emerge in space
I saw Simurgh pulling stars with her flapping wings
Energy and light – They raced in my direction!
I heard music! – Like a symphony of strings!

Luminous orbs of plasma gathering like an ocean
And swirling like a solar typhoon
I heard them whistling through the dark
As they charged towards my open wound

I heard the orchestra’s crescendo
The chant of mystics resounding
The passion drums pounding
Duum! Duum! Duum!

I understood now
As the realization came to me
“Death before death”
The Way to eternity

O Giver of Love and Mercy!
You have cut me open
Pull Your storm
Into me

Flames shooting out of my eyes
And infinite rays of light beaming in every direction
As my heart swallowed Heaven’s fire
Every star filling me with divine resurrection

I have exploded into infinity
Sailing to that Love I cannot name
Expanding forever with the universe
Bidding farewell to yesterday’s “me”

And upon those memories of sorrow, I smile at you

I am Supernova
And you are Stargazer
Watch the multi-colored flame
Of my Being shine anew

~ Broken Mystic~

Dunkin’ Donuts, Allah, and Quantum Physics

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So, I’ve been speaking to some of my friends about quantum physics lately (by the way, isn’t the picture above amazing?) and how our thoughts carry vibrations that affect the world around us. As a result, I’ve been thinking deeper about the connections we make with other human beings as well as the world. I have a book called “The Sense of Being Stared At” by Rupert Sheldrake and it argues that our experiences with “coincidences” and “unexplained phenomena” (such as sensing who’s on the phone before answering it) are rooted in our biology. It’s really fascinating because he grounds a lot of his theories in scientific research. These experiences are so common and yet they’re rarely studied or taken seriously. We tend to overlook them too and dismiss them as mere “coincidences.”

I’m sure all of us have had experiences that we can’t explain. I know those who delve into spirituality/mysticism talk a lot about how everything happens for a reason. As the Qur’an says: “And with Allah are the keys of the unseen, no one knows them except Allah. He knows all that is in the ocean and on the land. No leaf falls without His knowledge, nor any particle in the dark recesses of the earth, nor anything green and fresh or dry and withered but that it is in a clear book.” (6:59)

I don’t believe in “coincidences” and I’ve always believed them to be signs. Even with my friends or when I meet new people, I know there is some greater purpose and significance there. We meet people for a reason, we go to certain places for a reason, we experience joy and sorrow for a reason, and so on. Talking about energy, morphic fields, and vibrations is so fascinating because, as a friend put it, it’s “science affirming mystic thought!”

Yesterday, I had one of those experiences. The weather was absolutely beautiful, so my friends and I made plans to play roller hockey. Prior to our game, I oddly felt in the mood for one of those supreme omelet croissants at Dunkin’ Donuts. Yeah, I know. Dunkin’ Donuts, not healthy, not good for you, lol. But I went through the drive thru and, as expected, there was a nice Indian woman who took my order. I drove up to the window and said, “No bacon or meat on it, right?” She shook her head and said, “no.” Then she asked, “From where you are from?” I replied, “Lahore, Pakistan.” She smiled and asked, “Hindi nahi aati?” (You don’t speak Hindi?) I smiled back and replied, “Tori se aati hain” (I know a little bit).

I laughed because I tried to carry a conversation with her in Urdu/Hindi. She asked if I was born here, and I was like, “Nahi, Lahore mein peda howa” (No, I was born in Lahore — I don’t know if I said it right, lol, so feel free to correct me!) She responded, “And you still don’t know how to speak it?” (She said that in Urdu/Hindi, but if I try to transliterate what she said, I’ll butcher it!) Then I had to drop the Urdu/Hindi and tell her that I was born there but never lived in Pakistan since my parents moved us to the United States. “I’m learning though,” I added. “Yeah, you should!” she replied.

When she went to get my food, I said “sobhan’Allah” out loud and laughed. Whenever I go to Dunkin’ Donuts or other stores, the South Asian clerks rarely speak to me in Urdu/Hindi, let alone ask me about where I’m from. Of course it’s happened before, but it’s been a while. I couldn’t help but think about my most recent note, “Searching for My Pakistani Identity,” and how I mentioned feeling bad for not speaking Urdu/Hindi with South Asians. And yesterday, a day after I wrote the note, there I was talking to a South Asian in Urdu/Hindi.

Coincidence? I don’t think so. There is Beauty in these precious moments and experiences we have. They’re filled with so much meaning and, as Shah Nimatullah Wali puts it, “everything throughout the world, everywhere, end to end, is but a reflection of a ray cast from the Face of the Friend.”

After she handed me my food, I said “shukriya” (thank you) and drove away with a smile. I couldn’t help but think Allah was smiling at me :)

Ya Haqq! (Hail the Truth!)

~Broken Mystic~

Dear Love

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Dear Love,
I remember the night we met
When You climbed over those walls I built
And held my hand to show me a new horizon
Revealing a world I could never imagine

When I wanted to turn my face in the other direction
Your gentle touch brought me closer
I watched my fortress melt by Your Passion
I didn’t resist and burned it down with You

Oh Love, you tore through my Soul!
You pulled a Thunderous Storm of Fire into me!
You unfastened Your Love to unleash fiery Romance
And conquered my Being to set me Free

You pinned me to the ground
Gazed into my eyes and swallowed my words
You filled me with the sweetest pleasure I ever knew
And my heart became music to praise Your Name with every pound

Oh Love, you maddened me!
Fire in my heart, Flames in my eyes
Desire on my lips, hot blood in my veins
A human torch for Beauty

Oh Love, but then You struck me down!
While I was singing and soaring with ecstasy
Your sword plunged into my breast!
So violently, so painfully, so suddenly

I crashed so hard through the thorns
I bled for hours and searched the forest to find You
I shouted Your Name, but only heard the haunting echoes
The Garden was vacant, the flowers wounded
I shivered, I trembled, I collapsed and mourned

Oh Love, You murdered me!
Brutality to my soul, a massacre to my dreams
Betrayed, broken, shattered, butchered
Memories scattered over a forgotten sea

In rainfall I wept one day
Feeling so alone without You
Little did I know, You were right there
Wrapping Your Warm Arms around me

“I have always been Here,” You said

Tears of sorrow became tears of joy
As everything began to shine
I turned and embraced You
Oh Love, I was blind the whole time

You bring Life, You bring Death
You Destroy, You Restore
Friend, this Secret You whisper in my ear
Has become my Road to Heaven’s Door

Dear Love, it is Here where I surrender
It is Here, where I dance
Like a Flower blooming in the Garden
I am a Rose for You

Turning and ascending
Painted with Passion
Calling out Your Name
Joy or torment, it doesn’t matter

I remain Loyal to You

~Broken Mystic~

Oneness

dietrich_rumi

An old poem I wrote in August of 2007. I recently shared it on one of my friend’s Facebook page, so I decided to share it here as well.

Look beyond the illusion of separation
Call me not by labels of the world
Not even “male” or “man”
Do not look at the color of my skin
Or what flag I “belong” to

Muslim, Christian, Jew, Buddhist, Hindu,
European, African, Middle-Eastern, Asian
Whatever you are, come closer
Love’s flame says, “I can’t take it anymore”

Mystic fire races through the unseen
Burning the walls of separation to ashes
“The gates have been unlocked”, says Divine Love
“And the keys were melted by my passion”

Your maps are wrong, erase those borders
Move closer to each other
Language, culture, religion – these are not barriers
Friendship always finds a way

Throw your labels away for once
And put judgment to rest
Look inside, beneath the skin
Do you see what burns within?
The flame of Being – I am that
You are that

Love has shattered those inner walls
And said, “You will not need these anymore”
Receive with open arms, open heart
Radiate, Shine, and Give

Glow with me, O world!

We belong to the same family
Same Creation, same Source
Take up your instruments
From all corners of the earth
And celebrate this unity!

O Beloved, burn with me!

~Broken Mystic~

Wa Shahid Habib Allah (And the Martyr is Beloved by God)

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“I am and always will be a Muslim. My religion is Islam.” – Malcolm X

Every year, on this day, February 21st, I always get reminded of how this extraordinary man had a profound impact on my life. Reading his autobiography and studying his life in college showed me a human being who epitomized the meaning of a true leader. Anyone who knows me knows that I don’t curse or swear, and a lot of that was inspired by Malcolm X. To me, his life represents the life-long human learning experience. Unlike our contemporary politicians and so-called “world-leaders,” he was a man who was never afraid of admitting his mistakes. His humility, passion, and perseverance in the face of sheer adversity will always be admirable to me.

His life also shows how people can dramatically change by the Infinite Grace of Allah subhanna wa ta’ala. Here was a man who was involved in drug dealing, robbery, gambling, lusting after women, and steering prostitutes. Although he did not convert to true Islam in prison, Allah found him and pulled him out of darkness. Malcolm X gave up his old habits and turned towards self-educating himself. It’s amazing how much he would read in prison and take so many notes, and eventually become one of the greatest leaders the world has ever known.

He broke off from the “Nation of Islam” (which is very different from Islam, so much so that the teachings are completely contrary to what Islam teaches) after performing his Hajj in the Holy City of Mecca. Rumi says one must travel to Mecca in their heart first, but there are such places in the world that are just so filled with the Divine Spirit that they touch people’s souls in such incredible ways. Malcolm states in his autobiography that he had never experienced such sincere hospitality and brotherhood as practiced in Mecca. The Hajj, as Malcolm says, made him change his whole way of thinking. He learned that judging people by the color of their skin was not only wrong, but also un-Islamic and represented the worst human being. Malcolm discovered that there were Muslims of all different colors in Mecca. Malcolm says that, in Mecca, it was the first time he had ever stood before the Creator of All living things and felt like a complete human being. When Malcolm left Mecca, he said:

“A part of me, I left behind in the Holy City of Mecca. And, in turn, I took away with me, forever, a part of Mecca.”

It’s heart-wrenching for me whenever I think about his assassination on February 21st, 1965 and how he was murdered in front of his wife and children. I know that if Malcolm were alive today, many things would be different. There would be more understanding and far less ignorance. But his life continues to inspire young Muslims and non-Muslims around the world. His teachings and his message is needed more than ever now, and it should be our duty to carry out that responsibility. As many say, Malcolm was not killed for who he was; he was killed for who he was becoming. Muslims and non-Muslims alike take great offense when Malcolm is labeled a “racist,” a “black supremacist,” or an “extremist.” Anyone who brands Malcolm those things has never studied his life or listened to the beauty of his words.

May we always remember brother Malcolm in our hearts and prayers for he symbolizes the voice of truth, social justice, and equality; the Martyr of God who will never be forgotten. May our Loving Creator bless his beautiful soul and grant him peace.

“America needs to understand Islam, because this is the one religion that erases from its society the race problem… I am not a racist in any form whatsoever. I don’t believe in any form of discrimination or segregation. I believe in Islam. I am a Muslim and there is nothing wrong with being a Muslim, nothing wrong with the religion of Islam. It just teaches us to believe in Allah as the God. Those of you who are Christian probably believe in the same God, because I think you believe in the God who created the universe. That’s the One we believe in, the One who created the universe–the only difference being you call Him God and we call Him Allah. The Jews call Him Jehovah. If you could understand Hebrew, you would probably call Him Jehovah too. If you could understand Arabic, you would probably call Him Allah.”

Al-Hajj Malik Al-Shabazz (Malcolm X)

Eid Al-Adha (The Festival of Sacrifice)

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When the curtain of mystery
Is drawn asunder
Unforeseen beauty emerges
From the throes of complexity

The light of realization
Shines upon thee
The test becomes a journey
Toward inward illumination

Remember how Abraham roamed the night
Distraught by a haunting revelation
Turning his palms to the sky
Praying for the life of his first son

Shaytaan stood by the road
Only to inflict fear and lead astray
Venture through darkness, O’ Abraham
The Hand of Creation will guide you to Heaven’s abode

Remember Me, says the Merciful One
Anyone who denounces Shaytaan
And believes in Me has grasped the strongest bond
One that never breaks [Qur’an, 2:256]

Abraham replied : You are my Lord, my Creator
Only You can release me from such agony
Flame of my Soul, Source of my Being
You demolish and You restore

My Friend, my Beloved, my Constant
When I was frightened, You rescued me
When I was alone, You embraced me
When I was happy, You cherished me

You make me dance, You make me cry
You make me smile, You make me tremble
You make me discover, You make me question
You make me live, You make me die

And so loyal Abraham entered the cypress gardens
Fearless Ismail lay his head beneath his father’s blade
Abraham readied his knife: For You, my Spiritual King
But an Angel of Light intervened and ended the burden

No harm was done to his beloved son
And thus, the message of Faith was revealed
Out of mystery came enlightenment
A lesson to be learned and remembered

Lovers, Believers, Submitters
Whatever names you call them
They, like Abraham, surrender to the call of Love
That is their Faith, their bond with the Eternal Protector

The bond that never breaks

~Broken Mystic~

Haiku

injustice

First friends, then Lovers
When Lovers become strangers
What happens to the history of romance?

~Broken Mystic~

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