hours(ft. you) – a slow death

dawn – whimpering fragile silhouettes/satin laces wrapped around wine stained sheets/ the streetlights flicker slowly/ “what is it like to love someone till every single breath is just an reminder how you have to get through another day alone” / i stare at the sticky note beside my bedstand/ deafening silence creeps up my spine/ yet i find a home somewhere in between/ somewhere far amidst the first ray of sun a lone bird sighs/ i tell myself that i don’t need you/ my words comes out in series of stutters/ please come home.

noon – old typewriter keys clash against tired fingers/ i tuck a loose strand of hair behind my ear / the sky looks like a pastel patchwork of metaphors today/ i hope the winds on your side of the town are gentle on your freckles/ inside my third drawer, somewhere carefully tucked inside some envelopes/ and i try so hard to not reach out for your smile/ i have survived two octobers alone since you left and i am not sure if i can take the third one.

dusk – i run my fingertips around the edge if the ceramic cup and watch my date flash me a smile/ his long brown locks are similar to yours but yet home feels so far/ long slender fingers run over my knuckles; he looks outside the window/ a tint of shyness kisses his cheeks/ i smile and shift my gaze to the sky/ have you found a different heartbeat to call your safe place now love? (i hope you still think about me)

midnight – thunder whirls past the city as i spend another sleepless night with empty arms/ the wooden box where we kept our promise rings, now serves as my ashtray/ you left me like an unfinished poem after feeding me with a very promising ending/ i smile to myself and then laugh and then choke on my own sobs/ how am i now supposed to finish the poem in me if your thoughts keep on breaking me over and over in every passing hour?

if i were a Plath’s poem


If I were a Plath’s poem,
the wide smile of the winter sun
would pierce right through my bare skin
like fingernails digging deep
into the stubborn residues of love that my lover leaves behind.
A smile would settle upon my lips,
or maybe you might hear a laugh which you know would taste sour if you were to taste.
But I would laugh anyway
for I tend to save my share of this fear and pain
to haunt your daydreams when I finally fall asleep.

If I were a Plath’s poem,
i would like to wither
in that old wisteria lane,at the back of your house
singing songs of despair to the river.
She would promise to keep my secrets safe and alive
while I would kiss death to sleep every night
till I cease,
for ever since the day chose death I knew
I belong to my lover’s fear
and by now I should learn how to get better at lying.

If I were a Plath’s poem
I want thorns to adorn my crown and
atleast one storm that would remind you of me.
On my grave I want my initials-
for I never learned to love myself past them
or maybe everything after them was just as bitter as the love we shared.
In between my blood and bones I will carry all your secrets to sleep, love
but if ever happiness embraces you as I close my eyes
remember, the river knows all your sides.
She promised to keep them alive
like how I promise to leave you haunting.

#2 excerpts of a book I’ll never write

i was told that it takes around eleven weeks to forget someone. it has been exactly eighty six days and a couple heartless hours-
and god i hope the winds on the other side of the town is gentle on your freckles. i tuck my vulnerability in the deepest corners of my pockets  and rush down the rainwashed pavements. i am craving a sunrise.

ever since your absence embraced me all i have known are metaphors that creeps down my spine, makes my skull rot and screams death right at my face. i keep them tucked, just like my vulnerability and whisper them only at night, as if it was a sin for the daylight to know that my world is falling apart. my friend says that it took you only five days and a four hour long road journey to forget my name-   my heartbeat. and i laugh, saying how i am seeing someone new. and infact i have; wasted nights with strangers, lips kissing so many stories yet failing to overcome this longing.

“….You were my good days,
But I hope your apologies rot in you tongue
And may every single cell in your body
haunts you
by calling my name.”

the last lines of my poem ends with a sigh. no matter how many excuses i come up with, i know how they always end up being about you. and i am sorry because i always wished never ending strings of sunshine for you.
Please come back-
i unknowingly hum to myself as the pink-yellow sky adorns the sleeping city.

all my life i have been running away from things that makes me feel vulnerable. but vulnerability embraces me in the most unexpected places, by the most unexpected faces.

and you take up a space that i do not want you to have, love

excerpts of a book i’ll never write-

i remember the sunrays resting on your cheeks that day and me, tracing the freckles across your face with my eyes. you looked like an angel with that little heart shaped freckle at the corner of your right eye. my fingertips run across your shoulder, then moves to your chest. palm resting right where your heart sings loudly.

last night you told me about your dreams and how there were so many things you want your mortal body to consume. oh what a pretty little disaster i would have missed if our paths never crossed. we whispered promises into smoke rings and giggled i love yous, when the cold air bit onto our fingers.
“i don’t want to go home.”
the winds make me shiver.
“shut up dork, there will always be another day.”
i prayed for the night to go slow. i prayed. maybe that is what all atheists do, when they know that they are falling- but love, i am terrified of you. i am terrified of all the dawns you are yet to consume with all the pretty strangers you are yet to come across. i am afraid because you are teaching me to love. is it even a thing anymore?

the windchime chirped as the wind whirled past the blinds. it takes four seconds and six lazy blinks for you to wake up but as soon as you do, you smile. “you didn’t sleep?”
i nod smiling back “nah, didn’t wanted to wake up.”

it is a very human thing to feel. to love. i keep reminding myself as i watch you button up your shirt from the other edge of my bed. you look up at me, brush your curls with your fingers and pretend to never hear the question that linger in my eyes. “perhaps, I’ll take up dancing again” i speak up unknowingly as you scoot closer to me. your lips press against my forehead, trailing a soft line of kisses right next to my ear. “love, no matter what you do, always remember to live. live right from the sunrise-“


“-till i cannot keep my eyes open anymore.”
i managed a smile as i watch you leave.

– and out of all the emotions i consumed in the last twenty four hours, the regret of letting you go weighed the most.

things that make me feel whole

the sound of my grandma’s laughter
laced with the warmth of the winter sun.
she braids my hair humming her lullaby
as I watch the burnt out ends of the incense stick fall
and the smell of sandalwood lingers around the room
while I silently wish,
oh how I wish to hold on to every second of this moment,
to inject it in my veins
and relive it, over and over
again and again.”

the shy smile of that pretty lady with grey hair
who sits at one end of the park bench,
listening to old Frank recite his poems.
she blushes as old Frank smile to himself
making me realise,
“that love is maybe more than just
a four worded metaphor
only if I give it a chance,
one day.”

those innocent set of giggles that escape from little Jane’s lips
while she helps her father tend the garden.
wild lilies bloom alongside a host of hydrangeas
as her “withering” elder sister-
(who fears death a little less now)
wipes a teary eye.
for now she knows what to hold on to,
before time slips away.

Vincent-

A lot hides behind the flowers you see
beside my grave
and beneath the crumbles edges of the envelopes
that reaches my doorstep every month;
For the sound of the word death
has always carried more regrets
than dying.

The cicadas chirped the loudest that summer
My fingers, wrapped delicately around the paintbrush
hoping to escape into my starry night and
maybe spot green-eyed Vincent by the banks of the Rhône
and tell him how the world has fallen in love with him
But he disappears alongwith the stars
and all I am left with is the lingering taste of spearmint in your kiss
and a hand being unheld again.

Your lover feeds you, with all the promises he fails to keep
while I waste my sanity holding on to the remains of him as his lover
and never wanting him to turn to another haunting muse.
It is the first few hours into dawn and upon every rosary bead I count your presence
On the 59th bead I stand on the edge holding hands with Vincent.
He smiles and holds my hand firmly,
“Just one more step to see the Starry Night, dear.”

I nodd and my hand never goes unheld again.

Exulansis

1. I am twenty two winters, six heartbreaks and two (near) deaths old.

2. My skin is nothing less than a graveyard of ink upon with every man i loved is allowed to leave a trace behind. A set of initials clutter my wrist, then follows the navy blue scarf with a knot which is still tight enough to cease a heartbeat, a cigarette for the one who taught me the “art” of healing and a small infinity that the canvas itself is afraid to be a victim of.

3. My tongue only recalls the taste of burning eulogies that I recite to myself to bed. On the verge dawn my silhouette starts to wither with the smoke fumes that escape my ice cold lips. Then the daylight breaks and I wish to die, again. But here I am bleeding verses in every language I can grasp you in, wiping my tears with the sleeve of my sweater and laughing in between as I choke on my sobs.

4. I still seek for that faint residues of cigarettes and chocolates upon every stranger I kiss to relive my regret, again and again. I reach out to all the “flaws” that don’t make them you and perfect them with one single word – mine. This darkness I am feeding myself to escape from your absence feeds on me instead. I am cold and you are not here. Again.

5. I am afraid to show people the world I create with my ink, mainly because I don’t want them to know that beneath these flesh and bones all I am left with are trigger warnings and a heart which feels guilty everytime it beats. Sometimes I wonder whether silence would  have been this loney if I never raised my walls high. But I know I have to drown alone, for  love cannot live here. It won’t survive in the world I give birth to.

Exulansis -n. the tendency to give up trying to talk about an experience because people are unable to relate to it.

My sunset collection ~

1. stuck in traffic altering hues of the November sun reaching out for the lost metaphors in fragile eyes/a parade of cars stretch endlessly watching birds fly back to their home/the familiar smell of roasted coffee lingers by the streets/your yellow tote filled with some second hand classics sits on the passenger seat/the song you slow dance to you on your high school prom comes on the radio and you can’t help but smile as the crimson remains of the sun kisses the busy city a see you again.

2. the one with the dogyou walk along the riverside taking the long way home/a butterfly sits on your shoulder/you smile coming along to the new tune which is stuck in your head since the day you walked in to that small flower shop next to your uni/a laughter suddenly bricks up your ears and and a few moments later you spot a wagging tail followed by a little girl/you watch them from afar for a while, humming to yourself as some dandelions keep you company.

3. waiting for the busyou wait at the bus stop in your soaked pullover and muddy shoes/ undoing your braids you sit quietly listening the rhythm of the raindrops upon the roof above you/ the winds get cold as you clutch on your pullover/ after a few shivers the rain stops/you walk up to the edge of the road, wanting to feel the soft sun on your cold skin/a few warm kisses to a little happy heart and you hear the bus arrive.

4. that followed me homei ran away from home one morning/ cycling my way across the sloppy hills, abandoned boutiques, happy riverside and found myself surrounded by the mist and meadows/i let time slip through my fingers as your mixtape play on loop/ “where did i go wrong.” – I flick through my journal/but the dried flowers clasped alongside the beige pages had a story of their own/the sky looked soft and so did my heart ; once. /the flowers have dried. i have come a long way/ i cycle down to the spot where i first tasted heartbreak – [Hideaway bookstore, Keating Road. 18th October, 2018]/ sitting on that very spot with shaky fingers i type my text back/ “Sure I’ll be happy to join you both tonight for dinner. Eagerly waiting to meet Kate. See you soon Landon”/ more than friends yet less than familiars/ i sigh at my lonely shadow as the sunset follows me home.

5. the one with the biketangled wires and dusty piano keys/on my lavender dress still smiles the faded red wine stain that my high school boyfriend spilled three summers back/ the cream coloured curtains against my window frame along with the few hydrangeas i have been trying to grow for a while, somehow has always been my safe place/ the skylight splits in two somewhere while I watch the sun sing the songs of sunset to the charming old town on my half/ suddenly an unfamiliar feeling overwhelms me/ i run up to the front gate and the next thing I know is the wind whirling across me as i pedal faster and faster/ ten minutes,forty-two seconds and the sea stands proudly in front of me/i spot a blue bicycle similar to mine from a distance and can’t help but feel my heart race/three years, seven months and eleven days/ “so you did remember?” a familiar voice chuckles in the background.

6. picking strawberries winter of 2010/my little sister runs around with our dog Casper while my grandma smiles seeing her laugh/ i sit with my mother, who hums along with me to the radio/ the summer sunset embraces my grandma’s little garden/ now i smile looking at her picture/ how can the same “time” that allows you to heal, can be so haunting sometimes/ i here little footsteps coming closer to my door as i pinch my cheeks and smile opening the door/ in five solid minutes I hear a a chorus of innocent giggles admist the fields/ I walk around the strawberry fields smiling at happy kids and sit by my sister’s side helping her out/ and as soon as the sun starts bidding us goodbye I walk up to the empty bench embracing the evening/ my mother come and sits beside me humming softly to a unknown tune/ “She’s proud of you, love” she whispers to me while I nod smiling to her.

7. after a long daywinter of 2012/ loose cotton shirts tucked into pleated school skirts/your hair falling after a long on your face as you pack your bag/ your best friend smiles from the corner of the classroom/ walking down the hallway you bid every familiar face a goodbye/ your best friend smiles showing off her fountain of wrinkles by the corner of her eyes over your ice-cream date/ the sun softly falls on your shoulder as you watch your shadows dance while you walk home/waving your best friend goodbye you take your lane towards home/ you are happy. you are loved.

8. the one with pink cloudsthe sound of your lover’s laughter alongside your cheeky smile/ a list of your “origami names” sit on your lap, each making you laugh harder and harder/ the sound of the brook makes you want to grasp this moment with all your might/ your lover says how he cannot wait to see the sakura flowers next year with you while you cast him back a crooked smile/ soon the sunset starts to hover above you/ fabled pink skies and young hearts full of love/maybe it is true that pink skies are handcrafted for those who falls a little too hard; unknowingly but deeply.

9. made me feel betterthe old library holds a faint smell of vulnerability/ sharp smell of burnt out cigarettes and the set daisies upon every window pane/ you sit beside the huge reciting another classic romance/ the clock tower stands tall admist the town and the last fleeting rays of the sun clings on to the- cathedral down the street, the cracked sidewalks, the happy cafés, the “vulnerable” library along with me/ “vulnerable” I laugh closing my book and tracing my fingers upon my burnt marks/ you say “vulnerable” like it is a bad word/ aren’t all wonderous artworks outcomes of vulnerability too, love?

the “art” of drowning


Winter of 2002.
Age – 5.
Status – naive.
the last ray of the winter sun kisses my freckles
while I watch my elder sister rubbing her ink stained arms
alongwith a few streaks of blood,
hissing with teary eyes
Poetry is for dead lovers.
Never make the mistake of even tasting art.
It is a sin. You will end in ruins.”


Spring of 2008.
Age – 11.
Status – scared.
my sister wakes up screaming one night.
standing by her door I watch my mother shush-ing her
she screams, shivers and then
she breakdowns.
after an hour, my mother tucks her in.
walking up to me she whispers,
“Maybe this is why natural disasters have human names-
But listen to me child,
take care of your sister for maa okay.”


Summer of 2015.
Age – 18.
Status – lost.
my lover breaks the silence,
shoving his hands to his pocket he asks how was I-
“My heart’s a mess, what else is new?”
the pink sky sighs
as the dandelions alongside my sister’s grave keeps me company.
Here lies Ankita-
daughter, sister, friend, lover
“-and a poet who became a poem.”
i add.


Fall of 2019.
Age – 22
Status – broken.
“my lover says taste like a sinner
and yes I admit I have tasted poetry
so forgive me maa,
for I have sinned.”
She looks at me-
scared, worried and disgusted.
“But my love, poetry is for the dead!”
Pouring another bottle of whisky in my coffee cup,
I look at my (now) frightened mother
“Whisky burns your throat,
but love burns your heart
.
.
.
and Maa, I have been dead for so long.

of poetries and lovesongs

La vie en rose ~

falling in love under pink skies/ receiving handwritten love letters from your long distance lover/ that beige sweater your sister knitted for you/ holding hands while stargazing/ coffee scented candles/ an expensive collection of red wine/ silk dresses and stilettos/ dusty mauve lipstick/ roses withering away on a vintage flower vase/ old vinyls and classic literature/ a promised love story.


Fly me to the moon ~

keeping an old love alive by art/ unlit cigarettes and your ex lover’s scarf smiling from your night stand/ criss-crossed sunbeams on your freckled face/ a series of cocktails on a winter evening/ a bouquet of lillies on your door step/ the smell of nostalgia clinging onto your satin sheets/ words demanding an escape/ reciting poems to the moon/ the act of letting go but hardly moving on.


Can’t help falling in love ~

your favourite lullaby/ that young love that never left your side/ baking cookies at 2 a.m. with your beloved/ those little kisses you share on red lights/ candlelight dinners on October evenings/ slow dancing to old songs/ knowing that life is beautiful- that love really exist/ innocent intimacy/ and a love beyond our mortal bodies, which touches your soul and never fades.


Somewhere only we know ~

preserving old perfume bottles to relive old memories/ singing your songs by the brook, to all the fallen flowers she carries with her/ the desire to find your missing piece/ celebrating every heartbeat/ counting your blessings every night/ falling in love with someone’s smile/ writing songs for your favorite muse/ but hardly finding the courage to confess to them.