Your skies have a spoonful of melancholy
Stirred in cynicism.
To make sterility look
Enigmatic, you must have lived
Close to breaking,
Built a makeshift out of leftovers
From garbage heaps.
Do your veins fork out
Only to find your roots
Holding you back
From severing ties?
You have a way
With Autumn leaves –
There’s no telling, looking
Into your eyes, if that brown
Ever glimmered of oranges and reds –
You have an unhealthy obsession
Of speaking much through
Cryptic signs and half-eaten sentences –
Are you narrating one story?
Or are these fragments, crammed hastily
On threads of indifference?
For I know fragments that come with sharp edges
And no warning signs
Have turned numb.
No wonder, you photograph chaos
While remaining elusive.
4 March 2018
Because we could light up our vices,
And blame our wrecked childhood for it that taught us to spell
Through deep scars underneath our shirts –
We circled past riotous memories of merry-go-rounds and ice lollies,
And with each spin, we hoped to sprout wings from our gaping slits
Or pretended they were lightning bolts,
Depending on the fantasies we took resort to.
Our bodies were warehouses
Of problematic experiences and muted traumas under the garb of
Force-fed thrice a day,
Washed down with cheap painkillers –
Sometimes, that was the only means to escape;
That, and the blue sky.
Even now, we look for that eight-year-old stray
Hiding behind the closet drapes,
To apologise for the monsters we made.
We are still learning to water our cracks
And untangle our organs from their cage.
24 June 2018
When people ask me why I’m no longer
The cheery girl with a million dollar smile,
I tell them I had been playing a part in a sitcom called Life,
And I didn’t bother to renew my contract thereafter.
You see, it takes a lot of courage to scrape through
Weeks and weeks of unspoken resentment,
But my mouth has already been charred
From incinerating kisses I was desperate to forget the taste of.
I never realised
My body had turned into a morgue for
Damaged souls –
Until I was running out of ice boxes and patience.
I caved, and caved
Until I could fit into my polyester case
With ‘fragile’ stamped boldly in print;
You never noticed, never…
Your mouth deep inside the folds of my skin –
This is how I paid the price for being too subtle.
Grey mornings remind me how losing colour
Is a colour in itself.
Between changing sheets and accommodating old habits,
I realise when the rot sets in your bones,
It resembles faded ink from conversations
Perched along the recesses of your lips…
23 June 2018
We who have made little compromises
Know how it’s like a tightrope-walk – a quiver short of completely losing yourself.
By the time I had convinced myself I deserved it,
I had turned into a prototype of everything I had sworn
Not to be;
You see, we make promises in the heat of the moment
And sew our own shadows behind our backs like raven wings,
Desperate to battle even the harshest of storms.
If I auctioned my tongue, instead of my hips, thighs or breasts
It would hardly amount to a rupee,
For you lust after shiny, redundant objects,
Like a magpie –
(When I’m whimsical, I like to pretend I’m a cactus – until I realise it’s not the same as strewing thorns across your heart.)
Have you gone through days of needing motivation
It’s not the same as having to put on sunscreen to guard yourself from the brightness of
Other people’s smiles;
I wrap mine in cellophane to keep it waterproof against my own tears.
(We’re not meeting each other halfway through, for you can never return to the bridges you burnt.)
21 June 2018
To every three times I contemplate suicide,
On the fourth, I look up at the cotton-candy clouds and realise
How some habits are as vaguely delightful as pink, sticky fingers,
Covered in grime and longingness.
I am a euphemism for escapism;
I delight in playing noughts and crosses with my panic attacks and anxiety –
Whoever wins, I lose.
If I could be a punctuation mark,
I’d be an ellipsis…
For all the unfinished sentences and interruptions
That contorted themselves and snuggled under my skin
Like monologues I dissected at the operation table,
Desperate to find an answer.
My depression cloaks herself like Snow White’s stepmother
And presents me with the poison apple of self-doubt –
Only I sink my teeth into it, mistaking it for Hope.
People who try to tell you that mosaics and kaleidoscopes are beautiful
Are often the ones who use ‘broken’ as a synonym to describe people –
Little clockwork toys
With the spring twisted the wrong way,
For isn’t it carnage, regardless,
Even if you hemorrhage internally?
Between you and me,
We don’t kiss and tell if it was more cigarettes or regrets;
We let the embers die and try to trace a constellation of what remains.
19 June 2018
Even silence, was once a noise
Forced to seal its mouth
With a duct tape
For screams should be stifled
Down your throat
Deep in, and walled.
Your arms are like waves
That leave me inundated –
I often forget how seaweeds have no place
On the surface, where everything looks perfect
Like manicured nails on Sunday brunch
With twenty odd faces and fatuous smiles –
I’ve never been more lonely
In a crowd.
I dream of quiet afternoons and a dozen tales
Where I am shuffling in the background
As a mirage to unseeing eyes
And mine, looked on, and on
When this sky above our head changes shades
I wonder if you look away
I wonder if you still make
A home out of your unspoken questions
Or you pile them in a dark room
Love, I look for you
In every broken frame,
Every unfulfilled wish
Every Autumn sky
I look for you
In every fragment of
2 March 2018
If dreams were tinsel-coloured follies
I would still hold on to them
Until, battered, they would beg
To be released.
I haven’t got used to the dichotomy, yet,
For even in nightmares
I’m holding your hands, even if it is
For a heartbeat.
I love gray skies and to-do lists
Because theoretically, then, I have my life in control
And your voice seems less rusted over the telephone.
I try being transparent
In a crowd of jostling bodies and clammy hands
And I tried swallowing silence
Like sleeping pills
But overdosing was another story
I was not prepared for.
If storms had a colour
It would be two shades lighter
Than the burnout evenings
When you gave me a taste of how
Your Rs roll in your mouth.
25 February 2018