Hiraeth

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“Kya gham hai jisko chhupa rahe ho,
tum itna jo muskura rahe ho?”

the sadness in your eyes is borrowed.

every story you tell is borrowed.

every time i laugh it hurts my chest;

i realise my laughter is borrowed.

sixty pence for a lifetime of giggles,

i say no, thank you, it’s a wonderful bargain

but i prefer the pain.

heartbreak is like a toothache.

it hurts when i bite into someone else’s lips.

the sound of my fingers tapping on hardwood floor,

i borrowed from a fairytale about a princess

trapped in a magical tower.

my foolishness, my unrelenting desire

to escape from nothing but everything,

my courage, i assume, is borrowed too.

my lips trailing the outline of your collar

leave behind a memory that is borrowed,

the time i froze between a sigh and a kiss,

borrowed.

if only i could borrow

the smell of your hair,

the warmth of your arms,

the ghosts of your destruction,

the debris of your soul.

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Forgetting.

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I want to start by burning every book that reads

‘forever’.

i would take a knife, heat it on those flames and

peel off my skin;

these scars are from a battle that i

do not remember fighting.

i will tear down every piece of

clothing i own that

smells of cigarette smoke, sunsets,

liquor laced kisses, and your signature whiff of

clandestine love.

i would then spill all my toxic dreams of despair

into a bathtub and bathe

till the blue fades from my bruises.

i will not tell my new lover

about these bruises.

or these layers of skin that i have

lost to you.

i will not tell them about the blood

spilled on this floor.

and i,

i will tell myself over and over again:

“do not bite your lips”

“do not bite their lips”

“do not love”

“do not lose”.

i would break my bones

in three

(this way it hurts longer).

and when my new lover would ask me,

“how does your past hurt you?”

all i’d say is,

it doesn’t anymore.

Mistletoe.

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lips against lips

you sigh like a soft summer breeze

and i like a sunburnt piece of clay

quietly crack open, fill you

in my crevices, you

complete me and nobody sees it

but me. just me.

lips against lips

yours press down with a thirst

i’ve not yet known how to quench

so i clench your shirt in my fists

and sink in deeper, and deeper

into your fading silhouette.

lips against lips

i feel all your untold stories

slip down my throat and make home

in my lungs, i will sing them

for the world some day, one day

i will make your words immortal.

lips against lips

i now dont know any parts of my body

as my own, they are all ready to

crumble and fall to dust,

i am nothing when not yours

and i am not yours.

i am not yours.

Not a poem. 

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The wind is just
the wind- it doesn’t sing, or cry,
or dry my tears because
these tears are just salty water
and i do not like it when they
rest on my lip, it’s very
uncomfortable and by uncomfortable
i mean icky, and not some other
carefully woven adjective
like those i used to describe your
eyes, but I realise how your eyes
are nothing but a deep water darkness
with no stories behind them, just
the withering face of every heart
you have crushed under your feet,
these feet of yours have only learned to
destruct and defeat,
and walk away, and
what breaks me more is that
Neruda wrote
a poem about the feet of his beloved,
and i tried to too,
but couldn’t finish it,
i searched for metaphors in
all possible places and people
but nothing compares to
nothingness.

Silence.

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Some days i find myself thinking of him. 

Not his fingers, or eyes, or hair, no. 

His silences. 

I mean, I think too much but I think too little and I think about things I really shouldn’t, and I want to stop, but,

Some things grow on you like a language,

And languages, he said, 

Can never be unlearned. 

So I think of his silences, they

Remind me of the empty space under the arc of a rainbow. 

His silences were like telephone static, only you hear telephone static with your ears;

I heard his silences with the skin on the inside of my wrists. 

I’ve never heard a silence quite as loud as the one he 

Ever so gently

Filled in my lungs and 

When I wanted to tell him 

That i needed him, or

That i needed him, or

That i needed him, i

Only managed to breathe

And he smiled,

Because he knew i now speak in silence too.

Forgetting.

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To You, 

My chosen one, mi eterna primavera, my sin. 

I wish I had the patience to turn you into a poem. 

I wish you could just stay still as I tried to remember how you looked under this pale blue sky; how your voice still found its way to me through the chaos of that marketplace, through the shrieks of babies and the cuss words of shopkeepers. I wish we had more time, more memories. I feel bad that I have only so many days to miss, only so many kisses to try to feel against my lips again. Some days, I just wish you could have held us together with your lies a little longer. Now you see, I’m tugging at the edges of my dress nervously. I don’t know how to say ‘Hello’ anymore, I just stick to smiling politely, coldly. But not cold enough for anyone to see the broken heart inside, or the absence of it. 

I know for a fact that you wake up in the middle of the night after a disturbing nightmare, a little before I decide to switch off the light and try to fall asleep. In those few minutes that we share our consciousness, I know you sigh my name and I’m here, on what feels like the other end of the world, taking a deep breath and counting the colours in your eyes on my fingers. I wish you’d never have loved me, and I wish I wasn’t so lost in my imagination that I never knew what reality felt like. I wish you didn’t know how to weave fiction like a fairytale, and I wish I had never let you read me your stories to sleep. 

Loving you wasn’t hard, I still feel like I’m back home when I try to listen to you speak in my head; and loving you didn’t drive me insane, I definitely don’t smile at inanimate objects. 

Loving you was just different and I’ll never know how, and so I wish I could have loved you a little more, just long enough to know the bones under your skin and how they held you without failing; just long enough to learn from them. 

Take care, you. 

You’re spring, you will never wither. I’m autumn, I will never bloom.


Yellow.

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You say yellow, you say sunshine; and frames from Bollywood movies. You say ‘I Love You’, you say it like you mean it. You say yellow, you say stay. You say paint me, paint us, you say come let’s take a nap. You say yellow, you say cold flames, you say flowers. You say yellow, I say stop. I say poison. I say ‘I Love You’, I say let me kill myself. 


Wake up before the sunrays reach your skin,

And I know, I know you’re here.

Keep playing with these matches, 

There’s not a lot of time left before

We turn into ashes. Wake up. 

You know, the sound of your tears as they

Trail down your cheeks, they remind me how

Our angels get drunk too, and they paint the sky

In shades of tequila. Look at me. 

Look at me, I’m shifting silhouettes for you.

Inhaling poison, grainy smoke, so much chaos.

Can you hear this thunder, hear it roar under my quivering lips?

Can you break away from your toxic stupor, just to watch me?

Watch me fall from grace. These walls, look,

These walls that surround you aren’t white anymore, they aren’t white anymore. 

Can you feel me die? Can you touch me?

I’m a feather. Wake up. Look at me. 

I’m a feather, I’m flying. 

I’m a feather, I’m still breathing.

Almost.