Beqadri.

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Mitti ho kar ishq kiya hai ik dariya ki rawaani se,
Deewar-o-dar maang raha hu main bhi behte paani se.

headfirst through a glass window from fourteen stories above with no stories left to tell, catapulting to the ground feeling the blood rush through a bruised and broken body like it’s confused. the blood is confused.

a child writes about death like she held it in her soft creased palms, she talks of memories like they tattooed them on the roof of her mouth, and i realize loss all it takes to understand madness.

i ask him to make an incision under my ear and pull out all his fiddle footed half assed apologies and he does just that. this is why i never learned to forgive.

knuckles change colour from pale yellow to red to purple. you take my hand in yours and suddenly everything turns blue. the shades of my battered skin are the closest thing i have to a rainbow.

i pick up a pen and write: hold a hand. chain a soul.

what do we owe to ourselves but excuses to make our hearts hurt enough to have us look each other in the eye and say, “i do not regret having lost to you”.

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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.

I saw you in the night again.

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I want to leave pieces of you with this morning.
Mix the sunrise with your breath,
you leave shades of the nightsky on my neck.
I breathe in the fragrance of your disapproval,
I want to leave before you ask me to.
My arm over your chest painfully overstays its welcome,
and your eyes seem to search
for emptier spaces in an already empty room;
almost feels like the air in our lungs
begs us to poison it further.
I still haven’t left and now you want me to leave.
My tears sizzle in the heat of the friction
as our bodies untwine;
I want to remember the aftermath of my heartbreak,
I try to hold on for just a while longer,
I fail.
I want too many things too soon, too often.
Your magic tricks fail to amuse me and my
amusement never mattered to you, I want to not forget.
I’ve realised that motion blur etches itself too deep
into the skin of old, forgotten lovers.

Epilogue.

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(i) So for loss 

I can’t frame you a sentence

Let alone a poem

Or god forbid (read: if only) an obituary.

(ii) So for death

I love you too much.

Don’t leave me, don’t go

You’ve made home in this chaos in my head, just stay.

I might never have the courage to bring you to life,

Excuse the irony, but I can’t seem to think straight.

(iii) So for love,

Are you death’s long lost twin? Fairer though, 

Making me believe just because you look the same, you’re still different on the inside. 

You’re not, and i trusted you enough for you to let me know

That you made a pact with loss;

That it will take care of my ashes

After love burns me down

After death turns me down.

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.


Maa, it doesn’t hurt.

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To the woman who loves me the most, about the man I loved the most. But sometimes, love is an illusion. And love is never enough. 
​‌Maa. 

He isn’t who you think he is. 

He loves me and I love him back, maa. 

Don’t cry when you see the purple marks by my eyes,

Be happy that they crinkle when I smile. 

He makes me smile, maa. 

And when I don’t, he tries, maa. 

This is the only love I wanted to witness,

He rips my heart out of my chest

These bite marks on my breasts, 

Maa,

They’re a declaration of his love

The way his arms shove

Me into the wall when I’m misbehaving 

Don’t worry maa, I don’t need saving

I’m happy beneath the pressure of his knuckles 

And the cold metal of his belt buckle

Maa

I’m happy. 

He cares for me, it’s evident

But he left his fingerprints

On my face the one time we fought,

Stupid me, I forgot 

To wear the dress he bought 

But who cares, maa, who cares. 

He makes love to me even when I’m tired 

He sets my soul on fire

No, maa, not literally 

Not yet. Just sometimes

When he’s mad he puts his cigarette out

On the palms of my hand

But maa, look at how perfectly his fingers 

Fit into the valleys between mine

These bruises were  my mistake 

I didn’t reach the party on time

But maa, this doesn’t matter 

Does it? 

He loves me and I love him back

Maa, I’m in the right hands 

Safe, like home. 

And maa, they are strong.

A little too strong.