To Arabella

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i am coiled like a snake on the kitchen floor,

i wait for you to swing open the kitchen door,

my breathing is shallow.

soon enough the screams that i have kept hidden under my eyelids

will start to reflect in my bloodshot eyes. 

my sadness traces a chalked outline of my body, like it wants answers,

i have none to offer, except for my mediocrity,

the overdramatic stage entry of my melancholy,

i find words but they’re too heavy, 

they feel like they’ve been used to describe apocalypses and burning monuments,

they sound too familiar and i’ve forever been afraid of strangers.
i am lost like a broken seashell along the shores of the sea of your all encompassing presence. 

i want to wait,

i want to live,

i want to try to touch every ray of the sun that drowns into your sweat and every moon that has stolen your shine;

but i can not. 

my fears aren’t at the bottom of your sea,

they are at the other end of it. 

so i make myself comfortable with the insignificance of my absence,

this unsolicited abstinence;

i only crave to touch your skin without you slipping away from my fingers;

have you ever dusted off sand from sunburned forearms?

it feels like i’ve been doing it for too long. 
i’m lying, crying, spilling blood all over the kitchen floor,

i try to picture you standing at the kitchen door,

hoping you’d remind me that i’ve missed seasons of your skin and i’ll tell you

i was busy making your side of the bed, just so you could collapse like a tidal wave against my toes,

but it’s late;

for me to ask you to return, 

for me to try to get up, walk to an old telephone booth,

call my past and say,

‘tell them you love them before they forget that you do’.

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Probability.

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i know the world exists between two numbers, zero and one.

i know because i have burned to ashes with them, i have touched infinity with them.

i am a believer in fractions. 

my mother gave my father

three quarters of her laughter.

my father gave her two thirds of his peaceful dreams.

they hold hands like to sides of a coin that has been flipped too much, 

but i know,

the ratio of one to the other isn’t as equal as we thought it was.

my mother,

she accepts her defeat half heartedly.

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. 

Memory.

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I have memorized the bends of your body,

Like a prayer, I have the sound of your name

Nestled carefully in my ribcage, and so

Every time I need air; or the lack of it,

I put my hand down my windpipe and pluck you out

Syllable by syllable, mixing you with blood

And tears, and blue paint. 

When I try to sleep I feel your hands

On my body

Moving carelessly from the nape of my neck to my thigh,

Marking your territory. And some days, 

I wake up under unfamiliar chalk white sheets.

And some nights, 

I sober down to find lips against my lips tracing outlines on my loneliness. 

So I politely excuse myself, and run 

Back into the abyss that surrounds me like an eternal winter.

I have you saved like half a tablet,

The one I crush with the back of a spoon, neatly drawing lines

And then messing them up with my fidgeting hands. 

I wish I knew why I needed you. 

I wish there was a way to stop. 

Rewind. 

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There’s a part of me tracing back memories, I 

Feel this heaviness in my chest; the weight of your promises on a frail, little heart. 

I love you backwards, from the 

Last day to the first. 

This way I know your favourite song before I know your name, 

Loving you backwards comes easy. 

I watch you fall asleep and then wake up into the dead of the night. 

We run towards each other, not away. 

I love you backwards because you confuse me otherwise. 

This way, I don’t write strange words on strange hearts after you go; all my misery comes before you do. 

This way, it’s a happy ending to a terrible start.  

I talk to empty rooms for days till you finally appear. 

Loving you backwards reminds me of how much I hate kissing hungrily; and this way our last kiss becomes a stoned blur and our first a heavily engraved memory. 

This way I know the sound of you saying ‘I Love You’ before you say ‘we’re not meant to be’. This way, it doesn’t hurt. 

Loving you backwards makes me want to love you more, makes me want to roll your silences and singular syllables and smoke them away into a misty morning. 

Loving you backwards, is like writing a poem to my past.

You see, loving you backwards is my answer to the void. It is all of my stupid theories about infinity burned to ashes. 

It’s my way of making this goodbye stop hurting. 

Loving you backwards is like drowning. I’ve heard the death is euphoric.