“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,


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.




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.



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.

अब कैसे बताएँ ये तुम्हे


I don’t generally write in Hindi/Urdu, so excuse minor errors and spelling mistakes if any.

तुमने कहा अब बस भी करो,

भूल जाओ के कभी प्यार हुआ था।

अब कैसे बताएँ ये तुम्हे,

तुम्हारा इश्क़ ही मेरा मज़हब है।
तुम कहते हो की गुज़र गयी

अब चाँद-तारों से सजी वो आधी-रातें।

अब कैसे बताएँ ये तुम्हे,

की सवेरा मुझे पसंद नहीं।
तुम्हे याद नहीं है अब शायद

की खत तुम लिखा करते थे।

अब कैसे बताएँ ये तुम्हे,

तुम्हारे लफ्ज़ ज़ुबाँ से हटते नहीं।
तुम तो मू फेर लेते हो,

जब मैं तुम्हे पुकारती हूँ।

अब कैसे बताएँ ये तुम्हे,

कोई और पुकार अब याद नहीं।
तुम नहीं गिनते दिन ना रातें,

ना महीने जब बात नहीं होती।

अब कैसे बताएँ ये तुम्हे,

तुम्हारी आवाज़ बिना नींद आती नहीं।
तुम्हे देख अजीब सा लगता है,

अंजान से मालूम होते हो।

अब कैसे बताएँ ये तुम्हे,

फिरभी फ़िरदौस से मालूम होते हो।
तुमने तो अब कह ही दिया,

की ये मोहोब्बत नाकाम है।

अब कैसे बताएँ ये तुम्हे,

की दुआओं में सिर्फ तुम्हारा नाम है।



I break the nib of my pen against my skin;
I wait.
For you to spill from the cuts by my wrist
Asking me to write you a letter
Because all you ever held on to
Were my words.
I wait.
For you to hold my hand
And look into my bloodshot eyes
Send shivers down my spine
Hold me
Like your five minutes of sleep
On monday mornings
Or the last drink
On saturday nights.

I wait.

For you to smile a little
Maybe sing a song
Or light a matchstick
In a dark room because
You love the crackling of these flames.

I wait.

For you to notice me
Simmering in my sadness
Bathed in lavender
And anxiety
And irony
And your name scribbled with a ballpoint pen.
I wait.
For you to walk towards me
Your lopsided grin
Dead eyes and
Dead heart and
Dead silences.
I wait.
For you to wake up
Rub your eyes and
Stretch your arms
Pull me in
Tell me lies.
I wait.
For you to rush out of this house
Cursing at the alarm that refused to go off
All skin all bones
Perfectly executed puppet show.
I wait.
And wait some more.
For you to finally come back home.