For Pain I Die


Your lullabies sing

of how New Moon night is that of poets.

When a fortnight full of eulogies and prose

on craters, the crescent, stolen light,

tidal waves, and the face of a beloved,

black, from ink and pain

wraps itself ceaselessly around our moon,

The Poet makes darkness her mistress.


So I wake up dangerous, humming hymns

of how each time a newly broken writes of the sunset

his poetry is wrung out of every crumpled sheet

and dripped down at twilight

until his romance drowns his muse completely.


Your letters read

of how caramel cobwebs form underneath

the tongues of those who cannot express love.

That the dry and sour in their mouths is

in fact only the aftertaste that sugar left behind

leaves behind as it melts into acidic

oblivion and that pungency slithers down their throats

if they are mouthed love for long enough.


So I emerge fearless, embracing the shy

while the honey they were afraid had rotten bitter

pools on top of my collarbones and spills as

I move, drenching me in glaze

until the sweet, divine nectar drowns me completely.



your whispers speak

of how you are of too much essence to me,

so I chant cries into canticles, while scraping

every destructible part of myself with the ends of flowers

you pluck obliquely, and write with blood about

the colour of wine roses

until all that is left of me –

is poetry.


Writers’ Woe

I cannot write –


I close my eyes to drain the voice of my father screaming out the word

‘suicide’ to my mother and the purple on my lavender duvet

expands to absorb pain; I wrap the sorrow laden

covers around me and call it warmth.


Several words climb up my heaving chest,

so I turn to my side and let them slide off.


I step on crunchy leaves to drain the silence between myself and an old

lover walking next to me and the distance amidst our tangled

fingers widens and drops into a void; we empty into

it leftover butterflies and call it a phase.


A few lines escape from beneath the crackles

so I walk over them until all I hear is quietude.


I breathe harder to drain the whisper of his dewy, familiar, safe embrace

slipping out of the crevices in my memory and his touch reminds

of the space between our spirits; we hold each other

stronger than ever before and call it home.


A couple of verses drum upon his heartbeat

so I move my head from his chest to his neck.


I sing to drain the sound of every two atoms brought together by the cosmos

getting torn apart at some point of infinity and the illusion of

love defying this law fades; I accept nature for being

the sadist that it is and call it existence.


Poems emerge from all the destruction

so I stop creating, and nothing gets broken.


I do not write,

but the universe keeps talking to me

and I can only reply with poetry.


Only Too Late

I have had my share of love or exaggerated infatuation,

which one it is I do not know,


I have had my share of people

standing beneath my balcony on the only evenings

of downpour when I chose not to take my mug of tea outside.

I have had my share of

songs played to me on guitars on the only Christmas night

when I wasn’t in love with music or the musician who ran a little too late.

I have had my share

lying at the bottom of the only drawer of the chest, amongst

once lost nail clippers, where I search for a bottle opener with freshly trimmed nails.

I have had my

ribcage dismantled like the handles of the only kind of steel

tiffin dabbas which make a clicking sound before the boxes are unstacked and their content exposed.

I have had

wretchedness seep into my skin on the only nights I starved

of affection, like bitter nourishment filling my pores and cuticles in place of the affinity which once did dearly.

I have

a profound curiosity for the only feeling in the world which

could imitate that of fan air that fills rooms in March, and brings back nostalgia from the first days of last spring, and


know I will only discover the true meaning of love

amidst ignored raindrops, forgotten carols, lost nail clippers, rusted lunch boxes, accepted woes and irretrievable seasons on a day when I will finally

make peace with not knowing the difference between love and exaggerated infatuation.

For You

Call me out on my insecurities,

and I will palpate bouquets out of the gashes

on my skin,

you can wish upon the dandelions that emerge

from my within.

I shall have no thorns; you can pluck for your garlands

all you may,

weave a headdress out of my daisies and your hair

shall never grey.

I will become the Garden of Eden, from where life

itself was born,

but contrast my own eternity, for life without death

is just forlorn.

I will be maliciously elegant, so all you breathe in

is unparalleled scent,

until your lungs only know fragrance and your

feet forget cement.


Call me out on my insecurities,

and I will shed them all for you,

so I can be fucking gorgeous,

and you can be beautiful too.



“How do you sleep after knowing you have wrecked a soul?”


The mirror with uplifting Post-its is looking

at me with pity that curls up under my eyes and

whimpers how the 13 hours of slumber weren’t so sound.


I warned them I was concentrated chaos contained in a vial

labeled ‘X’.


The lowermost drawer of my desk is trembling

as if the handwriting it stores is going to unravel and

embrace my neck so I lack of air in a brimming atmosphere.


I told them I wouldn’t turn to milkshake if they scribbled ‘Sugar’ on a

striked out ‘X’.


The pillow beneath my hair astray, is vomiting

out tears from a time when I was not the monster and

I feel myself drowning in agony which doesn’t belong to me.


I reminded them, that if uncorcked, I would flood every vein with an

Amplified ‘X’,

but they did not listen.


So now, to me, the Alphabet Song escalates to agonizingly disturbed harmony

as it reaches the letter third from last and

that, my friend, is the lullaby

that puts me to sleep.


My body is a temple,

and you knew that so you left your shoes outside.


You walked in barefoot, and I thought you were being

vulnerable, because we leave our deceptions behind

temple gates, right? You skimmed my walls with your fingers

with every parikrama that you took around the deity

that was my soul, as if the inscriptions imbibed in them

since the beginning of time, made any sense to you.

You chanted mantras which resonated through all

parts of me, weaving, braiding through the ringing of bells.

They say that the vibrations of these shlokas make the air

around pious, and I thought you were only distilling purity in me

with your condescending voice, as if I were a mere room

and you were what made me a temple. You touched your head

to the ground, before me and I could feel the hot and the human in it

seep into me; your forehead was semi permeable and it let all

its arrogance, and anger, and selfishness  filter through to me, until I brimmed

of all things unholy. And then you looked right at me as if you had never

poked another soul until it oozed out all emotion with

the same brown, unapologetic eyes, as if shame, even just an ounce of it,

was prohibited to be vested in you. The chants and the ringing

was slowing down and the lull was getting louder and louder,

until silence vibrated violently through every room of me.

You joined your hands one last time, and I could see my innocence

choking from between them,

and then you left.


I knew it when you left your shoes outside

that you aren’t here to stay,

but my body is a temple –


it is open for all, I cannot shut out only those

who sin.


There was an age

When my eyes would lose your eyes,

At night, to my pillowcase,

And by the morning, as the sky celebrates

Its 4.54 billionth coronation

By adorning a sun as mark of legislation;

By the morning, you’d evaporate.


I would recollect you

Amidst afternoon-ish hours and twilit minutes

From lovers in café queues

From under dusty vows, and from all things untrue,

But as the sky would observe

Ink trickling out of the new monarch’s nerves,

Upon my pillowcase, you’ disappear from view.


But now, you’re archived,

Stacked neatly on the shelves of my subconscious

Since the last time I cried;

Stored in mason jars like old, stuttering Christmas lights.

No, I cannot lose you anymore,

For now my eyes have given up on downpour

And in this restrained tempest, you hide.


I can no longer cry you out of my system, I cannot rip you out of my skin,


For I’m afraid you’re braided into my soul

Like wildflowers in the hair of a 6 year old.