little known things about you.

you’re a distance i’ve been chasing for 18 years- acting like the miles are getting shorter when all the skyline is doing is following you somewhere beyond the borders of existence.

i’ve lost the skyline as my compass.

there’s an entire river between us, and the reality of the other side of the bank is still up for a debate. too much dreaming and not enough booze will do that to you- steal the consequences long before you’ve even thought of them.

you were the probability of a consequence. a random chance at being if and never when.

these words are hurting me today. there’s too many minute detailed differences to their definitions and still none of it fits you. it’s almost as if you’re struggling between the transition from lost to lover, and the sentences keep running right into each other like two waves-

losing their shape at the horizon; unseen but true.

••ari purkayastha

of human and what makes you.


these days are shattering into mirrors of that evening when i was too far away to be able to see how the path curved over your wrist in a distant attempt to forge new roads over old highways, that ran straight to hell.

roads that grew on the sidewalks of graveyards where canaries came to die.

you were a canary- with a weightless soul.

i remember reading somewhere that the soul of a human weighs the most. you turned into something less than a human that day- starving for, and yet full of an empty sort of feeling, that came when you lit candles in a church where it was a sin to pray.

i don’t remember if we ever prayed though. i do however remember you being on your knees, and whispering her name like an invocation-

the name of a woman lost to the night you broke your ribs over a mantelpiece of corpses, to remember a sky smudged with poems of long faded love stories.

••ari purkayastha

something without a say.

“i’m empty-
like a virgin womb,
dead inside.”


i have nothing for you today.

no words to hastily scribble on coffee stained papers and tuck into the pockets of your life- that you could pull out and read at a bus stand when it’s raining too loud for the moon to hear you scream, or throw away when it gets too crowded with little folded pieces of long numbers full of short affairs.

no poems to press into your skin when the winter gets so lasting, that you begin to forget the shape of the silence growing through your veins.

there’s a lot of silence.

too many minutes filled with nothing but hesitant colloquies and unhesitant farewells, and just a few without the paralysed longing.


••ari purkayastha

we were straight lines hooked at the beginning.

there were phone-calls
we both ignored,
when the flights took off
and we left for a country
that was lost in the translation from
words to distances.

one of yours kept trembling on my elbows,
when i leaned over
to watch the sky scatter on the ground-
like a bird that was fluttering
with wounded wings.

i never took off towards you again.

we just kept travelling
until the maps abruptly ended,
and we remained hanging onto each other
by a flimsy excuse of
a latitude.


••ari purkayastha

where eyes beat for hearts.

there are bones under your bed-
whole skeletons with no hearts,
but eyes that blink
seventy-two times in a minute.

they’re closer to your hands
on nights when
your fingertips hang on to a
doorknob, that bleeds every time
it’s turned to let someone

someone is always walking out.

there’s too much blood
for a heart to pump
and still flutter
in anticipation of
another breath


••ari purkayastha

you’re playing cards with our skin.


you’re standing on the shoulders of a sea shell, that i’m pretty sure was placed strategically to hide tips of the gravestone where two women lay buried- in an octagonal casket- their toes barely touching, and their lips just a breath away- if only they could breathe.

but there are breaths in your lungs and miles in your legs, and we are still too far for even my fingertips to remember the quiet tickle of your eyelashes, from days when there were comets showering through our rooftops instead of the thirsty july rains, and i traced the valleys on your cheekbones- weathered from that single tear that slipped from mine.

i was losing more than just a heart.



we are at a standstill on the windowsills of two towers- that would probably be used to study the movements of the sun a thousand years from now, when civilization will have forgotten it’s civility and could only remember how the day drowns in dusks-

 while you gamble away those last few seconds (when your back was toward the door that was still facing me), for another chance to draw from a deck that was itself begging for density.



there are three leaves of spades left in the hollow of your neck-

and one lost to the autumn of my grief.


 ••ari purkayastha

letters for a certain nobody #1.

19th December, 2016.
1:24 am.

everything is a little hazy tonight- almost like i’ve been drugged, and your name has become a martyr- fighting a losing battle for structure on my lips.

i can’t seem to remember how you had etched your entire life on your fingertips in a single night, when the echoes of their voices seemed trapped in the marrow of your bones, and you could hear their sighs wrap around your tongue like a brittled wisp of desert air thirsting for recognition. but you did. maybe you could remind me again someday when your teeth are closer to my ears than they are today.

fourteen years are a long time to think of someone every time you open your palm to seize their fingers (paused in hesitation a few mere inches from your face), and watching your frangible phantasms flitter away-

and yet, on nights like this, when the windows rattle from their lack of faith, i press the phonetics of your anonym into my sheets, and watch my silent lover drape her elbows over my breast and hum a lullaby composed of their garbled connotations.

you’re not here anymore- and still it feels like you’ve been here for that moment when the earth tilted on it’s axis and it’s magnetic dipoles were working against us with each step we tried to take away from each other.

but you haven’t been here for a long time now-
for longer than i have had this name.
and for longer than i have known the definition of longing.


bleeding waves.

          Lying upon the winds
          whirling like cascading hurricanes,
          I tether on the edge of memories;
          tied to the depths of past
          while my fingers bleed upon the blades of the present,
          with feet sinking into the sands-
          wet from the sorrow that wept through the ages.

          I remember,
          the way your eyes were filled with the novas.
          the galaxies could not contain
          their ephemeral luminescence,
          that traveled across the endless space of nothing
          in hopes of illuminating
          my obsidian existence.
          And I remember,
          the way those stars shattered into stardust;
          their shine devoured by the rough rust
          of my world.

          Reading the mirror
          reflected by the skies today
          I can see your lover’s image in them.
          A cruel lover of your misery,
          who had sewn shut the wounds
          after ripping apart your skin
          to bury a grenade of horrors
          within your shell.
          Would you forgive me?
          I ask to those birds,
          in whose form you escaped my cage.
          For they were your kin, you thought;
          trapped into the same bleak chains
          that bound you to me,
          those infinite loops of false promises
          that you broke,
          embracing your freedom,
          in the arms of my loneliness.

          And I still am shackled
          to this ocean bed, where my tears have flooded
          the reality of our distance.
          My eyes fixed upon the horizon,
          watching your sun set for the last time,
          and the dusk streak with blood of our remains
          as I stood there by the shores,
          the water weeping unshed tears
          while you melt away
          into the waves..

••ari purkayastha

there’s a price to pay for all the times you’ve fought her.

she was a penny that had fallen
out of your drunken fingers
each time you paused on your walk
back to the apartment where
you stashed a lifetime of ephialtes
in cramped suitcases,
and haunted corners.

she was the change you remember
to forget as you stumble on lampposts
 when the clouds shield Luna from your fists,
and your back pockets lurch in protest
to all the letters folded inside them.

she was that little dollar you earned
when you sold off
an old vintage photograph of a girl
in a wedding gown reciting poetry,
to a sculptor-
because you knew,
some bones are rather turned to stones
than remembered as ashes.

she was the cost of forever
that you failed to pay,
so now you live in small debts
and smaller deaths
watching the full moon in eclipse
 half the night, for quarter of each month .


••ari purkayastha

the things we do, when the night feels blind.

you are a rain storm resting on my lashes like a moth- drunk on depression.

i can almost taste the death on your lips, as if you’d just spent the last few months kissing every grave where a sense of longing lingers for the longest of seconds, before writing an eulogy on my chin and tying them up in my hair like a spider web of delayed farewells.

you’re gone-

like a comet desperately lost behind the eyelids- between a blink and a sigh. maybe you were just never here. or maybe, your grief was far too dense to remain anything but a black hole stealing my eyesight.

this night is blind- i could fall on my knees and ask her to marry me, but the sound of you plucking out each seed off a decayed dandelion still makes her bury her face in you chest.

she’d never hear me.

••ari purkayastha