why horizons are synonymous with heart-break.

it matters until it doesn’t, and until long after i’ve lost you to the space where the sea and the sky meet- but let’s not call it the horizon just yet.

it’s not a hypothetical place, but the solid air at your eye level some couple feet in front of you (or behind depending on how you are prepared to stand)- and horizons are still an abstract distance some thousands miles from you- something that keeps moving away, no matter what direction you walk in (unless of course, you are walking parallel and slowly losing eyesight and footsteps, trying to keep a track of the sidelines beyond which the waters turn thirsty.)

all you need do is learn-

the manners and mannerisms of a broken heart, because it’s only hypothetical until it crosses the two feet distance and lurches into your chest- carelessly like a discarded note saying “i can’t do it anymore”.

there’s a lot of things i can’t do anymore. reading a conjectural epiphany aloud from my palms are one of those.

••ari purkayastha

merely because of nostalgia.

because there was something
quite nostalgic about a city
that cried itself to sleep
at an hour when the rose
withered- aged two decades and a year
in the time it took
drunken mistakes to tear
into the condom foils-
and when beauties woke up to
frogs- their pockets filled with gold
and empty hopes,
as a payment for their time-
because what was a greater irony
than a city losing seconds to the clock
while every other man,
with a few shillings in his pocket could buy
hours from a princess
with an even lesser self esteem.

because there was something
quite nostalgic about a city
that forgets to mourn that girl,
that single girl, no one remembers
but an old castaway couple-
where one romanticized cancer,
and the other fornicated with pensions
and debts in her marriage bed-
as they reminisced a daughter of sixteen
from sixty years ago
put to sleep in six seconds, by a driver
weaving spindles with his wheels-
wondering if the pain was prickly like a needle
or simply unfathomable.

because there was something
quite nostalgic about a city
where wishes came true by
rubbing the lamp- and every other homeless
kid begged for buds and snow girls
and crystal babes to marry to-
and where skyscrapers stood
proud and wide, like the men residing within-
strong like a shell, with vacant flesh,
and hollow nerves.

because there was something
quite nostalgic about the city
i looked at, at 3 am, from twelve floors high
as a sickening silence finally dawned
and the city passed out,
after having each bone broken
by the hungry street lights..

••ari purkayastha

haunted lips.

i buried you at the horizon of breaths-
marking your grave each day
by the setting of
the sun,
where you remained a silent note,
awaiting your cue to rise
to a crescendo,
when i fell asleep to the
begging of a dawn.

and evenings again,
i tire of praying to some
faraway deity to stop
the coins in my pocket from rolling out
as i run from your letters
hanging within the stars.

it’s just a prayer though,
of an atheist- a non believer
of god and fate and love-
because each day they go
unheard, like the day before,
while i was compelled to
live through your footsteps
climbing their stairs to my sanity
-lingering in a house
abandoned by our being-
and haunting me with stranger eyes
etched on my lips.

 

••ari purkayastha

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.

dreamless.

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
out.

someone is always walking out.

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

 

••ari purkayastha

you’re playing cards with our skin.

i. 

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.

 

ii.

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.

 

iii.

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

and one lost to the autumn of my grief.

 

 ••ari purkayastha

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