beginning the equation of betrayal.

i hold the sky like a jilted lover
i’ve been seeing behind your back,
in stolen gasps,
that you fail to comprehend today.

it never looks at me any more than you do-
almost as if it’s too hard
to keep pretending to care when you don’t;

almost as if it’s too easy
to let go of the quiet silences that
slipped between the lines of our palms,
when march came rolling in like a martyr
to our february mistakes.

there were a lot of those-
regrets we carefully disguised under
the careless slurring of
alcoholic lies.

we still haven’t begun counting-
you and i.
we still can’t bring ourselves to just
begin.

••ari purkayastha

a love note to my halucinations. ii

i’d break a hundred stars in your name.

oh lover-

you who wears every shape of the moon in your eyes,
with the beginning of a sunrise
peeking from beneath your lashes;

you are the color hope
that has crumbled right along with
the weeping katsura leaves
hanging between the breasts of an autumn maiden-
an outward portrayal of her red heart
that is on the verge of rotting into
something far more beautiful
than the eerie silence of death.

you are the unpropitous plain mirror
at the corner of a crowded room
that occupies more volume than the living-
you take your place in the space
somewhere between the retina and conscious mind.

oh lover-

you who say my name
like the prayer of a dying man
cursing the world with the last words
leaving his lungs-

you hold me
in pieces that don’t match anymore,
in pieces that splinter into each other
the closer you press.

••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

fourteen years and a half.

my rhythm,

fourteen years and a half has passed
yet somewhere your beat
still resonates,
for i remain not much
but a collection of stories
bound in a novel of erased memories.

 

you echo.

i remember neither the sound of your laughter,
nor the way you whispered my name.

or how ever our air bent to collect your voice
and deliver, the cherished baritone
of your lips,
unscathed and treasured
within my years

for i like a fool, failed to revere words,
whose absence today
haunts me.

 

you pulsate.

we remain truly torn
yet i find myself tangled in these strings,
bearing the throb of your veins
like a drum, rolling upon my skin,

and i shiver for those million whips
osculate the blood within,
and they rise
to match your tempo.

 

you reverberate.

an autumn wind
beats against barren branches
whence no leaves dance to,
and I am engulfed by
every drop of water
that floods the floors with faces,
albeit faceless.

a remnant of facade within the
fresh rusted leaves,
vanquished
underneath the rugged roots.

 

you recur.

your palette.
my canvas.
and your fingers,
that brushed my face
to our evenings,

are mere verses- that whisper through
my headphones today-

of our partings, as the sun set
and the dusk danced
to our farewells.

i weep tearless sorrows
when i look at crayons,
for i recall with warm recollection
how you sketched my smiles
-that the clock charcoaled-
and breathed life
through your fingertips,
while i massacred those irrelevant outlines
with both my hands.

you laughed

i hid my face in your neck.

my hair tickled your paints,
and you shaded me.

 

you resound.

every throb of time
is a cruel reminiscence of those hours
when the cold air wrapped
those murky mornings,
and you stood on our bridge
minutes before school.

your bones enfolded mine,
and the prosaic bricks
baked into auburn cobblestones.

those touches were scorched in my iris.

 

you resonate.

within the moonlit drizzle,
every thought of mine
is drenched with the fire
rekindled,
by the frosted memories
that cascade upon our
guileless childhood

and i raise my wrist
to the roaring showers,
letting the thunders
slip in my veins.

 

you replay.

fourteen years and a half has passed,
and today your phantom has
become the rhythm
my thoughts beat to.

 

your fallen.

 

••ari purkayastha

some lost trinkets of ours are learning to speak.

sometimes,
you remind me of entire worlds
still talking in sign-language;

of a time when the only way to communicate
was by tracing every fold on your forehead
with my nose-
like a love letter written in
braille.

we spoke much like the stars do
from a distance of a million miles-
by bending the light around our lips,
and watching it get lost
in a stranger’s hair.

your words are still searching for
a semblance of familiarity
on my tongue.

 

••ari purkayastha

a love note to my hallucinations.

lover,

you’re growing over me like a wound-
a song i just can’t let leave my lips, so you remain
within me,
trapped without a name;

without anything more than a recognition-

lover.

you age into me-

something like a prayer
that is sacrificing itself over the altar of
a distant probability of being called
ours;

something like a curse that escapes my lungs
in violent shapes of your name,
before shattering into the hollow
of my voice-
still bleeding on the ground
from the time
wild-sparrows screamed for you on my tongue;

something like a memory
that is crying in the corners of my pelvis
between silent gasps of the evening-
when your footprints curl into themselves
as Luna lays her breast to my spine;

something like a betrayal
that you press into my skin,
every time another atheist is hanged at
the cross;

something like the breath
stolen from the chest
of my corpse.

lover,

you die inside of me like an afterthought-
between two decades, and a
fractured reverie.

••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