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

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

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.

ari.

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

at where you’d rather not remember to fall asleep.

this day has folded her forehead under your chin and wrapped her ribs around your pelvis in an almost desperate attempt to keep you standing by the wall of an empty bookshelf you built to etch the feeling of being left behind.

it’s easy to write about pain, and easier even to pretend to rewrite ‘escape’ on your prescription bottles as painkillers, but harder still to scream out a suicide note knowing your voice will just echo in your own throat.

people have always preferred to read about tragedies, than listen to them anyhow.

it does becomes rather strange though- trying to explain to a passerby how you were waiting for someone until you weren’t, and how now you’ve forgotten the road you have taken, (if you’ve even walked a mile) because somehow the sun set in the same angle today as it did yesterday and in the past- when you were more than a few light-years away from grief-

when you were more than a few footsteps away from the ossuary of your childlike wishes;

when you were more than a few minutes away from a silent heartbreak.

••ari purkayastha

we tethered on the edge of winter.

i.

we were the last of leaves on the december nights, when icicles crept in on the fires, flickering on top of the house lanterns, and true to our endings, we were separated by thousands of miles of veins running between us. connected, yet disconnected by the awry storm looming within the edges of frozen breeze, you and Ifluttered and fell, like eagle feathers, from the height of a million sighs..

ii.

today when our evenings finally break,
city lights shall chase away traces of stars
for history will burn in our bones and ache;
so we don’t chase perfection,
we embrace our scars.

iii.

faces from decades ago peer back at me
from the wells
where we threw our new year’s eves
instead of copper dimes,
wishing for more wishes to wish upon;

because somehow I knew
that the streetlight you stood under
would dim,
and shadows would collide
until you became just another obsidian presence
on the walls of a ragged footpath.

time gently wore down the rhapsody
crashing in our eyes..

iv.

I think our names still remain written
side by side, carved in a lonely bench
on a rocky beach
like foredoomed lovers;

while we built parallel paths
pebble by pebble,
meeting at a phantom intersection.

we never intersect.

we talk, and write letters with no destination-
for there is none.

you linger in my lungs
like the november heat,
burning a month too late..

v.

decades crept on our bones
as we fluttered like stars
in the evenings.

letters ached,
and november fell into december..

••ari purkayastha

she lingered within a castle of cards.

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she, fiddles with the hem of her hair, like she has done a dozen times in dozens of yesterdays, as those yesterdays slipped into the very leaves she crunched under her toes, balancing on some story carelessly gathered in the valley of her skirt. i say careless, because they were the tales of blue jays that shed their feathers on her nails, and rabbit holes just big enough to trap her lungs and stop them from breathing the musky air of madness. or mayhaps not. not madness, but a distinct serenity that mirrored continuity trapped in a spiral loop of iterance; like waves crashing into a cliff some thirty feet tall- within a video set in replay. her neurons wildly mated under the eyes of the clock, as seconds melded into one indistinguishable haze- quite beautiful, if you can find solace in the abstract cries, mourning coincidences. she was no more than a moment begging deliverance, and no less than a year conferring slavery. she, existed. just somewhere, where horizon was a synonym for twilight, and memory was symmetrical to a house of cards, blown apart by the repetitive gust of violet winds trapped in an aseptic ivory catacomb of nerves..

••ari purkayastha

beyond the sounds of a broken voice.

img_20161110_174015_processedYou can’t always seem to gather the sunset in the cup of your palms. It has long been melting like a candle on the tabletop of a moonlit dinner where the other chair has always remained empty and your chair has always tapped tapped tapped away a couple milliseconds behind the second hand of your watch.

It’s hard to let go of your own voice- but I’ve been burying yesterday’s in the open casket of my voice box for what seems like a long time now. There are scratch marks on my neck from each time I slip into that graveyard, and there is dirt beneath your nails from each time you try to dig yourself out, when the road down my clavicle becomes haunted by just the soft sound of a mispronounced goodbye-
and you and I are somehow still struggling to comprehend it’s meaning.

 

••ari purkayastha

when i remembered him.

he was that ghost of my imagination at the victorian graveyards that seemed to flicker like a hesitant word on my tongue betraying my speech- because i have seen him in an aisle of the train wrecks on my vertebrae, and he always skipped my pupils when he stared at me.

he walked away-

like a stray tempest, that had forgotten it’s path one drunken night, crashing into the silhouettes cowering within the cracks of an unremembered back alley

and then, he moved on-

with the remnants of broken melancholy sticking to the soles of his toes- rotting from the years they remained drenched in a disharmonious distance from people who spoke in poisoned whispers on his clavicle, and laughed with their distaste on his lips. 

it was a process- learning to watch him chisel his hands with sun baked lies, and watching them kiss his palm with blisters of clouded judgements; but slowly, as each day grew longer, i taught myself to observe him wordlessly mutilate his photographs, reclining on tender march deaths, when summer forgot to let december out of our rundown windows.

we withered that year- me and him, under the branches of a starving tree that pretended to beg for rain in midst of a drugged tsunami.

 

••ari purkayastha