of suicides and the living.

“watch-
as your hand falters and falls between five lines of a music sheet, torn right before a hastily scribbled apology. suicides do that. they climb over your back and break your spine with the slightest pressure of their voices, while you still hear the hum-
missing a note. skipping a note like it never existed.”

•••

there are too many different sorts of variations to this song and i still couldn’t seem to remember the first line before you were gone.

i never knew that you could lose people to the turbulence of a whiskey bottle until you proved that gravity was unbiased; that a one litre bottle could be just as deep, and hold just as many coffins as the bermuda triangle.

guess you learn something new each day.

sometimes i wish you hadn’t left anything behind. voices tend to have a ghost like ability to be heard when they had never even bothered to speak, and yet they can’t be shut down- you can’t silence what’s “there” and not yet gone, because “gone” is from the global list of living people and not from the list of people i “let go”.

you can’t let go of the living.

especially not when your own lungs have been acting like a surrogate for their collapsed ones.

isn’t that how you differentiate between the living and the dead anyways? by the people who are breathing and the people who are not?

••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

wearing a mask with ‘pretense’ calligraphied on it’s skin.

all these last years, i have floundered to find harmony in the number of coincidences that decayed on my palm, as i raised my wrist towards a hungry comet that swallowed the pretense of living. somedays, i’d almost forget the pattern on the sidewalks that i spent decades and centuries memorizing, as i stumbled on drunken pavements struggling to remember their sobriquets; and those days, i’d often be unable to walk a single step away- from myself. a self that manifested within a haughty river that has forgotten the definition of veracity- that has lost the definition of identity to slumber.

and then, i’d wake up to a sky that would much rather crumble than rain, and a bed that would much rather burn than let me sleep. because when i sleep, the air tends to solidify into a statuesque remainder of past, and the river seems to forget it’s illusion of stillness. because they’re still quite lost watching me writhe in the present, alone-

with the memory of a dying ghost. within the memoirs of a neglected god. and without the preachings of a priest that failed to teach me that-

love is like a star.

it burns in the name of happily ever afters and dies in the lie of forever.

because when i woke up, i found myself trapped in the reflection of a stranger without a name..

••ari purkayastha