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