(lover is a loose term,
looser than the women you lose you nights to.
i have come to loathe those nights.)
a pavement grows between my ring finger
and your thumb,
as if we are retracing our steps
back and forth between our miscalculations
watching as the the curtains freeze
into something colder than a dried oasis,
on mornings when
there are dust specks near the windows
blinking in and out of continuity;
you’re always closer
when i’m half hanging at the doors-
when the clouds swallow themselves though.
an entire evening wraps her legs
around your waist,
but you only care enough to see
luna wried into a snowflake
between my teeth-
half struggling for breath,
and half struggling for the high that comes with being
you’re slowly forgetting
the urge that made you paint the bones under our skins
with the liquid apathy the sky bled out;
and you’re slowly forsaking
the simple art of
for the sake of
studying as the organs under our exposed skeletons
i pull you out of our polaroids-
and you stop at that year
when everything just feigned to
there was an entire afternoon you’d spent calculating the width of a splintered horizon, hanging from the hair-tips of your old lover’s wraith; and it was the most of you i’d seen in the longest part of ever- where the rattling in your bones resonated with the fracturing in your heart, while your fingers furiously flew over a blackened paper decaying with the distance from an unstructured reality.
and on that day you haunted me most-
with your lips scarred with her name, and your chest cavity crumbling with her memories buried inside of them like an oldest house folding into itself- you held me to the edge of your body, like an unbridled sea holds the sky- while the closest i ever got to you was when my own breath recoiled back to me.
i remember, how you were so full of equations that’d never dare to exist in the world outside of us, and how you tied every single poem of mine into a probability that existed in a line full of mathematical assumptions, and i remember, how you chanted those equalities like a desperate prayer from someone between belief and heresy, as if some uncalculated error might draw her back to when you and her- you fucked with a kehkashan slowly losing its uncentered gravity at the space between your chests.
and i remember, how your legs met the tiled land under our feet as you watched all your calculations fall apart like two lovers after they’d undone the last dredgs of their being.
and because i loved you because you loved her and because she loved this longing more than you, we stood under that afternoon sky with our palms hanging open- almost bleeding at the lifelines- just struggling to forget
how to breathe.
cassandra woke me up last night with her hair in my face, and her breath in my neck, and the frail beginnings of her grief tucked lightly in my palm. her breasts rested on my ribs, somewhere between two hearts- straining to unlive a relativistic heartquake that left more fault lines on our skin than this dense silence ever did; and her fingers lay over my womb- leached of all life.
she trembled- like there was an entire mos scattering in the echoing marrow of her bones, while the red in her hair insouciantly wilted into an utmost inconsolable complexion of grey; and she grew flowers on her skin with the wet linger of death she wore like a dress- draped over her skeleton like a monsoon sky halfway between falling and drowning.
i loved cassandra like i loved luna, and cassandra loved me like luna never did; and i left her after every fortnights, when luna spread herself naked across the sky bed like an unspoken of lover between three heartbeats and one parched kiss.
but she was spoken of- between cassandra and i.
we spoke of her when the concrete of the roads had turned too coarse from being unwalked on, because cassandra thought it was like our fingers- too inelegant and insensate from not touching anymore. she spoke of luna when she felt grass blades turn red from the scars in the arch of her soul, as her feet carelessly tread through them. she was spoken of when the sun took far too long festering under the long skirts of a horizon that had spent the last decade sleeping with every lost planet that sought it out, just for a chance at getting higher than it perpetually was.
she spoke of her, like an atheist speaks of a god- with an apathetic reverence; and last night, cassandra kept praying to the god with the only comprehensive part of her she had left anymore- her longing.
i broke cassandra like i could never break luna, and cassandra broke me last night more than luna ever bothered to.
it was barely a monday-
i had folded her skin under mine,
and held the soft whisper of her heart
like an echo in my chest cavity.
she had lost her words.
and on wednesday-
her lungs were filled with water
from all her tears she’d swallowed
as my lips pushed my breath
into her blood.
she was decaying.
and the air around us changed
from winter to autumn,
as the blue broke down into a shade of brown
which couldn’t gather it’s sanity long enough
to remember to live.
she’d fractured by saturday-
beside this broken ocean that seeks redemption
for each time it betrayed gravity
to lay naked next to Luna,
by beating it’s body against mine
and holding on
until we were both losing our bones
under the long weight
of a lover slipping from the memory.
i am most human in her death.
i’ve been drinking this cheap bottle of whiskey away with a god who stands beside my bedside every time this farce of a sky begins to shatter sometime after nine twenty-four in the evening, only to let go when it finally does. i think he thinks that i think that i have grown up enough to grow out of these feelings that rise and swell inside my throat like sea waves- only there’s no moon calling them.
or maybe there is, and my eyes have been so clouded in the dark by the crowd of rain that has crowded my lungs that i can’t begin to even make out the edge of luna’s silhouette from the crooked horizon of a raindrop.
but this he doesn’t know- the god who keeps letting me go.
or he didn’t. until last night when the gravity inside me finally broke down and brought upon meteor showers on my skin. (they’ve already caused one mass extinction, is it really so farfetched to think that they might not be incapable of causing another?) but he stood- just outside my reach and told me in a grave whisper that today-
and so we’re drinking because there’s not much you can do when you finally come to terms with the fact that maybe your eyesight has been deteriorating without you realizing, and the footpath you’ve been walking on for the last year was in actuality the thin rail of line separating two opposite lanes of speeding tyre tracks on a highway leading you somewhere away from where you’ve been intending to go, and all you want to do now is go back to being half blind.
he seems convinced that this shot of bitter metal will do just that- rust our insides so much so that the outside doesn’t matter anymore, and we have long since lost sight of anything remotely resembling the shock of my miscarriage when the last of my sanity bled out of my bones, in a fraudulent attempt at calling my lover back to me.
but death never came for me that night.
and if you should,
then you must-
hold on to these careless affairs
that we keep throwing
between us on the bed-sheets
like discarded cards
in a poker game;
no longer brace this corpse
my skin has molded itself around
my bones away.
he keeps scattering me like birdseeds on the roads, on the twenty-third of every month, some couple hours before the sparrows wake up.
i memorize the crevices in the concrete, and he memorizes the cracks in my bones from where the corpses on his temple dug their way under my skin, and set up cities on top of cemeteries full of smoke that could just never break free of their own pyre. it’s like a routine we follow, such that Luna has about half a fortnight to forebear the consequences of her absence, before she leaves again. she keeps coming back for him though, and he keeps coming back for me, and i keep coming back for the feeling of feeling myself break every night just to be regathered right before the dawn drapes himself on top of an adulterous sky.
i lay there, some couple of thousands of lightyears under the skyline, waiting for little eclipses to tear through my lungs, to bury our verities under their beaks and for him to wrap their wings around his carotid pulse, to learn how to read a receding heartbeat with the minimal knowledge of braille.
i lay there, on the forenoon of the twenty-third of every month, like a clockwork missing time by seconds that never match.
he keeps scattering me like birdseeds on the roads, for dead birds that just never come.
i tie our footprints into the dream-catchers
hanging off the beak of blackbirds,
that are on the verge of falling off
of an unconscious reverie
and into a sentient malaise,
over the way your irises decayed
around your pupils
when they descried skeletal love letters
dated upon northern wheatear bones.
we’re both nerves climbing over each other-
losing static each time we collapse,
losing pattern each time we rearrange,
losing memory each time we let go.
i hold on to the threads
resembling those wrapped around your throat,
as if they might crawl
the amplitude of your voice
crushed under distance
with the same desperation with which
i sew them into my skin.
but it’s there-
a flicker of a sound
that bled right out of your ghost
and into the marrow of my bones.
almost as if it isn’t losing itself
each time it collides inside me.
almost as if i’m not
Sorry for such a dramatic title, I promise that this is a temporary post.
So, over the last few weeks, I have been thinking that I need to start using a new name, because apparently Ari Purkayastha isn’t very easily concealed. I won’t go into the details of why I don’t like to use my real name, but I just don’t like people I know to know that I write. Even if it is occasionally. For me, my writing is very private, and I cannot share it with anyone with a face. And for people to walk up to me and talk to me about my writing is a nightmare I don’t wanna relieve. “Ari Purkayastha” is a part of my real name, that I just shorten.
So basically, I’ll be changing my name completely, and will be writing under a pen name. I’ve thought a lot over this, and honestly it is not easy for me to do, and I understand that it’s not easy for my readers either to start seeing poems/proses from a stranger on my blog. Which is why I am posting this, so that my regular readers don’t get confused and start thinking that my blog has been taken over by someone else. I will be going back and changing the names on all the poems on the blog within this week, and I really hope that you all support me.
The name I’ll be writing under is Ra’ahe Khayat.
In Urdu, Raahe means roads, and Khayat means weaver. I loved the entire implication of the name, so there you go, my reason for choosing it. I hope you don’t mind, because the mind behind the words will be the same, even if the name changes, and that is literally as far as I can go from my original name.
Here is the facebook link to my profile, if anyone wants to connect with me: https://www.facebook.com/raahe.khayat