Of Some Words & More

epitaph.

and when i die—

strip my skeleton of it’s skin,
and my organs of their bones,
and scatter them on concrete laden roads
for the dying to paw at;

throw my eyes and my lungs and my womb,
but my heart—

keep that which never loved
yet broke
everywhich day it longed
but never did more.

place it within a burning pyre of wisteria wood,
and gather their ashes for splintered sparrows
to carry off to the tongue
of my lover

i never could love after all.

••ra’ahe khayat

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man, and she who was but not a woman.

and so tell me how there isn’t a tongue in my mouth but just yours, that lashes against the wind in this mumbai monsoon- ripping at the vitrics on the windows, as it rains just more than sea water. because you- you were born in midst of the heaviest of cherrapunji rainfalls, with your wide eyes (reddened with age, anger, and ale, though you’d never agree), and your god, and this anatomy that most around you (namely her), call male. you were born with the sky falling at your feet, and so all too- must.

there’s a blatant dissonance between your sky and mine because mine holds on to itself even when it shatters, while yours submissively impetrates.

we belong to none but the sky above us. we learn from none but the sky around us.

and so your god, and your mother, and your woman (her), and your sky- they’ve all taught you to stand on bird bones and faery corpses, because you are man. and man- with his red eyes, and a broken earth draped on his shoulders- stands above all.

he wears crowns on his toes, because all men are kings, and the game plays itself in this black/white world as long as he lives.

all hail the king.
long live the man.
lord bless them all who bow before him.

because they who bow, their tongues beg; they who stand, theirs are ripped. they were women when they kneeled, they were beaten when they did not.

she is a woman;
i, am lesser than one.

yet you are more inhuman than me, and she is more human than you; i am but a wild wood creature with nails pierced through her lips that she with her humanity, picks at, and you with your god- hammer.

••ra’ahe khayat


forgive me if my words bruise with their jaggedness, but anger must not be sanded down- even when it is silenced. it must be let out, even if you are punished for it.

for when he is always away with the dawn.

your toes were guitar picks
picking at my veins-
strumming my heart
each time you walked on my body;
and i would wake up
with blue-black footprints all over my skin-
stretched around my bones
like a shore being swallowed by the sea
that never considered what it peculated
when it left
-stumbling away like a lover high on moonshine-

by the morning
i was always lesser.

••ra’ahe khayat

love letter and a dime.

i have loved you long for longer years, in stories of myth and death and pain, throughout histories of broken tales, and premonitions of mirrors bleeding upon a poem i would, and perhaps should carve out of the chambers beating breathlessly in my heart- a heart that you could quite literally feel dying an asphyxiated death beneath the hollowness of the ribcages you spent your nights painting with. somedays, when the rain is no less than a painless substitution for the ink i fill my copperplate nibs with, i can hear you wordlessly walk the short few steps from the window to the bed, in search of a moonless dusk we both lost somewhere along the way from one year to the next, as the guitar strings and the violin blades tangled away from our skeletal ankles, predilecting pulse in lieu of a coffin coldness.

ossification was just one of the few words i’d taught myself to describe the slow evolution of all those nerves firing and misfiring behind my eyes, as the candles voicelessly faded away from my nails- leaving a charred mass of blade behind, to live with a regret never forgiven (perhaps never even memorized). and how could i possibly forgive you once you nailed our steps to the walls as a scornful portrayal of yesterday, and a cruel mockery for tomorrow- architecting the devastating intricacies of jahannum within the labyrinthine abstractions of jannah.

sing my darling, i should like to whisper, but today, i’d much rather be sucked under the vortex of reality than swim in the shallow water illusions of fantasies, and fate, and folklores about victorian chandeliers hanging inside greecian palaces, where a solitary raven cries away to the crescendo of a corroded leviathan gateway descending upon a widow’s bouquet of stygian roses. i wouldn’t be a mourner- someone haunting pages of literature with a million expressions and phrases about how sunsets on boneyards awakened a long dead body with a longer dead heart as it simply brushed away decayed decades off it’s veins and begun beating to the notes of my flute in a strange forgotten symphony- no, i’d much simply rather be one of those dark eyed dames you’d see crossing the roads, (when cars chase a scarlet comet with headlights and horns) walking with footsteps feathering on losing and belonging. just never quite anywhere- yet completely never- nowhere.

••ra’ahe khayat

 

a quarter fist full of grief.

lover-

(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-
lost,
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
breathless.

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
being-
for the sake of
studying as the organs under our exposed skeletons
die.

lover-

i pull you out of our polaroids-
and you stop at that year
when everything just feigned to
be.

••ra’ahe khayat

 

when the sun was high, & our lungs were higher with the lack of breath.

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.

••ra’ahe khayat

cassandra.

199b69d8cd40ec0a93f8ffc3f64de752--dark-flowers-wild-flowerscassandra 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.

••ra’ahe khayat

and in the awakening of her absence.

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.

••ra’ahe khayat

gambling my sobriety away with a god.

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-

we’d drink.

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.

••ra’ahe khayat