of some words & more

of that lie that never mattered.

of all the things you could’ve lied about, you lied about the one thing that never would’ve changed with the truth- of how i could always be the one sleeping in your arms, but we both would still be spending our nights between the legs of loneliness; of how i could always be your lover, but we both would always be in love with the way our hearts beat alone in our chests, unconcerned with the rhythm of another; of how you always curl your hands around my neck, never knowing if you’re suffocating me or the solitude that hangs around me like a dress whose collar ends at the cliff of my chin- that you knot around your neck like a tie- too formal to ever be comfortable in, too familiar to ever to ever let go of.

of all the things you could’ve lied about, you lied about how deserted we both were holding hands that strained to get lost in a crowd full of unrecognizable strangers.

••ari purkayastha

the palace, the hospital, and the museum.

the palace.

you have grown into the habit of walking out,
and grown out of the habit of sneaking past the door
when we slept-
because you were convinced
that the walls slammed into our bones
hard enough to make us sick.

you used to think of every coincidence
as fate.

i don’t know what you think of anymore.

these last few years,
you’ve been leaving too many footprints
on the floors
from the number of times
you’ve almost walked out,
because the seasons were seeping through the ceiling
and you’ve been away for far too long
to remember how to
adapt.

the hospital.

we keep painting everything in white
the night
before you come back-

because apparently,
it’s tragic for new tables to have old mats,
but not nearly as much as
for old faces to have new feelings.

the museum.

the thing about hatred is that
it festers-
you can smoke a pack of cigarettes,
build it a necropolis on the branches
of your bronchi, and then
let the city mourn in a year long winter
with violent snowstorms
that rip your trachea out of it’s ground,

and still,
hatred will kill your cells faster
than the cold.

you have stuffed every brick in my body
with the feeling that comes
from never being understood,
and painted it on your tongue
like a mural
hungry for plaudits.

you brought tsunamis crashing into my muscles,
seismic waves rippling under my skin,
where the tectonic plates don’t just
slam into each other,
but skewer through.

some globes make for a much better map-
especially those
with oceans bleeding out through
the rips in the eyelids.

some people make for a much better centerpiece-
especially those
who you’ve already spent years chiseling slowly,
until the only thing holding them upright
was the fear of
falling.

you’ve become a connoisseur of sorts-
collecting our silences disguised
as obedience.

you’ve become something
in the name of being someone else,
and i’ve become just another
mistaken effigy with a broken mouth
screaming at you
to throw me out.

••ari purkayastha


for the person i respect, and the person i resent.

the things that find sound in the quiet.

we are used to finding closure
in the way the years
come closer to us,
on those drugged out nights
when all i can ever truly miss
is the taste of misery
on your fingertips.

i remember,
i used to pray for the single sound of silence
shattering in my voice box;
but it was far too quiet.
too quiet to hear your chest stutter
under my palms,
and too quiet to let go of the sound
of your footsteps that always
walked away.

sometimes,
the lack of a voice really does cage you
inside a room where nothing
ever fades away.

not even the loud incessant bangings of sorrow
on the fragile walls.

••ari purkayastha

crescent.

The ageless stars fall,
and I fall right along with them.
How could I not?
When even they bow
to your majestic beauty;
that to gaze upon you once
they readily renounce,
of their angelic statures,
and fall..

How come one,
as luminescent as you-
came into my
light-less night?
Drowning me in your
candescent breath of life,
you finally made me see
the hidden beauty of ardor.

Your lunar essence,
awakens my soul,
just for it to drift away into
the astral presence
of your ever watching gaze,
so that when ever I feel lost,
or hopeless, and drown into the darkness,
you shine just a little bit brighter
and illuminate my core.

Your grandiose, even the seraphs envy,
because albeit your scars
and imperfections,
you are still
the most captivating being,
that I have ever cohered with.
For like a crescent moon at night
in midst of a million constellations,
you make me fall,
and I fall,
just like the stars..

••ari purkayastha


because the last one was too rough, i wanted to give you something pretty. it’s a piece i had written a couple of years ago, when everything was a lot more simpler, and i was an idealist, instead of a cynic. and when cliche did not make me cringe lol.

god is dead.

god is dead.

he died seven years ago, on the streets of mumbai- hit by a car, while he stumbled on the sidewalks, mumbling all sorts of obsolescent prayers, as the meth in his veins slowly bestrewed his significance on those half eaten concrete roads, that wrapped itself like a ragged hand-me-down scarf, around a city standing on human bones.

his body lay there for three days before it was discovered by a fisher-maid, setting up her baits, trying to catch skeletons that had somehow learned to float in just that layer of water that was reserved for the living. she never screamed. she never did anything, but walk to a nearby cigarette shop- that sold faux maturity to eleven-years-olds for just a measly price of 5 rupees (or if you were short on the money, you could always pay with the excess of the cells in your lungs), and picked up the half-broken telephone that had gone out-of-date some twenty years ago, to call men who had seen far too many bodies- in more states of decay than a lifelong sexton.

it lay there for another hour- unsupervised- before moving shadows started crowding around it with judgemental eyes, that knew more about him, than he probably ever did. there were more stories on his sullen skin than his tongue ever let on; stories full of naivete, hope and failure. stories that could probably rob the world of another century of hunting answers, in pages written by men a lot less learned than those seeking them.

but he never spoke.

those answers, and those questions, and their answers- they all gradually lost their pallor as the blood drained out of him during his postmortem. they declared that he had overdosed. that he would have died, even if the car hadn’t bashed his head in. that he had been dying long before he finally did. that he had cancer harvesting in his heart. that he was probably suicidal, because his hands looked like they had been a brutal war-ground, where the only winner were those who were not breathing. they said his wrists looked just like the humans he was rumored to have created- scarred and failed. he was depressed, they said.

his face was in the newspapers for eighteen days, waiting to be claimed- in news articles read desperately, only by desperate family members of desperately lost people, who were more conversant about themselves than the rest, to actually advertise that they were indeed lost, and in need of help.

on the twenty-first day, they burned him in a pit with rest of the homeless corpses- no one recognized him.

no children.
no wife.
no family.
no name.

no one knew what god looked like after all.

••ari purkayastha


i’m not trying to make a statement. it’s merely an idea. religion has nothing to do with this essay.

stay.

stay-

like you have stayed in all my anonymous letters, to anonymous strangers living in an anonymous world.

stay-

like the cracks on our bodies don’t bother you anymore than they bother me; like the regrets on my skin don’t fuck apathy into yours, when you get more intimate with luna than you are with me. like you haven’t been hiding my paintings under train tracks, because that is the closest you come to committing suicide, without ever feeling your bones break under the weight of people who move on faster than your wrists can lose it’s pulse.

stay-

like the sand isn’t silting over your eyelids, like it isn’t forming scars that would take ten million lifetimes- with lifelines that have been broken into ten different times, to form ten intricate types of breathing patterns that would still collapse into the same singularity- to even out with the rest of your skin.

stay-

like i haven’t been pressing prayers into your palms, when the planets momentarily loose their anatomy to the wild mourning of a widowed star, grieving the twin that has over-dosed on the distance that comes with being free from gravity. like a heart-attack is just another riot in your chest from bones being held in too tightly (you can only increase the density so much, before everything falls in or falls away).

stay-

like i haven’t been kissing every millimeter of your neck, just to feel your voice cords snap under my lips, because sometimes, it hurts more when you are prepared to talk, just to watch the the color in my pupils scatter, than when you remain silent to hear me scream out every reason that keeps me from whispering your name.

stay-

like the thought of leaving breaks your heart, more than it could ever break mine.

••ari purkayastha

accepting grief, and its falsities.

i.

you have slowly come to terms with how the skywalk curves into your clavicle when the last songs on my i-pod loses its record into the unsynchronized stuttering of a crowd.

this day has become schizophrenic, and more paranoid than the country weeks during world war II; but you trace the back alleys of a dead city, where grief is dragged like a prostitute and sold into a brothel of hand-me-down memories.

ii.

there is a road crawling down the planes of your shoulder blades and curling into the ridges of your spine before valleying into your ribs. i have walked that road with half a lung full of cigarette ashes and a palm desperately pretending to read braille, as if scars tended to be the best poets, who wrote in a language the literate could never apprehend.

you still remain unexplained.

yesterday, i had spent three hours talking to gods who couldn’t seem to remember my name. maybe we spoke of you in hushed tongues, or maybe i just kept arguing with that part of my brain that is beginning to understand you more than my heart ever did.

iii.

there is a lie lying between your fingers and mine, when i reach for the sun as it goes down and you stretch for that fraction of sea that has never seen light. it’s the same lie the birds have taken to whisper and die trying to finish when the air thickens, and the next breath comes like a 4 am nightmare- you just can’t recall.

••ari purkayastha

for the things i never ask.

i would’ve rather asked you
how many names you’ve scribbled
on the back of your hands
with needles,
and how many of them you’ve stricken out
when the bus stopped
in a screech,
and two footsteps always faltered
on the sidewalks
in a slow contemplation
of death.

i would’ve rather asked you
how many times you’ve stabbed your thighs
with razor blades
that sank perpendicularly
to your veins,
when the wrinkles on their wrists
folded into themselves,
like curtains closing
over their heart chambers.

i would’ve rather asked you
the number of ways
you’ve learned to sing her poem completely,
without ever remembering the stanza
that left her lips
in those seven mute seconds
that somehow got trapped between
your window and her door,
when she had been
choking herself on all those lifeless little sentences
that had wrapped themselves
around her voicebox
like a noose that tightened
every time your lungs skipped a breath.

i could’ve asked you to describe
every single scar on your skin
in microscopic detail-
but sometimes,
your quiet echoes vividly
when my heart falls silent
under your palm.

sometimes,
i live when you don’t speak.

••ari purkayastha

of roses that fell in love with grief. i.

wp-1493221410020.do you remember how your skin had mottled over her words?

you had thorns digging themselves out of your bones and vines crawling all around your throat, trapping the last remnants of their antipathy to fester in your lungs.

i remember you suffocating for days afterwards. days that were defined by your capability to distinguish the sunrise from sunset. days that were a motley mess of every sound that echoed loud enough in your skull to shatter mirrors. days that you still hold close to yourself, because she left roses at your door-

she who wooed your grief.

i wish you had seen those roses for the fault lines of your heart like she had intended. i wish you had seen those roses as anything other than hope.

••ari purkayastha

a vague classification of you.

you’re the kind of love that
taints hearts and breaks bones.

the kind that echoes uncertainty,
and mourns poetry-
concurrently.

the kind that is conceived
in a breath,
and decays in the next.

the kind that leaves your body
like a bullet,
and scars your skin like a serrated knife-
the kind you start forgetting
before it’s gone,
but live with long after your chest
has succumbed to gravity.

••ari purkayastha


Last post as an 18 year old.