call (l’appel du vide)

and for years i’ve heard it-
a call

a lover’s call;

whispering and settling over my bones
like my skin does
– on most days when it is not being pulled apart
by those laodicean sparrows –
like a vow does
– during weathers when they bury their tongues
in octagonal caskets anchored
to my wrist –
like longing does
– each time the night parts my thighs
and slips in –

within

where a stranger voice from the skies
– from the void –
echoes.

••ra’ahe khayat

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leave, for there isn’t much to stay for.

2bbbec97bd86eae5a789b4a926d15804if you have come to leave, then do not stay by me with your breath reeking of yesterdays -time decays by days, heart decays by the hours- and i and you, we decayed in the heartbeats it took for the sparrows to migrate from northern longings to southern silences.

if you stay, but do not remain, then be there in that faraway land where the sky weeps into your palms, with the very lover you keep leaving behind, simply to come watch me fall;
but
if you must, then be here until the very end, when the rocks fill my marrows, and exorcise them of the monsoon that grieves without rain.

if you have come to but watch the stars lose their grip on my hair, then flit away little bird, the earth is yet to learn to fill the spaces under the skin of those left with much but ghosts;
-i’ve had far too many lovers to remain human. i’ve loved your heart in far too many ways to remain with one.

if you last to only feast on the memories buried in my areola, then perhaps you musn’t- there isn’t much brown that lingers on my nerves,
there isn’t much of the blue either.

••ra’ahe khayat

death is as delicate as life is callous.

you watch the day breakdown in quite hymns and lose its faith in quieter breaths at moments when it becomes more and more difficult to watch the blue jays on your window sills struggle to fly with half torn wings.

you listen to the afternoon wail and beg the same way an old man begs for his wife (dead for a decade now) to hold his fingers against her breast and remind him that he can forget to take another breath and still remember the sound of her last one.

it’s here today- a sun that is struggling to rise from its grave, because sometimes the dead die in the most phlegmatic of ways-

in the eulogies of themselves that never spoke of their name.

••ra’ahe khayat

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

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