so i have been told.

so i have been told
when the silence finally settles,
a sheen of sadness sinks into my skin
like a second skeleton and
falls asleep.

there, it slumbers until a whisper splinters the air,
and the bones unravel and morph into masks
with eye-holes and breathing space,
until the tongues spill away

and silence quells again.

••ra’ahe khayat

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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

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

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

to cross over unasked distances.

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.

••ra’ahe khayat

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