Poem 58#

I check those messages once again,
they are still stale, still unchecked,
Piled up, like the Marlboro blacks in my ceramic ashtray,
You might have finished a pack or two, I am sure.
Have you even eaten? Are you okay?
Ah the question I no longer have the right to ask.

For my needle mouth wounded your debilitated heart,
Yesterday night, rapid winds of turbulence passed by shore,
Was it for you too?
I sensed your cries, behind those, "Leave me alone, I am fine,"
your black clouds paid a visit to my sky,
Poured briefly and surrounded my eyes,
Your heartaches were felt by the worn out bud,
we nurtured it, promised it'd grow,
But my riotous words signalled the thunder,
Oh! I knew the wrath of this violent strike.

I hardly slept a wink, did you too?
For your thoughts gathered around this grey lurched being,
It will be okay, please dont overthink you said,
Yet I kept falling, falling down the stairway,
I promised myself I would gently take a step,
but if only this childish heart could understand the depth,
Of the beautiful things that lied ahead.

But the fool, my mind,
My heart, the slave,
walked to its beat
and wept when it left.

And now,
As I sit below the stairway,
I see nothing at all,
"Melancholy is it?" I ask,
Your deep silence echoed,
//it is the beginning of dread.//

Cold hand and warm smiles


28th March, 2021

It was a chaotic Sunday afternoon, with the scorching heat burning my face, my black crop top and cardigan too, helped the sun with its play, I awaited the arrival of the one who was sailing away.

There he was, with his navy blue sweatshirt that had ‘hints of Black’ Matching mine, a white tee, that had blobs of sweat and Paco Rabanne smelling from a mile away, he swayed like the autumn winds, with his hands tucked inside his pockets and his eyes smiled from far away.

Can we go now? I said in my grim voice, I practised my blank look prior to the meet, for navy pants made me wait,

What, no hello or hi?
His soft brown eyes looked straight into mine,

A million moths revolted inside my empty stomach that time, with an eye roll I hushed him off.

——

Our coffee will be here in 2 mins, let’s sit,come on,

He pulled out a chair as we sat across that ambiguously loud cafe,

Bela ciao played in the background that time, as the main chorus echoed in the cold air, he removed his blue mask and warmly smiled at me, the smile wasn’t the same his adventurous social media posts portrayed, this one rather gave his cheeks a pinkish hue, the wrinkles around his eyes too popped up in play,
His skin looked more soft and supple than they did in those blurry video calls we had everyday, droplets of sweat aligned by his forehead, and his nose, he shyly hushed those off by constantly touching his face or grooming his hair. 

I wish I could carry a polaroid to click every-time Mr. Serious face came out of his comfort zone to live life in a casual way. 

Did I mention his ‘fan’ following?

More than a few pretty chicas  had their eyes trailed off in his way,  their stare  hooked onto to his face, or his mouth or the way he talked with ease and kept smiling away. Yet naive eyes were glued in my way, like a kid gaurding his favorite thing.


The Meet was one of a kind, one I have never had anyone at all, I know his sceptical detective mind wouldn’t accept things at face value ever, for his curious eyes often look out for the things unsaid,  the eye rolls I often gave, the way I smiled or smirked or even had a serious face, he loves to know more about what’s beneath the facade. 

I had more smiles to crease, especially the time we walked down the stair of the ancient cafe hallway, I missed a step for I was busy searching for the cat I met in way, he quickly clasped my hand with his cold ones,

Are you alright?

His eyes looked into  mine, another set of fireflies flew inside my gut that time

I smiled beneath my mask and nodded my head.

This first meet, with ‘cold coffee that tasted like liquid vanilla ice cream, the carrot juice that was fresh and sweet like his forehead kiss he showered me with when we parted our ways, the chocolate cupcake, which we shared, or which I rather ordered him to eat halfway, the cigarette puff which he hesitantly passed my way, or the way my overthinking mind was at ease the entire time, was beyond perfect, something I would love to have everyday. 

Seems like 520 already.

I miss you

I miss the sudden cheek kisses you kept showering me with,

I miss the way your cold hands found home in mine,

And the way you swayed our hands and marched all the time.

I miss the way you hid your smile beneath that maroon mask

Or the way your eyes just never left mine.

Every time we meet,

There’s always this calm and peace inside me

Which doesn’t or hasnt ever happened ever in life.

Im still trying to find the right words to put the things i had planned to tell you

About the way you make me feel at ease

Or the way you understand my unsaid words too quicky all the time

Alas all i do is stare at you

Wish to see a bit more of those childlike eyes,

Your smile, like the crescent of the moon,

Radiates amongst my gloomy skies.

—T2 meet—-

“Cheers then?”

He sat infront of me, with his blackcurrent milkshake in one hand,

His fuller cheeks were as pink as those strawberries he has promised we’d try,

“Cheers to new beginnings?”

I Iooked at the smile he tried to hide behind the cup,

While his gaze still stuck on my eyes.

“What? Why are you looking at me like that?”

I rested my palm upon my face, unable to speak, for my heart thumbed too loud,

“You look too cute today

And see, we color coordinated again this time!”

The thrill in his sweet voice made me smile,

he suddenly leaned a bit too close to me,

his once crossed legs suddenly engulfed my wobbly ones,

A leg hug it was indeed.

How i wish the time would stop, maybe rest on those wooden chairs and cheap milkshake piles

Or stop beneath the shade of the peculiar tree that swayed in May heat,

Yet his arms kept a cozy hold of me all the time,

I wish,

Maybe a little more of those smiles to crease

A little too many pecks on cheeks

Or the *mistaken dandruff* forehead kisses at times.

——-

I miss you, even though you’re far away you say

You’re still very much the first thing on my mind,

And present with me among the cold coffees i have,

when i gaze up at the naked stars and listen to kitne haseen zindagi hai yeh

Or the time i smoke your favourite cigarettes for it brings a bit closer to thee

You’re worth it all.

That’s all i have to say to you for this time.

– To the muse of mine :’)

The Introverted Man (2)

He’s definitely one of his kind, he wears clothes like a 12 grade teen, with sweatshirt always on and dark colored pants, he hides his shy demeanor by tucking his hands in his side pockets and walks with ease.

His aviators are alwys there by his side, he wears them to hide away his rhuemy eyes, for he wishes to hide away. His light brown eyes would show you a variety of things, only if you closely pay attention to the words his eyes speak.

They’d at times twinkle too bright, like the stars he encounters by the sea, they lit up like his favourite star when he narrates his childhood play with his dad and sister practicing WWE with each other during his school days.

His eyes hide away the turmoil within him too, hide away the many sleepless nights he spent at the sea, or the times he lay awoke on the cold bed, homesick, wishing to be just a bit closer to his shore.

If you closely pay attention to his eyes, you can see patches of melancholy aligned too, of the days he cried when no one was around, the days he felt he wasnt the perfect child, or the days he prayed he could just leave. They are latched below his eyes, he names it *tiredness* for he couldn’t fall asleep since he was working and partying at nights.

Yet he’d never show an ounce of emotions from his end, for his bright smile would cover up these.

His smile, is as pleasant as the winds during June rains, the one that makes everyone around them so lively and chirpy. It’d remind you of the 11:11 wish you read online, he’s the kind of guy who’d make sure you’re always happy and all right.

He’d stare at you across the room full of people, he notice how the veins on your forehead look too bright in the afternoon sun, how you awkwardly tuck your hair when you feel anxious or shy. He’d also notice the way you truly smile, the way your eyes roll or the way you gently sigh, he’d look deep into your eyes when you’re looking away or when you’re trying to hide.

He’d need no words to understand how you feel, for his intuitive gut would work just fine. He’d know how to make you laugh or when to change the subject of your talk, when to get coffee or when to offer you a cigarette puff.

He’d also be there to hold your hand when you feel the stairway is too uncertain towards the end, he’d ask you if you’re all right and hold your hand too tight and smile. His rough hands would softly catch yours all the time, his fingers would draw circles around your wrists, to tell you he would never leave.He’d never back down from walking hand in hand by the street, his grip would be like the knots he learnt in sailing school, never lose, always firm and tight.

Lastly, he’d hug you too tight, the one that would make you forget about everything else around you, the one that would shatter all your previously held ambiguities, it’d feel as cozy as the your favorite blanket during wintery nights and would make you feel safe and make you smile.

What your past does to you.

●Your past doesn’t haunt you, how you’d expect it to.

It just slowly makes that once lively heart a bit more silent, makes it beat a bit more slower, it cries while you smile on the outside, it cries at night, the sound is heard only by the one who prays today would be the day, they hope they fall asleep.

●Your past doesn’t haunt you at all.

It just takes away your ability to feel things anymore, you dont enjoy the coffee you once lived for, it rather tastes like any other liquid that passes down your parched throat. Your salty tears seem to be the only one that keep you alive, anymore.

●You feel pangs of pain in the chest, they feel like those violent rain drops that thundered that night, the one that suffocates you, when you breathe, you feel like you’re drowning in your own tears, like the way you once drowned into their eyes, but this feeling is as heavy as the weight of your lips when you tried to fake a smile when they told you they have found someone else, as heavy as the footsteps that walked away that time.

● Your past doesnt haunt you, it kills you little by little everyday.

It makes you question the thoughts and feelings of eveyone that comes in your way. You try to be a bit more sham everyday, you see how easy it is to lie to eveyone else, to fake that gorgeous smile or show them your lively Instagram life.

Yet what you dont show them, are those cigarettes buds that keep getting accumulated everyday, that spirit that you once disliked is your friend, the cold bed side and the wailing rusty fan seems to understand your plight.

●It makes you hold yourself at night, to hush off the nightmares of the past. It makes you trust less and worry more, You’re present in the moment with others but yet you never feel home,

You smile, you talk,

You show you’re fine.

●Yet this past is latched on to you like a venom of the spider upon its prey, the more you wish to get out of it, the more it sticks to your core, first your eyes then your throat and lastly the heart, this venomous poison isnt visible to the naked eye, for others would feel you’re perfectly.

Thus your past doesn’t haunt you,not at all, worse, it just makes you numb for your entire life.

Random thought.

In this life,you might fall in love with the three kind,

one who gifts you bouquets of exotic flowers,

One who nurtures your flowers and plucks away your painful thorns

Or the one that gifts you their own thorn and scars.

Poem 56#

There’a broken tap in the kitchen sink,
It keeps shredding pellets of water at night,
Many tried to fix it,
To repair the seal.
Yet it remains broken.

But doesn’t leak during morning hours,
For mum ties it with a muslin cloth.

“See now? There’s always a way to fix broken things,” Maa proudly says,

“I wish temporary solutions would work that way,”
I continue with the dishes for the day
With the soggy old sponge, I start cleaning the dishes,
It has holes now, blobs of black dots surround its core,
Yet it scrubs away the dirt and cleans the vessels perfectly fine.

Maa’s favourite steel kadhai is blackened due to overuse,
It takes me more than a couple of mins to scrub a small patch of dot,

“Ugh this won’t go away, Maa!!”

“Oh it’s an old stain, it won’t leave this quick,”
maa reckons to me,

“Then what do I do?”

“Find a way to clean the black stain, Shibu.”

“But it’ll take a lot more time, too much work.”
I sigh,

“Then what do you wish to do?
Let the stain get darker and even more difficult to get off?”

Maybe she was right,
Maybe old stains never leave their shore easily after all.
Keep getting darker by day,
And harder to forget or erase.

-Shivani Dubey.