Fighting together

Yesterday I looked up and saw the ceiling
fan circling and circling, and I thought
I could which soon became an I should, and tortured,
torn asunder by whirlwinds of pandemonium
and bedlam, I sought validation and support,
but all I saw were crumbling walls with punctured
wallpaper like veins clipped off. I spoke to
person after person, calling and crying,
screaming and shrieking, a bereaved atonal
cacophony unheard, muted and muffled.
Predators lurked in the shadows masquerading
as beggars with bowls, making you feel for them,
before they suddenly seize and destroy you.
Murderers lurked dressed liked princesses,
making you want to pick up the bag they
purposely drop, before they gouge your eyes
out. Betrayers lurked, calling you a friend,
before stabbing you in the front.
Acquaintances ghosted, and occultists
cast spells, prophesying when they weren’t
given the gift. ‘Kind’ people turned against
you asking you to write verses about your
pain, so that they get the thrill of watching you suffer.
But as I rushed through the smog and the acidic
burn, howling, bellowing and bawling, I found
three people like the Maji themselves following
a star of hope. And one of them is you,
you’ve given me a friendship that I cherish,
you’ve taught me to fight my weaknesses and flaws,
you’ve respected me despite knowing my
terrible, terrifying past,
you’ve shown me a kindness that helps
me see, though everything is blurry
and I’m falling…fainting…fading…
and I can’t respect you enough or thank
you enough for just being there. Now in life
sordid path leads to sordid path,
and crimson tainted leaves coat these
desert places, but knowing that someone
fights together with you, knowing similar
trials, having made similar mistakes and
still pushing forward makes me believe that
I’m not alone and I don’t have to carry
this oakwood crucifix – the yellows and browns
representing the inner jaundice and paranoia –
alone. So, come tomorrow whether I write again
or not, whether I walk away and find redemption in
the mountains or not, these lines are for you
and here to stay.

For Emily, for being a true friend and such a beautiful person.

© Nitin Lalit Murali (2018)

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