I’d like to think we had some
beautiful moments, rippling through
those trying times when a miasma of despair
coated the flooring, the beds and ourselves
with agony’s dust and though we shook,
washed and clung to hope,
the metal remained rusty,
the windows opaque,
barring any trace of light,
and our spirits ebbed
and the horizon wasn’t an incandescent
force looming over the swashbuckling waves
as they dashed against the rocks, giving them
their momentum and beckoning us to leave
our throes behind and join them,
but a pale, nebulous cadaver unable
to control his children while they rode blue
horses of fury and swept away shore and debris alike,
I’d like to think that despite my inner battles
and your weaknesses, despite finding myself
locked in a white room with a high ceiling and
nurses in pristine white gowns forcing me to
ingest white pills and despite your ambivalence
gnawing at you, making you wonder if you should
leave me or not, we found some peace in the chaos
as clichéd as that sounds,
now, older and without you, aimless, those days
spent weeping, thrashing and threshing for solace
seem like a reverie with wine flowing freely and
drum beats and gala,
I lit my cigarette this morning, and I know
I looked like an archetypal, sorrowed man,
to the passerby with his dog, swimming
against the currents of a middle-life crisis,
the pull threatening to push me over a cliff face,
one I’ll never recover from, but what’s left really,
when the woman who stood by me through
the darkest periods and the piercing nights
of my life, when friends who once seemed seraphic
suddenly turned into demonic bullies, when my popularity
didn’t just wane but disappeared altogether,
when I stood by the street lamp watching everyone
I know, pass me by after looking right through me
can’t be found anymore though I petition and pray,
so, tell me? What’s left to live and die for when
hurt screams through my blood, and I’m just
spin-drift coursing past, looked at once and then

© Nitin Lalit Murali (2018)

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