Tell me, why now? Have those comic-strip dreams turned into
grainy monochrome? Does the Black Dahlia look like an assortment
of blood-stained shanks? I saw the message, and the call, but I didn’t
answer, and I have my reasons. Did you really think that you could
hide your scars, wearing that white top and black pencil skirt?
Did you really think that you could pray a rosary of pills and
still meet mercy at a high paying job? I can call you now, and tell you
things will be okay, but I won’t be them, I don’t know it all
and never will, but I’ve learned that fact
and interpretation meet at one place: that grey, stony, bathroom
floor you lie on today, trying to drag yourself to the shower, and
you can bitch about it, like I did,
but go on, post a confessional on Facebook, and they’ll
say, beautiful, before they realize that you’re digging through
bone and feeding off your marrow, and then you’ll
disappear from those pictures, taken in lounge bars,
where 20-year-olds puke as much as those paunched men in
ramshackle watering holes, you’ll just set yourself on fire
and scream using metaphor, you’ll become like that artist
we once listened to: a reed, giving it his all during that
acoustic performance, before fate cut his strings,
and he couldn’t get out of that very nutshell he sang
about, but there is another path, and maybe I want you
to suffer, not to suffer and die slowly, but to suffer as
you tear those books written by
that perverted, old, drunk scoundrel
who got away with too much, and flush them down a toilet
which epitomizes his life, to suffer as you feel the sting when
you smoke and no longer exhale, but retch, and then shiver
as you fight craving, to suffer as your house is tilted
and you get the courage to dump the man you’re with now,
to suffer as you stop attending that cult,
which uses jargon and passive violence to break people and
manipulate them, to suffer as you break ties with your family
because sometimes the absence of closure is the way out,
to suffer as you dissociate yourself from the mess you’ve become,
somehow defying the laws of your physics, pinpointing
where those electrons of self-destruction lie, and yes, you need
to get to the micro-level if you want to move on, and it doesn’t
happen in day or in a few months, and you may not even win,
because finitude only envisions a plethora of color
through foolishly introspecting, but I’m not for paupers
becoming kings because of circumstance, I think I’ll
take people throwing it all away, and then getting it back
(or at least trying), and I guess we’ll both agree that I’m
fucking twisted that way.

© Nitin Lalit Murali (2018)

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