Dear Manisha

Yeah, I read some of your messages,
and hoped you’d go away,
but you keep coming back, urging
me to look at that website you started,
saying you created it just for me,
that our thoughts collide in
that parallel reality, that alternate universe
where you’ll always be mine, and so
I finally read through it, and all it
spells is a metaphorical clusterfuck of
who you’ve become, velocity running
through each line, but both positions remain
the same, a blurred vision of me years ago:
some bike, some café, some booze,
and it is divided by time alright,
seconds riddled with high blood pressure,
a perverted fiancé, visits to psychiatrists
who fit you into archetypes, and encourage
the shit you’re doing, and maybe Prozac
to lull you into not taking responsibility,
I never wanted to write this, but those
one liners I’ve sent encourage you,
make you think that it’s still him,
the stereotype who makes the girls swoon,
and if I were to shave my head,
grow a filthy beard, eat a bit until
I’m paunched and then meet you,
you’ll still say, “It’s him!
Just a little older that’s all,” and if I were to
tell a friend to pretend, jealousy will
kill you off, and so I’ll just be frank,
wielding that same figurative scythe you do,
what do you know about pain?
You’ve never watched a woman you loved
go through five stages of death, while she’s still
living, while you go through the five
stages of grief looking at her, the bloom in her eyes
withers, crushed with no fragrance
of forgiveness or remembrance,
and a death-spirit winter looks back,
fuel injected into arteries, the vomiting,
the need to survive, and the finitude of
what you can do, making you suppress
it all, before you smash glass and bleed
because you want to suffer with her,
and then pray with a hard heart, though
you know it’s hopeless, and then smoke
a pack, watch overtly sexual TV shows, and drink,
before quitting, but just moving
on lifeless, disoriented,
disconnected, distracted but with an apathetic
grit making the clock tick,
you’ve never watched your mother
grow frail, creaking joints, one climb
up the stairs, dislocating her hip,
and you just can’t be there anymore,
you’ve never watched your father weep
while he speaks, his lines soaking with
self-pity, that very voice a shriek
bursting your eardrum, until you just
finish your coffee, and walk away from a
ruined house he still haunts like
a ghost, just like you, so stop please,
I just hope this makes you realize that
you’re a messy mass, and you need the
speed of light (times two) that only
fate can provide, to get the energy to move on,
before you end up as lifeless as me.

© Nitin Lalit Murali (2018)

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