You were bold, too much for your own good,
and when alliteration, analogy, allegory, metaphor
and narratives within narratives failed, you
typed it out on Facebook plainly,
but black suits and white gowns
stay, extending but not reaching, deciphering
but not connecting, what’s circumstantial fades,
which is why you’ll find them drinking cherry-vodka
or whatever it’s called these days, tattooing themselves
with portraits of musicians who died for that very reason,
and getting a hundred likes for one post about pain,
from similar folks, saying, “I know how hard it is,
I go through it everyday,” I’m sure they do,
but you and I know what cripples
eats you alive, bit by bit, piece by piece,
never withholding or forgiving,
but I’m guilty too for not bothering then
and suppressing my pain, I’m guilty of not even sending
you a text though I had your phone number stored,
I’m guilty of avoiding those places, trapped in
a corridor of false youth, thinking it’ll lead to
a room with soft blue walls, a cushioned bed
to lie on, a multi-hued quilt that will comfort,
and opera to lull me into sleeping soundly,
but you know how circumstance becomes a
meta-narrative and you’re just a mote trying
to fight the omnipresence of suffering, and so
I think I did the right thing when I didn’t attend,
the same black suits and white gowns did,
fake-weeping, feigning, while your mother
who never cared did the same, and your father
who had no business being there, suddenly
bellowed, while they made you
look your best, the dark circles, and bloodshot
eyes gone, a beautiful soft blue dress covering
all your scars, and I’ll say now, that yes, I fucking
love you, but just not enough to go down
the way you did, and so, I’ll express myself
and let fate cut me into two with his axe,
everybody owes him that (whether they
admit it or not) and I couldn’t care less
about what they think or say because everybody
loves becoming somebody, or somebody else, or
everybody else, but you taught me enough to
just stay me.

© Nitin Lalit Murali (2018)

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