This is an image of the woods at dawn. It captures the emotion that piece conveys which is why I chose it.

When I married you, I didn’t think of bliss, but
something steady, sure, through the ups and downs
of our time and space, the clock ticking and our
stars sparkling, giving us more than we needed,
but time surprised me with euphoria, elation
and celebration, the first few years, walks in the
park, stealing kisses in the morning, watching
the twilight slowly seep through the gentle
gap in the burgundy curtain, together, and perhaps
expecting forever cost me, because you
suddenly withdrew, spiraling and spiraling
into your atmosphere, often catatonic,
sometimes laconic, and I remember the crushing
diagnosis, soon after she was born,
the horror of waking dreams, and
voices whispered, making, urging, beckoning
you to do things unfathomable, uncanny,
ugly, and I devoted myself more to little
Emma, and watched as she grew,
often sheltering, protecting, shielding her,
the burden draining my own atmosphere,
our ecosphere now a sepia photograph
of incoherence, and sleight of hand,
a fool’s game of cards, and then when she was
twelve she sank into something similar,
or worse, and care-takers, and prescription,
didn’t help, and I stood, watching the
two women I loved winding and winding
around a gyre of gargoyles,
and I wanted, I only wanted
to bring the structure down, make them see
the light again, and fall into my arms, but I couldn’t,
and it isn’t sorrow that kills darling, it’s a stage
further, a void that makes a man take complete
charge, free-will killing off fate, without the flip
of a coin, and I was no longer allergic to what
comes after, I don’t know if the two
of you were there, as they scattered my dust and
ashes, being finally becoming one with the soil
it sprouted from, but if you were, I wish you
shed no tear or even screamed, but understood
that I loved you both but stopped loving me.

© Nitin Lalit Murali (2019)

9 Replies to “All we ever had”

  1. Beautifully expressed. Love the emotional intensity of your poems and their wondrous imagery. Great work! By the way, I recommend you and the rest of the followers here to stop by my friend Mario Savioni, who is posting chapters of his novel “Pickles and Tarts”, where so many similar issues to this poem appear: illusion-delusion, dream-reality, human relationships in the digital era with a man and a woman who are extremely different in age, similar to Lolita, only with no underaged girl, though young. Here is an excerpt from chapter 7: “Frank was hoping she was attracted. He prefaced with “As a writer” to offer her an alternative, however, which would save his face in case she simply selected him accidentally.”:

    1. Thank you so much Marta! I will stop and check out Mario’s work. I haven’t been on WP as frequently as I used to. But I’ll definitely read. I’m glad you like the emotional intensity of my poetry.

      1. Yes, indeed I do. Your poetry is gripping and when I start to read I can’t let go. And thank you so much for encouraging Mario. He is an excellent writer like you, but his blog still gets too little attention compared to my humble writing attempts and that is just not fair. If it weren’t for Mario I would have never started my blog nor crossed paths with such a talented writer as you. Thank you again, Nitin! You have no idea how important this is to me and to Mario.

      2. I understand. But that is one sad truth about WP. Good writers often don’t get the respect they deserve while people who write obscure, meaningless nonsense or flowery love poems lacking depth or jingoistic radical political posts get a thousand likes. And I’m not being sexist but it’s harder for a male writer to get recognition here. Since there are tons of creeps who want to use this site to score a date with a woman, it’s the female writers (the good looking ones even if they’re bad at writing) who receive a cultish following. I hope I’m not being harsh. These are just my observations. WP wasn’t always this way though. There was a time when good writers made it here. Having said that, I read two of Mario’s pieces today and I was very impressed by what seemed like a stream of consciousness prose piece. Having said that, I do believe that you’re very gifted too Marta. You really are a very talented writer.

      3. That there is gender inequality in WP is a shame. That female writers have better chances because of physical beauty says a lot. Then I must have some gift because I am not a beauty, thank god! I think I am just very kind to my followers and that is why people praise my work. People are too kind to me. You are also too kind. It’s a karma effect of give and take. And I like your work because, apart from being so talented, you speak volumes of truth. Your writing is honest, heartfelt and often irreverent which implies not being always nice to the people. Keep being truthful to yourself, Nitin.

      4. Again thank you so much for your understanding and for your lovely feeback, so kind and encouraging. I am glad you find Mario’s prose like a stream of consciousness. I agree and please tell him. His self-esteem is even lower than mine. I also love the stream of consciousness technique in writing.

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