You were always a little twisted,
trying to pivot on your heel
on an antiquated dance floor with broken floorboards,
thinking someone will notice your skill in
that neglected place and offer
you your dreams on a platter,
walking down boulevards of nostalgia,
finding solace in a world of make-believe,
and ignoring the cold that seeps from the marble tiles,
wearing a pencil skirt to a high paying job
while praying a Rosary of pills
and expecting fate to align your affairs in order,
don’t tell me that I didn’t warn you,
don’t say that I didn’t care,
but then again, looking at how your comic-strip
dreams turned into nightmares of grainy monochrome,
looking at how the Black Dahlia you once adored
became a sore to your eye
like blood-stained shanks grouped,
looking at how you could never leave the man you were
with, who did nothing but disappoint you,
looking at how weak you became
while you professed strength and high self-esteem,
the hypocrisy oozing out of your every pore,
maybe I stopped giving a damn,
or perhaps I couldn’t bear to see you
like a dog-eared, scratched out page in a smelly, old poetry book,
which is why I didn’t pick up when you called
for the umpteenth time to pour your woes out,
you didn’t want to hear the truth after all,
you wanted, “Everything will be fine,” or, “Things
will get better, I promise.” But I was done telling
you that, and when I told you bluntly what
you needed to hear, the last time, you hated me for it, and so,
I gave up. I don’t know what became of you for two months
after that, but I knew yours wasn’t a
story where a pauper becomes a queen,
and hence, I wasn’t surprised when I heard about the
cool breeze wafting over the old Rhododendron,
and your parents who were never there for you,
forcing tears out while they slowly lowered you
in the August twilight, and let you lie,
six feet under.

© Nitin Lalit Murali (2019)

Image by Pexels from Pixabay

4 Replies to “Six feet under”

  1. This made me cry Nitin – genuinely. It applies to all sorts of relationships – and how we won’t let go of our past to move on – always hoping that somehow a deus ex machine will descend from the gods and everything will be rosy. Great stuff. It calls for a time of reflection. It really moved me…

    1. Thank you Bruce. I’m touched by your comment. And yes, you’re right, this applies to every relationship. It is tough letting go of the past though. I find it difficult to forgive people, and that’s one of my greatest flaws. I especially find it hard to forgive people who’ve demeaned me. But like you said, the gods help those who help themselves. I’m glad this piece moved you.

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