Ne Me Quitte Pas?

Soft sunlight creeps in through the high window. I rise, diminished, to a thick mist
Of stillborn dreams frothing in alkaline darkness. Crippled by an itch that won’t leave
Me, stifled by the clutter of everyday objects and every day dreams
Of You.

I stare into the body length mirror in my room.
A bleeding self-image stares back. Nowhere to run,
Nowhere to hide, thoughts of you my cyanide.

I pick up the paper lying on my doorstep; a heavy burden, a whole day’s worth
You said you don’t read the paper. I read for two, my fingers turning pink
A menacing breeze rushes in through the rear window, blinding
My mind’s eye
Kokua! Trapped in the eye of a cyclone, besotted, I hang
Upside down in the quicksand of your irresistible mind. Choking from the start,
The rest of me is catching up. You swallowed me whole.

His bare feet crash against the cold floor; the old professor is spitting casual wisdom.
My ears are awash with a fugue of broken memories
Bits and bites of a Flake smoke-flaked voice I didn’t hear enough of, tenor
Bits and bytes of the texts we traded, that I still read to myself, bass
A two-member ensemble that’s got me punch drunk, loveless

Outside,
In the feeble yellow glow of mushroom lights, I cradle a warm cup of Tapri tea.
My soul is shrivelled, dry
Ice, the container of my being
Immolated by sublimation fumes. Now concealed, now revealed,
In the long shadows of passers-by; lonely grief painted in alternating shades,
As the striped clothing, your frequent camouflage.

I barely know you. I take shelter
A bird, in a dry branch, confined by boundless skies and bountiful forest
Returns faithfully, to the humble branch
Of a tree, deep within a forest, swallowed by a sky
It barely knows.
How does it find its way back?

In the library,
Aching head buried, in print and pulp with snake corpse coiled tight along one edge
In the window, a figure appears on the ramp, jet black hair rippling through darkness,
And melts away. A silent film, a single frame long, fatal
Subliminal messaging. The window glass frosts and shatters, hope
I step into the night, on a random walk, deliberate. I light a cigarette,
The phosphorous patch, a painful rash
Of memory – one strike to scald a love-struck heart
You don’t kill beings any more
You enamour them spiritless

Back in my gray brick cage, I lie in a now familiar fugue state
Phosphenes clear. A face fades in
Jennifer Connelly, burly and scholarly.
In the distance, cars rumble on empty roads,
Sinister echoes, mallets,
Rupturing membranes of soft ear and softened heart
Forgetting you was never an option
So I swim deeper, where I have drowned


Advait wishes you a Happy Valentine’s Day!

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