after sunset

the single lamp glowers
like a stray dog caught in dishonour —

smoke rises from the lips of a cracked
sky, engines backfire, our staccato breaths
hold our words near, by each other’s side,

as we reflect over the absolute need
to be detached from people, from every-
thing, like the smile of a wicked flower
that is about to fall to pieces —

our tea turns colder by the minute,
our talks do not have the urgency of life,
we are sailing our friend-ship without
its anchor, uprooting planks and prod-
ding needs and exchanges, required
of us — the emotional labour doesn’t
have an eight-hour ending period
of a working (not for me) day,

so we slurp, &gulp down the remains of it
from our vessels — all the words strewn
between us like aimless ash of a charred sun.

.
© Anmol Arora

Day 25
(Inter)National Poetry Month

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Open: A Short Story

“I am never going to be someone I am not. I don’t mind being open but I am more of a genteel person by nature,” I say mumbling.

He doesn’t reply. He has directed his entire focus towards the steering wheel, as if trying to solve the riddle that I am, in the slight hand movements he make, while coursing through this coarse traffic. I, on the other hand, have my eyes set on his lips, awaiting them to open and grant me some wisdom.

They do open but just for him to release the breath he has been holding. I am eager. He doesn’t oblige.

As my end stop does come, I slowly open the door and look at him one last time. His eyes are now determined to see through the dashboard to the mysteries of what this machine is made of.

I ponder at the colours of the car in the moon shine as he backs and takes my last view away from me.

“It was not worth talking to him.” The words reach me before the source. She comes and sits atop my shoulder, as she always does. “You can open your heart to me.” She gives me a choice. It is enticing but I would better not. And she knows that. Vanishing in smoke, she leaves me alone.

I have nowhere to go. I settle down on the rotten grass, acting as a cushion for me, from the cold gravel below. I kiss my hands, rubbing the heat of my breaths, soothing them this warm night when I am cold.

No one comes. No one ever comes on this path. And the driver would not return now. I have no strength to pick up on those tiny lights within my heart for him to feed on. But she would return. “I should give up to her. Why wait any longer?”

But she is not going to arrive just like that. I wait. She never comes. I freeze in the boiling sun the next day and the day after next, I am blown away. I have opened up my molecules and now, they return back to where they came from. I am no longer one, as I never was. I am bound. I am open.

.

Image source

her life

she was the woman with dark kohl shaded eyes

with the vocals so resplendent and unique,

in her presence, the morning sun seemed to rise,

she was at her career’s, passion’s highest peak

when got tarnished by some bitter addiction

and her life became a popular fiction,

she is now gone, lost her war with her devils

but her true to soul baritone voice revels…

P.s.-

Poetic form- Rispetto

Rules-

1. 8 eleven-syllable lines, usually one stanza only.

2. Rhyme scheme- ababccdd.

3. Not much of a rule, but traditionally dedicated to a woman.

The Evil

The evil stands up when I stand

It sleeps beside me on the bed

It is there when I eat

And also when I try to read and write

I feel its presence-

A chill descends upon my body

And my soul craves to run there and then

But I am lost

I want that evil to stand up when I stand

To sleep beside me on the bed

Be there when I eat

Also when I read and write

I want its presence around me

Because that evil is no one but me.

That evil is no one but me

Me being responsible for my deeds

I hurt myself

I kick myself in the shins

That evil is no one but me

That evil is no one but me…

That evil is no one but me

I am the one who deals with me

 I am the one who is my worst enemy

I am responsible for everything 

Everything, everything, everything

That evil is no one but me…

I do not know

who I am

anymore

I struggle to see

myself within

me

I do not know

who I am

anymore

I can’t find

myself

anymore.