The Spider’s Web

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The alarm goes off, piercing through the cold December morning. It is still dark – all the stars seem to have died. A tangible darkness, like a shroud. Like my shroud. I’d felt at peace while asleep; the alarm changed that, allowing the darkness to sit on my chest like an incubus paralyzing me.

It sings a pleasant tune – more a lullaby than an alarm. In its pleasantness, I sense an evil. A smile that holds knives at the ready. A smile that will slit your throat even as you smile back. Yet it won’t stop ringing.

I grope at the darkness and find a drawer whose steel handle is like ice. I’m about to shove the alarm in, when I find the things I’d lost. Things I thought I’d lost. A long time ago. And among them, a mirror with a golden frame shimmers through the darkness, inviting me to look.

I do and I see again the ugliness I’d forgotten, a resignation, a despair, all woven in. I throw the mirror in after the alarm, and a brief flash shows it to me – shows me the spider’s web in the corner.

I collect my resignation, I collect my despair, and I walk towards the web. I bite my thumb to draw blood. I spit out chunks of skin, erasing off the prints of my fingers. My swollen eyelids burst in pain. And I get the spider’s attention.

My knees tremble for I know it’s the end. Yet I keep walking, one foot after another, on a single silken thread. I see it rise from slumber, its drool spilling, my ugliness mirrored in its ugly eyes. It smiles and reminds me of my alarm clock, the clock that started this mess. I feel no desire to turn back. I walk, I surrender, I’m consumed whole. Then there is nothing but darkness. All the stars seem to have died.


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Do You Still Come Here?

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This will not be a poem
I will tell you now
There are so many questions
You can answer; I need to know.

Do you still come here? Looking
For clues I still hide?
For whether you do or not,
They still here reside.

The other day, I
Saw your footprints outside my door
And I followed you home,
Only to realize, “home” was a dream long gone.

Do you still come here?
Tell me if you can
Why did you leave without a knock
When my arms are still open to welcome you back.

 

 

 

Dear Heart, Why Did You?

 

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Dear Heart, why did you love him?

Because all you said is,

Look at me,

And he replied with a kiss on your lips.

Dear Heart, why did that shake you?

But my dear, it did not,

Nor did I skip a beat;

What it did was make the universe crack and stop.

Dear Heart, tell me more, remind me again,

Why, my dear, how could I,

Love like that doesn’t happen twice,

All I have are his eyes and a collection of your smiles

Dear Heart, why do you hurt me so?

My dear, in desperation, I found nothing but to leave,

For you, I will preserve,

Clasped hands in a car and an apology.

And dear heart, why did you tell me to let go?

That, my dear, is what I never learned.

 

Of Regrets In Love

You remember being young and reckless, never hurt, never believing you ever would be. You remember shouting out to summer winds and winter blizzards about having lived a life with no regrets. You know now that you were wrong. That you are only now learning what regrets truly are. And you’re learning what regrets are not.

You learn regret isn’t that pang caused by unannounced flashbacks to those one night stands that drenched you fibre by fibre in shame and guilt. They peel off.

Regret isn’t that one-sided love affair you, when you built a sculpture of someone who did not exist, except in your imagination. You put the sculpture on a pedestal so high that the sun hurt your eyes when you looked at it. Regret isn’t loving that someone. It isn’t not telling them how you feel. It isn’t telling them either.

Regret isn’t a missed chance – two people in love with each other on either ends of a timeline.

Regret isn’t being with the wrong person. There are no regrets in lessons you learn, no matter how long it took.

Regret isn’t even sleeping next to the one person in this world who makes you feel the loneliest every single night, even when their breathing patterns are as familiar to you as your own…

Regret is having to make yourself forget the world exists, day by day, second by grating second.

Regret is having to listen to the loudest music, so you can’t hear the pain of your bleeding heart.

Regret is getting a whiff of a familiar fragrance, and having to shut your eyes against the tears that threaten to spill.

Regret is burying yourself in a pile of books, just so you could shut reality out, live in a warm world of fantasy, where the dragons are real within the pages, and outside is something that momentarily stops being.

Regret is forcing yourself to think of the worst memories you had with that one person you miss every day, because sometimes happier memories threaten to appear like shooting stars across your dark thoughtscape. You cannot let that happen. You think. All the time. Even when you’re talking to people, you’re immersed. Elsewhere. Constantly thinking. You lose yourself in your own thoughts, because the din of the real world keeps rising like a tide, and you would do everything in your power to keep it down. You think, so that you don’t have to think.

Regret is wearing the truth like skin, that you had everything you wanted, but you chose to be a coward. That’s the skin does not shed. Like the cells that never regenerate. Truth, stuck to you like a migraine-causing odour.

Regret is knowing that happiness comes in small black boxes, like surprises that you least expect. And once you foolishly let go, it’s gone.

Your Namesake

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There isn’t a lot left from what we were
Save for your name that still hangs
On my tongue like the taste of sugar.

It rests between my lips, as they meet
It lies in the pain, as my lower lip is bit
And it ends on the roof as the tip it greets.

Along came a stranger, with a song
Shook my hand, but upon hearing his name,
It was my world that shook, after so long.

A strawberry smile he had too,
But every moment, a pinch on my forearm
To remind me, it’s not you, it’s not you.

I stayed away to save myself, but in restless crowds,
His eyes followed; I admit, my heart stirred,
Because try as I did, they sought me out.

Upon his smile are a million lies of love true
Knees tremble, I want to give in too
Years may have passed, but I longingly
Remind myself,

It’s not you,
It’s not you…

 

Barely Forgotten, Barely Remembered

But I don’t let the tears fall just yet,
Hidden they remain behind my eyelids
Rest they do heavily on my lower lashes
A burden painful that I don’t let fall.

Pains wash and paint the depth of my soul
With a harsh brush and a palette of charcoal
That which emanates from the pyre of your shadow
Assaults my nostrils as I struggle to breathe.

The rest of this poem is published on Readomania. Please click here to read it.

Image Courtesy: Tumblr
Image Courtesy: Tumblr

The Man In The Corner

The corner of the tavern is where he sat
Day after day until curiosity smothered the deep sorrows in my heart
And raised its head to acknowledge his presence where it was at.

It might have been his artist’s fingers
Or the deep pools of his eyes that reflected my own troubles,
Or those lips that hadn’t stretched in a smile for far too long.

Without preamble, without invitations, and without waiting
Wordlessly, I sat beside him and sipped my wine,
As he stared and stared through the golden elixir resting in his glass,

Through sidelong glances I examined those fingers brown,
Wishing the knots of my hair felt what his cigar did now,
Even as the nape of my neck prickled, daring to wish to be held as his drink.

Much too long I waited, ere I asked, Where do you come from
What ails you that you’ve arrived here to fix
Unblinking, he uttered those words, the words I knew that bound us.

For he said, I carry in my backpack, the dreams you’ve dreamed,
Every star you’ve wished on and the tears you’ve drowned and buried,
In searching for you, I’ve wandered here, and you to me, for you too know.

And I did, though not a moment ago did it come to me,
But the bag he carried glittered with fallen stars and my broken dreams
Then we knew how the air swirled around us, with the perfume of need.

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Image Courtesy: Getty Images