A space that lays quiet in sleep; the usual festivity rustles the shutters with vibrancy—it is acceptable.
The phone rings, suddenly. Unexpectedly.
If I can’t bring myself to talk to you, am I better for leaving the damned thing alone?
The phone that answers to me—calls and mornings and the knot of reality it strikes me back into, regularly—I’ve just now thrown it far, off the very hook. It is better, away.
How can you haunt me?
Simple separation, you’ll find, was the soulless cure.
Leave any allusions to listed reality, momentarily, if endurable.
* * *
I’ve found that knowing is the worst, and feeling comes a screeching second. In pain, among other unnoticeable fleeting silences, you can tell that you’re boiling up as a person—your mixology is unwittingly altering itself, and it’s the harshest mornings that seem the most calm.
Because the calm, and my calm, is entirely subjective, and my own.
I had a dream; we were together. And, when I awoke, I was frightened.
* * *
Where trips your inflection? I can’t discover.
Is it reserved for times when the doors are ajar (deliberately) and you’re termed unavailable—so we can imagine you’re somewhere, someone?
Busy isn’t the real word, either.
I’d rather not be by a ruby booth, be it one shimmered in sugar, sand, or frost. The voice that returns my (arid) questions? I’d rather it be realisable, and above all—real.
* * *
The crushed ice, and black coal, they form a loose perimeter around here. Alike barracks, I imagine, and I can only consider shooting words is the closest I’ll get to explaining that metaphor.
So should we surmise then, that the best metaphor is you?
It isn’t in fantasies; it isn’t in life. It’s about being pulled—barefoot and scraped all over—through that ice, again, and over, and knowing that you’ll be waiting afterwards, to kiss me yearningly or just tell me to fuck off and begin all over again.
I shout for the mornings when you tell me to begin all over again. Refreshing, to restart. I start a novel for you every Sunday, and when you’re holding onto my hands—very tight—that’s when I realise I’d take all the blood and all the grit stuck in my skin to the talent contest. They should get to see how wonderful we all are.
How wonderful you are? There’s so much hatred here.
* * *
Part and parcel, Saturday night. Late, bed.
“I knew it,” you say.
And then there’s a kiss, but before I can tell myself, with myself, that this is what I want, I have to stop. There is no sudden subtle scent of dewy elderflower in the air. The draft is entirely insensible, in fact.
But I can tell there’s a kiss in there I wanted. Can you will yourself to let me drape my fever up in your plush wine sweaters and live inside for four minutes? Or four hours.
Or some tired, vacuous seconds.
Monday and the weekday, I can forget, because everything is so rushing. The house isn’t a house, it’s a simple single bed and I’m visiting for a handful of hours. It’s painful, physically painful, to see the sunrise every morning while I’m lying here, and let’s face it—you have no fucking idea, anyway.
Dear, lay my head down to rest for a single night’s worth? And the worth of that single touch is those thousand charcoal slivers manifest to silver dust.
* * *
I can leave you alone and walk for miles at once; it’s bounding inside my hemispheres—and the time continues, unflinching.
The doors blow out and iridescent are left the pathways—I can romanticise forever; this isn’t particularly real.
* * *
Let me turn the lights on, momentarily, and give you a single glimpse into this world.
“I can tell you where to fix yourself,” I’m told.
“I don’t need proper fixing.”
“You tell yourself you don’t need anything.”
“I’m a callow, independent spirit. I fix my own self, can’t you tell?”
“You’re flush and dark with bittersweet illusions.”
“... And you’re an elaborate fragment of my many imageries.”
I lie and you will never tell.
* * *
When the distance is far and travelled well, I can return myself to sense. This isn't heartfulness, or magic, really—I don’t know what it means in full.
Perhaps if I can return the phone to stand, I can also just press forward at random. Hanging by the hook again, quaintly—is that the answer then?
If I walk past the open door, inside, trip deliberately on wires clinging to the colourless thing, I’d rather stumble into not you, but myself alone.
* * *
There is little snow in the sky; life can be trite if undisturbed.
People find ways to disturb themselves, and I prefer the sway, too. And the fall?
In unfamiliar patters and the similar shimmer of rainbows, spring does seem to always come. There will be a time; I can't panic. And trust—no chasms.
There's flighty words, nighttime lights, and until further cold—the unmistakeable knowing.
Armaan is a business student at Cass Business School, London. An amateur graphic artist and photographer, he also enjoys arthouse cinema and a decent vanilla mocha. He lives in New Delhi, India.
Ananya is a design student and dog lover. When she's not busy drawing odd faces, she loves munching on some grape-flavoured Tang while keeping her stationery intact. She has a weakness for fine-nibbed black pens and