Her pain wasn’t the love she never had

Her pain,

Was the love. 

She thought she loved love

Or the love was all about her being happy 

And freed

And love would cover her insecurities with his jacket

When it’s too cold for her dress,

Her put up attraction 

She thought love is dancing with your eyes closed

And dreaming with your eyes open

She didn’t hate not being loved

She hated, love. 

She could see like a song that soothes her

And melts her nights to moonlight 

She believed love would be her father

Kissing her mother in the kitchen 

A soft silent touch

Just a moment, a lovely moment. 

All this time she loved the love that wasn’t love

That met her in the eyes 

And left her on the knees 

She loved for a love that would wrap her head around his arms

And would whisper, it’s alright! 

She wanted to love, she did love

So did love 

Though she could not understand the reasons 

Of love not being love 

Where was her love, what was her love

Was it even love?

The day she picked up her bra, that dress, those shoes

And slammed that door behind her 

She never looked at love the same way

And love,

No longer haunted her. 


Any Story

What are these meanings to us?

These messed up verbs floating in fucked up nouns

Well, we could pretend

Could tiptoe through these real things

But reality doesn’t amuse me much,

Not anymore,

For I’m in the arms of something so surreal.

So, let’s  say a thing or two

Sing and savour jazz and blues

And let the melodies feel shy of their perfection

There’ll always be the things almost said

The words should’ve, could’ve

But I’ll find an escape in your flaws,

And I’ll not interrupt you, never

So will never blink away the scene of those lit up eyes

Drenched in joy of silliness

There could be any story, any theory

The seas to dissolving suns,

The nights to falling stars

But it will not drag me to debauchery of truth

I yearn the mysteries of your made up world

The flight of your fancied dreams

For if I believe the belief of letting go in love

The blissful forgetting

My truth is a forgetting found in your stories


Quite Unquiet

I will not be understood in your language
Will not be traced, or seen
In the meanings of your culture
I will not be spoken
Of or about
In the identities of your society
In the names of your family
Will definitely not be called, upon,
As a birth of your land,
The sprout of your soil
I will not be heard
In your stories, your songs
Definitely not your poems
Will never be mourned
In your tears,
Never celebrated, in your religion
There is no space for my being
In the constructions of your love, life and longing
So when I see you
Or put words across, or gestures
When I put myself in front of you
I will be brave in my eyes.
I will run my palm against your face
Will look into your eyes,
And say…
I’m unafraid of myself.


I’m nothing more or less than an organism. I’ve evolved, more like multiplied, from a single cell to endless complexities strung together. So, a body, probably?
As I grew from bone to bone, tissue to tissue and cell to cell, I could never ornate myself to a particular void of identity. For I knew, I’ll outgrow that void and would be expected to sculpted back to that space.
However, I’m 75℅ liquid and consciously fluid. And rightly so. For how could you hold water in a sieve? Likewise, I could not contain myself in a world with multiple escapes.
Yes, this life confuses me. The universal urge of reducing everything down to comprehensible convenience fails me as a person. I’m a sophist to my own meaning and a Voltaire to my definitions. But still a niche never experienced before.
So, when I put myself out there, I realise I’m a being who’s almost human in the view of established index of humanity and a pure human if I look into the diversity I’m made up of.
I was born to be transient. And I’m being just that.

The Next Call

Next time when you pick up that phone

And go on to put words to a conversation that never ever sounded like one

You will end up being the same girl from last night

And the night before, and one before that, or probably

You don’t even remember how was it the last time

When was it the last time,

That you let your words speak the tale you have gone through

A voice that could quite convincingly reason the reasons of your bad phases

But you won’t run that risk

Next time when you pick up that phone

And choke your windpipes with a fear stronger than who you are,

And what you want,

You’ll always wet your pillow with silent sobs of disgust

Like a faraway dissolving sun, you’ll sink yourself into the sea of distractions

The things that maybe, make you smile a little,

A song you relate to, perhaps.

But the song’s going to end, and your moods don’t run on loop

You’ll touch your reflection on the mirror and run down your fingers to the surface

And just keep staring at that reflection

Thinking about how well would it fare

If I start talking about myself in the conversation that is between us

You’ll sit in that balcony, rubbing your thighs

And probably look at the night sky, contemplating your stars

Is this my happiness?

Next time you pick up that phone

And you restrict yourself to consequential giggles and comforting flattery

You won’t be comforted ever

By the voice that comes from the other end of that call

Your laughs won’t sound like yours anymore; neither would they surface out of you

They’ll be forcefully pulled out

By your sheer belief in keeping this relationship alive

By pandering to what he believes is needed to be talked about

You’ll see your tongue swelling, your knees weakening

You would hold it back just for one last time

But you don’t want it to last

So can you?

So when you pick up that phone, the next time

And put words to a conversation

Girl you’ll make it happen

You’ll let the rivers flow from within your heart, piercing through your head

You’ll stand up from that bed and start walking

You’ll go from being a microphone to using one for yourself

So what if it nooses up against your neck or arrests your chest

Your bra does that to you everyday

Just put protest to your rebel

And feel the sinister pleasure of unloading your mess on the one who caused it

Because, if this is not the space where you’ll speak up about the desires

That excites you to levels beyond righteous speech

You might never be able to speak up for yourself ever again

You might not be able to recognize yourself

Or touch yourself, with pride,

Ever again

So next time when you pick up that phone

And put words to that conversation

Show him,

How a real woman talks like.


Art – Olga Gouskova (Russia)

Love Land Language 

We dared to love, he said

In the land of known belongings but

Unknown beholders.

In the homes of togetherness but

Understandings unfelt.

We dared to love, he said.

He replied, we loved

In the bodies that were unknown to us

We thrived, we spoke

The language bereft of meaning, the words

Unheard; we loved

In the land where it is not love.

Let’s fly, he said

To the land that is unknown

Unknown till the stretch of the known.

He replied, he giggled

He smiled, with eyes wide open, his hair

Flicked aside by his finger

He murmured,

If there’s a place for us, where would it be?

To the land that is known but unknown to our feelings

Or the land unknown

That has no word for our language.


There’s a storm in you

Withering away in silence; a cause

Decaying beneath the faith; a reason

Vying for a space; a mother

Bereft of her nurture; a fire

Blanketed by populism; an emotion

Shunned by worldly righteousness;

There’s a voice in you,

Loud, clear but unspoken,

There is,

A human within you

Waiting to be a being



We Have Failed You

My tongue is severed from my mouth

My eyes have been gorged out

My ears have been served with molten iron

My nose has been chopped off

My hair has been burnt

My belongings have been shunned

My clothes have been shredded

My face has been smeared

My limbs have been twisted

My joints have been hammered

My legs have been mutilated

My rights have been wronged

My wrongs have been graded

I still go on to breathe the air of ‘others’

I’m forced to survive

I am


Sweet Nothing

Why my own silence seems like a betrayal

To myself, my wants,

My love.

Where does my peace lie

My heart, his heart, her heart

Or his truth, her oblivion

Why am I

Hiding under the quilt of denial trying to sink deeper and deeper

And still,

Slowly putting my  head out

Visioning my eyes into anticipation

Anticipation that is nothing but a facade I shamelessly create

It’s going to burst

It is bursting

I think I’m the one but I’m not

But I still want to

I still think it’s there, somewhere

What am I beyond this body

Beyond this love

I think I’ve given myself up to.


Let’s not say a word

Not a single syllable of meanings, pleadings

Let there be no light

But just yellow flicker bulbs of kitchen

Let there be no fragrance,

But just the smell of something old, something bold

A mystery of secrets once untold

Let there be no song

But the music of our feet tapping

To your lullaby

To my humming

Let there be no reason

For there can’t be any

The night, the moon, the stars

Let the leaves fall where they may

And carry on.


Art – Djamel Tatah (France)