BY AISHWARYA ROY
It's three in the night,
and I'm writing you a letter.
The sky's dripping into your mug and you taste salty rain.
It's the same mug that once made you drink hot rainbows,
topped with rare Bosnian chocolate chips.
The days taste cold and bland.
(and so does your tea)
The nights smell of meltdown,
puffy eyes, lips quivering — like the flickering of an old tubelight.
You long to remember the feeling of returning home,
after a long hard day of work —
Unhooking your bra, you'd change into loosely hung clothes,
and lie down on your warm bed.
Like Polaroids exposed to sunlight for months,
your memories begin to fade.
The way you cry into your palms and your pillows, it's almost like
your sadness suffers from stage fright.
You've swapped shimmery LBDs for nightgowns,
and Kajals for dark circles.
The night is spilling into morning,
and you're staring at your celling, which resembles a zigzaging chaos —
One that imitates a maze, but has no exit.
For someone who once hated a speck of dust on the carpet,
I see you not making any effort to pick up the tee you left back.
The carpet is confused.
(and so am I)
It's three-thirty in the night,
And I'm listening to Cohen's songs of love and hate.
And writing you a letter.
(do you smell cinnamon? Or is it just me?)
Your incessant WhatsApp texts read piles of,
"𝘐𝘵'𝘴 𝘨𝘰𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘵𝘰 𝘣𝘦 𝘰𝘬𝘢𝘺." "𝘐'𝘭𝘭 𝘣𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘦 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘺𝘰𝘶." "𝘞𝘦 𝘢𝘳𝘦 𝘪𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘵𝘰𝘨𝘦𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘳."
But are you, with yourself?
(hi, will you please look up?)
Here's a reminder to not always look for pattern in clouds, music in waves,
poetry in a person.
The world is not supposed to be a beautiful place, all the time.
Your meltdowns are not poetic,
and the coffee stain on your table cloth is not at all metaphorical.
History has recorded a tangible trail of incredible writing,
Be it in the plague, times of war, in the shackles of tragedy.
So wish your anxiety a better luck next time,
and write that little piece of poetry,
Take some time to be grateful for all the extraordinary things
you've had taken for granted –
Long walks. Small talks.
Sitting at cafés and smiling at complete strangers. And them smiling back.
Holding hands. Hugs. Longest hugs.
The roads are empty,
And the hearts are full of longing.
It's four in the morning, and I'm brewing some tea.
(I love the smell of cinnamon sticks. Do you, too?)
As you wait in anticipation,
Dressed in yearning skin,
My tired fingers are writing this poetry for someone,
They can touch the whole universe with.
With a wake-up call and a steaming cup of masala chai,
Aishwarya is a Biotechnology post-graduate and a writer, who believes the amalgamation of science and art can create something that looks a lot like magic. She wants to change the way people see the world, one story at a time. And liberate herself, in the commas in between the lines.