Tread Softly

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When you look at me and those I paint
I hope that you see a rainbow coloured haze
For though I speak sharp with words so sure
They reflect a mere fraction of what I think I know

When you think of me and those I paint
I hope it’s not a puzzle but a mosaic
Because what I know are parts of a whole
Coloured by mine and growing evermore

When you speak of me and those I paint
I hope an equal lack of judgment is displayed
Those words that seem sharp, sure, and succinct
Are opinions, fickle; the truth has always been extinct

– Akanksha Gupta

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Once Upon a Deadly Song

The night air
Sits primly upon my breath,
It’s crispness biting my tongue,
Which stills, stung
Into silence –
The cool of each
Thusly laboured death
Brings with it
A refreshing lack of thoughts –
I know that winter has come.

The faceless moon blackens every day,
A shiver of stars lie
Unblinking across a cloudless sky;
Their spartan starkness
Sending tremors of disquiet
Down my spine,
Roiling the river of scarves
Ribboned and coiled with poise
Around my neck –
Equal and opposite –
They press against a cloying warmth;
I can feel my throat tighten,
Prickling
At the bitter-sweet thoughtlessness
Trickling
Down
Like poison.

Thence the blood flows
Painfully, slow,
And nearly glacial —
A reluctant heart pumps ice
To temper and placate
The wrathful winds
Scorching my eyes.
And as I blink,
Fire and ice
Wound and lick
My flaming, mottled face
That I veil with
Endless swathes
Of downy cloths,
But the mattress remains cold
Underneath a chilled soul.

– Akanksha Gupta