Lock and Key

Lurking in the depths of my soul
The hunger unfettered, growls and roars

I grab it tight with both my arms
With fingers unclenched from clammy palms

Yet fear threatens to swallow all sound
The muted ringing of silence surrounds

I dare not open my eyes, and stare
Into the very eyes of despair

On a face that could so easily mirror my own
Had it not been wildly unkempt and so very old

Dazed, startled, I uncurl again, and again glimpse
The future that spins anew with every blink

~ Akanksha Gupta (poem)

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