The apparent imperfections of life
Appear as lesions marring its skin,
Imperfectly veiling the deep wounds
Rupturing the will within.

What paraffin can then suffice
As fire for ice when ice afire,
What liquid strength can hold and embolden
When those icy cracks are clogged sepulchres dire.

And yet through them –
Through the little cracks in our souls –
We want warmth to seep in; to seep into
Each cut ‘n every fold

The warmth of recognition
Of acknowledgment of our existence
Of sustenance of our rights;

The warmth of appreciation
Of admissions of our successes
Yet omissions of our strife.

But those moments and that age
When we used to yearn for them
Have long passed our doorstep,
Leaving in their wake
Fractures –
Untended and unchecked

At the root of which lies
A quiet and visceral need,
For a tincture of the warmth of celebration
Of each moment of the life we lead,
Henceforth, to seep in; leaving
Each cleft-end to the other cleaved.

– Akanksha Gupta


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,
At the bitter-sweet thoughtlessness
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