emptiness so boisterous,
knives feather around it;
that’s what i fill my vases with,
of course there’s a white flower
dangling on top. i lie on the floor
and trace chandeliers with broken glass,
be quiet, absolute silence;
i’ll show you the abyss between my palms.

it keeps growing inwards,
most days i fill it up with gravel and words.
do you know about quiet, lull kind-
the one that stays;
you know how smokers always smell of cigarettes.

strangers on the street ask me to look away,
vacant eyes that dig on their whole being like scalpels of delirium.
i look down and pavement tiles withdraw,
you know how sunflowers bend towards light;
except i’m not the sun and everyone wants to be a sunflower.

so i’m told ruptures in darkness don’t break out into fluorescence,
it’s all just a profound way of saying–
strangulation is easier than not breathing.

this sunday i made up a listicle of sad things,
somebody pointed out “the first item is blank”
everyone told me the void i carry with me like a water bottle,
was too fierce–
so i softened it,
i smothered it till it was a glob of tears,
now it’s too ugly.

you don’t like a mess, do you.
let me chisel it up for you,
is it alright if i serve some with your breakfast;
sir, take a look at the fucking empty buildings swarming with people–
look there’s the bed-sheet you tuck yourself into,
unscathed, you hear me;
why don’t you get it, its horrifyingly sad,
should i start screaming from the top of empire state-
would you believe it then.
you can’t even hear me,
i travel in a glass tombstone;
no wonder all my friends mutter a tender sorry walking past.

meenal jhajharia