Submit your work, meet writers and drop the ads. Become a member
Cheryl Mukherji Dec 2014
Later that day, I sat with an empty notebook in my lap to write down thoughts: as a child, the routine was to repeat alphabets until I had them straight but I always started to lose my breath by the time I reached L. That day was no different.

A- your arms wrap around me under the moonlight;
B- the only sound I can hear is the rise and fall of your heart beat;
C- you light candles with the same lighter you burn your cigarettes with;
D- and shut the door behind me.
E- I have always loved how your eyes look into mine and so I do, today-
F- as your fingers move through my messy hair-
G- and I give in as prey.
H- Your hands feel cold on my skin;
I- your legs intertwine with mine under the ***** sheets we’re lying in-
J- and your jaded voice calls my name.
K-we kiss;
L- and I hear you stutter when you say that you love me.
Cheryl Mukherji Dec 2014
1:35 AM.** I sit by the window and listen to the raindrops sounding like the ring of calls I make to you around the same time, each day to ask you about how your day was. You subtly mention about the times when you thought about me and how it makes you smile: you picture me laughing with the children you befriended on the subway, the wind flowing through my hair, and my eyes getting narrowed as I stare at the sun.

1:36 AM. The patter of the raindrops against the fragile glass picks up speed and I lose touch of the tune I created in my mind with the rhythm as I get distracted. I recount the days when we skip topics like children skip ropes, trying to oblige all days’ craving for each other in three words, lost breathes and skipped heartbeats, when we finally meet.

1:37 AM. I try to pull close the windows to keep the shrivelled leaves that were blown off trees by the rising storm away. In the process, I chip off my nail but my fingers are too numb with cold to hurt. I can still feel your fingers run down my nape, circle on my back and tap on my waist while all I do is quiver, wiggle my toes and complain about how cold your hands are.

1:38 AM. The sky is getting clear but there still is haze and unsettled mist in the air that surrounds me. Some nights, you pull your blanket over our heads and try to encapsulate our world into the warmth beneath it. You have convinced me that we are storms trapped inside lifeless bodies as we lie very still but our breaths chase our heartbeats.
Cheryl Mukherji Nov 2014
I wonder
what you meant
when you told me,
over the fifth cup of black coffee,
that you had fallen out of love
more than the number of times
you’d kissed someone,
your hands were not under-oxygenated
but, cold
because each hand you held before,
took away your share
of warmth too
and people
were just bricks
that you kept stacking
to build a wall around
your heart;
while, I
held your sweaty palms
and heard your heart
beat against your ribcage
like a storm.
Cheryl Mukherji Oct 2014
Love stories.
When the man of 56
asked a girl of 7
if she knew what love was,
she didn’t know that
she would spend
most of her life convincing herself
that love was more than
how he dug his nails
into her raw skin
only to leave it pale;
it was more than the stench
of his breathe and clothes
that she hasn’t got rid off
from her body, yet;
it was more than the sharp,
stabbing sensation between her legs
and definitely something
that needed consent.

Love stories.
You think you know what love is,
but what about that girl
who was left crying
at the subway station?
She went back home
after 3 odd days,
took an overdose of pills
she couldn’t even pronounce names of,
slit her wrists
and was found lying
in a pool of blood
after another 3 odder days.
I wonder whose life flashed
before her eyes and
where she hid all the
undelivered letters she wrote
the night before she died?

Love stories.
He shifts the pawn in a chess game,
sitting on a wobbly bench
in a massive hospital ward.
This time, it’s his queen
that he is protecting.
Though, he could see
her last breaths fluctuating
like the black and white squares on the board,
he still tried to win.
They didn’t kiss each-other goodbye;
neither did they share laughs
nor, did they repeat their vows.
She didn’t even wait
till the last chemotherapy.
What happened to his love story?

Love stories.
I fell in love with a boy
with a storm in his heart
that wrapped me in itself,
ripped me off piece by piece,
picking on already existing wounds
and now he’s nowhere to be seen.
I hear the incessant clash
of the windows in a stormy rain,
the picture frames
and shattering into a million pieces
against the floor
where I sit and bleed poetry about him
even when I know
that he doesn’t even remember my name, anymore.

Though, I Love
the way your tongue curls
at ‘L’ and your teeth presses against your lips
tenderly at ‘V’
when you say “love”,
but I am sorry,
I have grown up
in a home of fists and frowns
where love stories were more fragile
than paper towns
and I will not make eye contact with you
when I say “I love you”
because I am unsure about
how long it will last.
Cheryl Mukherji Oct 2014
I hoped to see you at least once
before you left-
behind the sixth lane,
walls of which still have hand-prints
that we made as kids;
under the sign board
which read something in French,
meant something that
our inexperienced hearts are
still incapable of comprehending;
or maybe, under the staircase-
beside the empty cartons
where we promised
to make our own little house,

I listened to you,
ranting about your day;
who made you smile;
whether you believed in magic;
what your muse was,
watching words bounce off
the edge of your lips,
your pupils dilate
when you said the word “Love”.

I stole memories of you
from the pinch of your cheek,
the tip of your nose,
your eyelids,
which would twitch
at an external touch
until the warmth of my fingertips
blended with your skin.

You would laugh
about something that
had happened months ago-
the echoes of which still keep me going for days-
I would just sit back
and mentally make notes
about how hard
my heart pounded against my ribcage
every time you breathed heavier
to compensate for the ones you skipped.

You hair would fall on your face,
you would push them back
without a pause while,
I would be looking at your hands.
I love how
your hands look under the sun,
the soft curves;
how each crease
on your palm discloses secrets about you
which was why you always walked
with your hand knotted in fists;
the freckles on its back –
how it could be woven into constellations
with names of your distant lovers
carved on your pale wrists.

I write about you-
carefully picking up words
that describe my whims,
decorating the corners of letters,
choosing to draw hearts
in the tittles of I’s,
imitating the curve of your smile
in my Y’s-
and when I think
that words are not enough
to tell you how much
you mean to me,
I smudge a range
of contrasting colors
on a fresh canvas
till it fills up the space inside my nails,
smears on my face
and spoils my favorite white dress;
you are a beautiful mess.

The sky reminds me of you.
And feathers too.
So, stuff them in my empty pockets
on my way from work until,
I have a feeling
that one more to them
would make me fly.
I wish I could fly to you;
you’re so far;
my words don’t affect you,
and the dust that has
settled between us
doesn't let me see you, any more.

And I am not ready
to let your memories
become the dead flowers-
pressed between
the yellow pages of a book;
a rusted twig in an abandoned nest.
So, I’ll wait for you
by the broken window,
stained drapes,
until you make your way
back home.
Cheryl Mukherji Oct 2014
We spent the whole night
planning our lives together
to the rhythm of
each-other's whiskey-stench breaths.

I woke up
to an empty bedside, next morning.
Cheryl Mukherji Oct 2014
I spent five hours thinking about you, that day,
flipping through your pictures,
smiling at the letters
you never wrote for me but hoping that one day,
you might just draw the first alphabet of my name in a different style,
trying to figure out if my name rhymes with yours.

I smelled through the pages of the book
that has hidden notes about your eyes
and your smile in spaces between the lines
and shabbily scribbled dates
under the dog ears of the turn down page
that reminds me of the day
when you looked into my eyes for a second;
when your hands brushed against mine
and you didn't apologise for it
like you mostly did and,
when you told me that the closest
you had ever gone to someone
was by harming yourself.

And then,
there were moments
even after those hours when
I sneaked extra memories of you
from my subconscious and
laid it under the table lamp
like we did- under the blanket of the night sky,
squinting our eyes to search for the stars
amidst the silhouetted leaves.

I wrote letters to you,
I couldn't ever find an address to deliver it to
because until the last time I met you,
I never realised I could be homesick for people too.

Some nights,
I call you to ask you if you have ever loved someone,
if you have laughed just enough,
how deep have you been hurt,
how long will you wait till you belong to someone
and then, I just hang up before the dial tone goes off
because I am afraid you won't ask me the same
and even if you do,
I will end up liking you enough
to not let you go.
I know you won't say word after that
so, we will just sit there,
listening to each other's whiskey stenching breaths
over the telephone.
Next page