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Lauren Upadhyay Nov 2014
I call you beautiful in the
moments before you see God.
You pull me into you like a riptide, enveloping me as the ocean does
to ligan.
I gasp for air,
I drown in you.
Lauren Upadhyay Dec 2013
The world weighs down upon the life examined.
But life is unsubstantiated;
Proof is sought in the darkness
with unbeautiful hands that extend
gracelessly into the unknowable,
Desperate for the horizon.
And we set ourselves on fire,
burning in blue flames,
to escape what we can't control
and to remember what it means to exist.
Lauren Upadhyay Aug 2013
You innocuously clawed into the most intimate parts of my body
and ripped me open in the most beautiful way.
You left me bleeding out on the pavement, entrails exposed;
with nothing but putrefaction to look forward to.
In a weird way I kind of enjoyed it.
Lauren Upadhyay Aug 2013
If I had a mountain for every time I thought of you
I would have a mountain range twelve times the size of the Andes,
So long it could wrap around the earth twice
And then some.
A lifetime of plate tectonic ruminations,
The lithosphere colliding where I fell in love with you;
That’s what I would have.
And I could spend another lifetime traversing
All of the ridges and the pinnacles and the icefalls of you.
I would reach every summit and look out
Across the endless expanse of you laid out before me,
And it would be the most spectacular view.

As I traveled through my mountain range
I would make a map because, while I don’t particularly mind
Getting lost in the thought of you,
I would like to be able to find my way back to my favorite places.
But like any good cartographer,
I would include copyright traps -- Things that don’t actually exist;
Valleys and cliffs that only I could have projected --
So that no one else could ever duplicate this.
Lauren Upadhyay Aug 2013
She was afraid of anyone ever seeing her naked, because then they would know;
they would know all of the brokenness and all of the things that she was afraid of and every mistake she had ever made. They would be able to see the insecurities she held like glass in her crosshatched palms and the lies she lived in the sutured remnants of her torso, a thousand stitches of regret sown haphazardly along her sagittal plane.
And they would know that this decimated shell housed her disfigured soul;
The ultimate humiliation.
Lauren Upadhyay Jan 2013
I like the way you laugh when you’re around me.
It’s unconstrained and unaffected and it’s not that way for everyone.
I like that you always have something to say because you can’t stand silence.
It fills the void that I am used to.
It’s refreshing.

I like that you allow me at least a small glimpse into who you are.
When you reveal parts of yourself to me, it reminds me that I’m not alone
And that the feelings I feel are not exclusively my own.
I like that you are so unabashedly you because it inspires me to be the same.
I like that I met you, and I’m glad that you continue to put up with me.
Lauren Upadhyay Dec 2012
"It is a curious thing, the death of a loved one. We all know that our time in this world is limited, and that eventually all of us will end up underneath some sheet, never to wake up. And yet it is always a surprise when it happens to someone we know. It is like walking up the stairs to your bedroom in the dark, and thinking there is one more stair than there is. Your foot falls down, through the air, and there is a sickly moment of dark surprise as you try and readjust the way you thought of things." -Lemony Snicket

For all its ostensible simplicity, death is complicated for those of us who have yet to experience it. And while I appreciate Snicket's sentiment, coping with loss is not always this straightforward. It is not always possible to merely readjust oneself after the painful shock of losing someone we care about, simply because some relationships transcend illusory misstep; there are some people who are more to us than just the empty space through which we navigate and which confuses us and makes us feel silly when we realize that there was never really any reason to worry in the first place, and that we are going to be just fine.

In much the same way as realizing we've tripped over a non-existent stair, it is always uncomfortably surprising when we lose someone we know. It's a feeling akin to being suddenly and aggressively shaken awake from some mildly enjoyable, but generally monotonous dream. Like we couldn't have predicted as much, as if it were some exotic and unfortunate illness that only ever happens to people in newspapers. And whenever we are made to confront the painful yet obvious reality, it forces us take a step back and reevaluate things.

It makes us think of the deceased, and how we must readjust our view of the world to accommodate their absence. And yes, many times this adjustment amounts to nothing more than a brief moment of miscalculation and confusion. But there are some times when this is not the case, when the loss of a person causes an unmistakable and lasting difference in our lives. There is a rare and special closeness with certain people that some of us are lucky enough to experience, and which at some point causes us to unconsciously realize the verity and significance of these people's existence.

There comes a moment when a person ceases to be merely an imagined phenomenon, and forever becomes an integral piece of the staircase in the multi-storied building of one's life. The people who ineffably and eternally changed us; the people who inadvertently etched themselves into our framework and forced us to recognize their inextricable realness. These are the people for whom we do not become only momentarily disoriented when they leave. When they stop existing there is one less step, a permanent gap in the staircase. And no matter how much time passes, no matter how well adjusted we become, it will never feel quite right skipping a step, making the unnatural lunge over the empty space they've left behind.
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