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I have long forgotten its origin
Embedded in places invisible
Ones I have found lost
Involved in my curious wanderings,
Perhaps it lays there as temptation
Or simple challenge

I’ve placed left foot to right
At the base of this structure
Yet, amongst these steps
Where I may have often found progress
I fall
Left lost to right
Vice lost to versa

Each time I return
To that same cornered crevice
Holding this deceiving fabric
Hoping, beyond all, to finally reach its zenith
But there it lay
Different by the day

I know the fault of its existence
Falls on personal shoulders
Within the realm of selfish gain
I find this;
Impeding my progress, yes
But holding answers too intriguing to pass

I hold back from expressing these frustrations
Simple trains of thought
Confusing the path of these steps
Almost like my younger self
Learning to take them

I exist here
Taking these steps
Putting left to right
Vice to versa
As if progressing nowhere
Perhaps a true sentiment
But look closer
Left may not be going to right
Nor vice to versa
Yet, there I am
Finding these paths
Quite an intricate puzzle
To find my way
Putting right to left
Versa to vice
you cried last night.
i promised you that everything would be fine.
you looked at me with tears in your eyes
and assured me that everything was alright.
but i saw the pain you were struggling to hide
and watched your mask disappear from sight
as you told me,
"i've never wanted to kiss someone
and wanted to run away from them
at the
same time."

we both want this so badly,
but we're both so broken already.
The rain desires nothing but begins nonetheless.
One drop falls, alone at first, followed
by another and another, until
the neighborhood windows weep.

Across the street, her husband turns
his palm to the sky, steps into the storm.
His black umbrella blinks awake,
like the hole he creeps through
when his wife is sleeping, when
the window is open and the sidewalk is dry.

It can’t be helped.

It desires nothing,
but the rain, with
a million hands,
ravages everything.
 Jul 2018 Manasi Kemkar
It wasn’t supposed to be like this
Never had I imagined this
After I first saw you
Sitting in the corner of the coffee shop
Sipping tea with a hint of hazel
Matching the light in your eyes

I used to love that coffee shop
One we went back to many times
At least at first
You would order the same tea
With the same hint of hazel
And I would adore your acute audacity
Ordering tea in a coffee shop

I had friends who told me many things
They hadn’t been afraid to see the truth
Telling me we were moving too fast
Not really understanding where we were
But instead taking the present to define everything
Perhaps I should’ve listened

I had thought you were what they describe as ‘The One’
But your brilliance in my life
Blinded me of many things I should’ve paid heed to
Placing me on the edge of your storm
Instead of reaching the eye of it
As I should’ve

Maybe this is why the movies are fictional
They only exist in our lives until the end credits
Whereas I lived past them
And witnessed the reality
Beyond the list of directors, producers, and actors
Living in a cycle of after-credits

We went to that coffee shop one last time
And I looked
Looked for that same spark which I had latched on to
All those years back
But this time I truly saw you, past the light
This time you ordered coffee
Black, with no hint of hazel
Straying from the straightened path
Its as easy as it gets
The voice inside telling you no
But the enticing idea of leaving is too much
Like leaving the trail of the woods
Once you wander far enough
Only then do you realize your lost
The dark and cold of your soul
Matching the night sky above
The ones picking you up when you fall
Are back on the sunny and straight path
That you can no longer see
The only company you keep
Is your warped thoughts and your past
Your loneliness causes inner demons
It leaves you bitter and wounded
Cynical and dead inside
You have only you
To mend the permanent damage done
Because off the path are thorns
And those thorns cut little by little
But after a long time they leave gashes
And those gashes never fully heal
They only scar
I'm still wandering aimlessly
I no longer know the direction of that path
That I left long ago
So let this poem be a warning sign
With big bold red letters
To those leaving the path
That this isn't where you want to be
I could've been king of my path
Yet I ended up a pawn in an evil game
So to those of you out there
Rise up and become more
Because the woods are very dangerous
And its so dark and cold here
 May 2018 Manasi Kemkar
JL Smith
In two days
I'll follow the wind
Whichever way it blows
However it will send

I've been running in circles
Yet, idle in this spot
Caught in routine
Prisoner of thoughts

In two days
I'm a stranger somewhere new
Open to change
Alternative views

I'd prefer your company,
But I know you're needed here
It's time my freedom finds the highway
And my troubles steer clear

In two days
I'll follow the wind
Whichever way it blows
However it will send

© JL Smith
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