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Nisha Oct 2017
I spent that October in your bed,
with a dead-bolted heart that betrayed me
before you could.

I spent that October much less a girl
and much more an animal ready for slaughter.
You tore into me, with your teeth bared,
and I sacrificed myself for something so beautiful and unfamiliar that I think time stopped.

Sometimes I imagine us from the outside looking in
our hair black as night
and our skin like gold
and your body over mine,
and I wonder if it looked like love.

But you were a coward
and so was I;
in denial about how our armored hearts had plotted against us.
Nisha Oct 2017
In a dream, I walk through the dark corridors of a house,
while a party rages on.
Something about you always reminds me of red cups and mistakes,
about the sunset of adolescence,
and our last autumn as children.
I sit down next to you.

I reach over and kiss your stubbled cheek,
and tell you that I’m sorry.
I don’t know what I’m sorry about,
because it was you that broke me,
but I apologize anyways.
“I’m sorry I’m like this,” I say,
I’m sorry that the way I want overflows,
and I’m sorry that I couldn’t hide it from you.

In a dream, I tell you how I really feel.
You are free from what is narrow,
I say, and that’s why it’s you.
I tell you how the wick of my body burns
under your hands made of matches;
and how it warms me from the inside.
There is no hell more glorious than loving you,
and you nod.
You know it too.

I don’t mention forgiveness,
because I don’t think I was ever really mad,
just pathetic with longing,
pathetic in the way that I would have stuck my two hands into my chest and pulled out my heart for you;
pathetic in the way that I would have bled myself dry for your touch.

I don’t mention her either,
or your talent for keeping other beds warm.
Does it really matter?
I just look at you,
that mouth, so delicately etched, so venomous,
those lips, that destroyed me,
your exceptional talent for loving and leaving.
There’s no hell more glorious than you,
no pill more bitter to swallow.
You know it too.
Nisha Oct 2017
I stood in the corner of Tawes Plaza  
It was hot again, unseasonal,
like it was in those days
so many years ago.
You were walking away as always
I watched.  

I was under the canopy of sun and leaf,
trying to hide myself from you
in the pockmarked shadows
of that same ambiguous weather
that we had always existed in.

You retreated.
I thought about things that weren’t meant for me.
You cut your hair too, it
no longer cowlicky and boy-like.

That hair,
as dark as mine,
the way I would cradle your head to my chest,
like a child.
How I loved to run my hands through it,
to look down
my line of sight overwhelmed by the soft blackness.

I would not smile,
but silently, I was contented,
warmed with shapeless pride.
You turned your head
and fixed on that beauty mark squarely on your nose
I thought –
ah mine,
as though it was true.
It was that fading light,
that vernal dusk
that cast everything in deep orange,
so deceptively warm.

We were always in transition,
we only ever wanted
the air was still,
pregnant with the expectation
of what was next.
On our axis it was always
equinox –
your mind
equally divided.
Nisha Oct 2017
and white noise.
The fall in which
I fell in to love

I feared nothing –
Plutonian force
closed in on me.
Your body followed,
I buried my head in to the tautness
of your hipbone
and I smiled.

You were taken aback, surprised
that anyone could be that close to you
and still want you,
so you smiled too.
Nisha Oct 2017
My father, he always has so much to say,
you know.
He loves weddings.
My daughter,
she’s always been so smart,
and we’re so proud of her.
He says it like he knows anything about me.

I nod and smile,
and shrink myself in front of the men.  
What is there to do but pretend?
No one needs to know about
the ways that you made me unlovable,
the way I spread my legs,
the way I strike a match.
We don’t talk about it.
It’s cultural values,
or something like that.

Look at the happy couple,
pharmacists, physicists, or physicians.
The groom smiles,
the bride does too,
they’re both so

I sit there
and dream
of it.
A mandap, a
great big white horse.
I would be forcing it,
I knew,
but I wanted them to see me in red.

I wanted to walk
down that aisle alone,
and smile, demurely, smugly –
look what I did.
I got him,
wore him down.

I dream like it makes it redeemable,
the things that I’ve done.
How bad is the punishment
if I deviated with best intentions?

We hold onto these tiny ambitions,
the boy
the buffet line
and the bragging rights,
like it undoes the damage.
Nisha Oct 2017
I walk to the drugstore
down the street
alongside the girls
with the midriffed shirts.

It’s enviable,
the way that they still

The girls
with their short-shorts
and lace-ups
and ***** sneakers –
they believe in the party.

The party
is in the basement.
It's sticky and neon,
humid like August.
No one judges you there,
and you’re beautiful
and so are your friends.
See – when you’re 18
nothing matters
except the party.

For me? The party’s over.
I leave with a liquored tongue.
After all,
there’s only so much you can drink,
only so much you can be passed around
in the eyes of the boys,
only so much fun you can have.

Isn’t that the point?
We test our limits,
we want to die.
The red cups will be abandoned on some table
to be discovered later.
You hold the plastic-bottled *****
and pour it down your throat.
At least then you’re fun.

The boys will fumble over your body,
one finger too many
a hand pressing down on the back of your head –
like they dare you to resist.
You don’t protest,
you weren’t designed for it.
You submit,
at least then you’re good.

There’s too many things to say
about the morning after.
The bouncer tells you it’s last call,
and suddenly,
the party’s over.
Nisha Oct 2017
You did not want it over your head,
the responsibility of ******* me.
But you were there, you
forced me to me knees
arrested me.
You parted my thighs
you did it.

Did you not realize in the
way I called your name
that I wanted your body
closer to mine.
I wanted to put
my arms
around your neck
and hold on
like I was being dragged

All I remember is
your long neck
and your eyes wide open.
You did not smile
that old sinister smile
you just stared.

You saw it then.
You had owned me
and you liked it.
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