top of page

Pain is just another word for you / Poems by Bhairavi Ponkshe


Grief is a synonym

for everything

that doesn't come back.

I'm made of waiting and


Or perhaps an aphasia

that doesn't last long.

A part of my life will

always be stuck with you.

You're my childhood.

My angst. My passion.

The beginning of me.

And I want you to be the end.

Grief is a synonym

for everything

that doesn't come back,

everything that

remains broken,

half-way, undone.

This orderly chaos is

how the world

spins around,

twirls like a toddler,

and falls to the ground


Grief is what

I carry within.

Grief is what I see without.

I carry the world around

on my shoulders.

Take a peek.

Come, see us dance.


Once upon a time, a girl

fell down the stairs and never

got back up.

The hem of her pinafore

stuck under her own boots.

Her forehead bruised, her

elbow scarred.

She hears her mother crying

in a faraway room,

and music from another.

It's difficult to tell which is which.

The girl doesn't move.

Her prickly fingers run

over the dew drops settled

above the swell.

They pop without making

a sound.

It hurts, somewhere.

Abandoned in the middle

of the story,

her childhood leaving.

It hurts. Everywhere.

What comes next, you ask?


You come next.

You're the writer now.

Fall down the stairs.

Laugh with the girl.

Cry. Give her

your hand.

Come back for her.

It's the only way to end a story.

Everything else is

false, and nothing

else matters.

Look at me,

Take over.


Love is just another word

for you / A letter lost

in the mail.

You once said that

hate might just be an excess

of love in the past.

And how you could never

hate me, over and over again.

All I hear now is how

your love could never

be an excess,

never more than enough.

Love is just another word

for you.

And there's so much of it.

The nailbed reeks of a stale tale,

smelling of all the displays of

affection that went unseen.

This pain has taken all of the

space in my body.

The scalpel traces a vein

and a wail oozes out.

There’s an invisible weight

on my chest that doesn’t

let me breathe.

A body floating under

a frozen lake.


is just another word

for you.

The distance between us, is the

exact distance between my

childhood and I.

Sometimes, you're the jasmine

that falls off a branch and

lands on my feet.

I pick it up and keep it

pressed inside a book so

it lives forever.

Or just some more.

How do I get rid of

this responsibility that

doesn't exist?


is just another word

for you.

And there’s so much of it.


About the poet:


Bhairavi Ponkshe is a psychology graduate and a first-year law student from Mumbai, India. Her poems have been published and featured in prestigious literary journals and poetry anthologies. Her poetry can be accessed online on her Instagram page - @bhairavi__ .

You can read Bhairavi Ponkshe's previous set of poems featured on PoemsIndia at : Pejoratives and Prayers

241 views0 comments

Related Posts

See All
bottom of page