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I’m dying to not leave you first

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my appetite expanded with him. food was his love language. the fancy juicer saw his impulsive, almost untameable hunger. i am not sure if i regret how we spent hours deciding what to eat, instead of kissing each other. we made caramel pudding together. i never liked coconuts as much, so every other day, he'd make some magically scrumptious dish with it. you can't help but fall in love with him, and coconuts. one morning, it rained cats and dogs, and he brought me burnt toast with cheese and pepper in abundance. i cannot eat without thinking of him. he never knew how to knife papayas well. he discovered a french bakery for me which made delicious baked cheesecake. we discovered the best momos and malai chai in bangalore. this evening, here, miles away from where he is, i had chicken stew and it reminded me of that night when we watched our love quietly leave the restaurant. love must've died while crossing the streets. it never came back. the air is humid and i had the most unproductive day. i am thinking about how i fall weak on my knees when he wakes up in the morning. we always, always ate together from his round steel plate. i never had an empty stomach, he stuffed it with equal parts love and food.

today at the grocery store, i saw apples and jambakkas, bright, blinding red, almost like the dying sunset of the august evening when I last saw him.

when i miss him, i sleep on the kitchen floor.

Sushi Controversy

coffee tastes better with rum,

and sushi is absolutely not made for my taste buds.

in other news,

i turned twenty-three a while back, and i have never so desperately wanted to stop growing up.

the thing about having a lot of time to weep, wander and wonder

is that you finally start seeing the insignificance of it all.

chair is just wood.

home, just a house.

lover, just a person, no?

i’m slowly starting to get repulsed by emotions

and now i think, i’ve the emotional capacity of a spoon.

i’ve never wanted to be this person and it all feels awfully strange and new,

and i’m starting to acknowledge how i am an extremely difficult person to be with,

and also have been trying to figure out how anyone

ever really sticks around,

but, rocket science, sir, rocket science.

this birthday someone told me i ruined their life and there was nothing i could do about it.

this birthday, i also had my sister sit in-front me with a broken wrist, asking me to forgive myself.

excuse the bad writing and excuse the emotional overflow.

but all i am trying to say is that

i can dream of a longer,

better life,

but this is all we have now.

beers and beaches,

stained old books,

well-cooked lamb and

the comfort of a bed.

I was abandoned when I was twelve

burnt garlic goes well with cheese and if you try hard enough

you can let go of your past. maybe?

men are so annoying sometimes

and then they hold your hand

and tell you that they love you.

what’s the difference between you and your shadow?

the shadow never leaves.

a tailor ruined my new pair of jeans yesterday

and i cried for thirteen minutes

until i saw two cats kissing each other down the street.

there’s no point in this life.

i know pain and grief but i also know a guy whose heart i ripped apart with my bare hands.

these hands are capable of ruining kingdoms.

i could never learn how to use chopsticks

and i avoid confrontations,

life is easier without both.

extremists are the cause of one-third of my migraines.

a person i know asked me to not be a rebel. but

my body has been to war

and i only know how to battle.

there’s uncertainty from the moment i wake up.

i don’t know what to wear to work,

or who to love or what to eat.

to be, or not to be?

i don’t know if i should be a rebel for this country that’s dying a slow death

or for a sweet guy’s love who makes me coffee and bread.

i’ve mastered the art of hurting everyone that comes too close to me,

my bones haven’t been loved,

don’t ask me to stay because

being abandoned is so much like running a marathon

you want to keep running but also want to win,

you want to run and you want to win.

what the fuck is this mess

i am dying for you to not go

but i’m dying to not leave you first.


Saheen Rahman is a writer and a communication student currently pursuing her postgraduate degree. She finds beauty in monotony and in run-of-the-mill things. She wants her work to be a voice of rebellion, a sword for change, a lifeboat to save someone else from drowning. She strongly believes that art is in everything, big and small and that we only need the unavoidable and insatiable hunger to find it. Her work has been earlier published in The Alipore Post, Live Wire, The Blahcksheep, Terribly Tiny Tales, and Indian Sahitya Akademi.

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