The Week After You Died

In the passing summer shower of July,
Your bulging blue veins,
Mirrors a dying lotus leaf under the sky,
You lie unkempt on the hospital bed,
I sit in my chair holding dead daffodils,
Uncomfortable in this atmosphere of uncertainty,
We both stare at the impending inevitability.

Decrepit with time,
You have lost your memory and appetite,
And, when the nurse shoots morphine into your veins,
A tumult of emotions floods your brain,
The morphine puts you in a state of trance,
So your hands tremble, and the daffodils dance,
Then with your eyes wide open,
You doubt your existence.

When the summer drizzle died outside,
A flurry of moths flew inside,
Millions of them rose from their graves,
To kamikaze on the light bulb in waves,
As they glinted in the gloom,
You said, “Leave the door open,
Let them fill the room.”

Admiring moths in compassionate attention,
You said with fatalistic conviction,
“While I was alive,
I kept chasing butterflies,
But ever since I lost my might,
Moths are the ones who sing to me at night.”

After months of medication and manipulation,
You reached the limits of your exasperation,
And then came the moment,
Which I forever dread,
You lay half-bent in a loin cloth,
Like a bleached coral reef over the ocean bed.

The week after you died,
My voice was hoarse from all the crying,
The week after you died,
I dreamt of moths,
Soaring from the crematorium chimney pipe,
The week after you died,
I opened your closet,
And, amidst the pile of your clothes,
Lay there buried in your arms,
Dismembered wings of moths.

Nikhil Kumar completed his Master’s in law and development from Azim Premji University and is an aspiring poet and satirist.

Featured image:  Max Kleinen / Unsplash