Autopsy of a failed relationship



You started to notice how big the world is, after your beloved

decided she could no longer share it with you. The spot

on the sink where her shampoo bottles once stood, has grown

into a black hole, & you now brush your teeth

in the tub, because it hurts

to  look in the mirror / watch yourself cry / see

what you look like when you struggle to breathe,/ & why

is there never enough oxygen these days? Does it

have something to do with global

warming? People on the internet keep saying the world is

dying, &.  You. Are. Dying. You have rolled loneliness

with your tongue & it tastes a lot like the empty

side of your bed, like the echoes of ESPN on a Monday

morning. Like salt, left over by tears

made to race down the walls of a vacant bath tub.



It's been 2 days since she broke up with you,

& you have played that voice note 135 times. You hear a knife

in how her voice croaks, & you can see her cut you

off like you used to watch your father slice yam seedlings.

You were never good

with a knife, & knew little about what to do

in a kitchen or a farm. Now, you caress this unfamiliar object

with your fingers, & think of death. Maybe you should slit

your wrists, scribble 'sorry I wasn't

enough,' on your walls over and over. The same

walls you hoped would hold testimonies of your love,

like wedding pictures, or a  photo of your first born.

It would be tragic, yes, but still poetry.




Four days have passed now, since she left,

& you've still not found the courage to kill

yourself / finish what she started. The sun has made a habit

of testing you with its light. & every time the

morning touches your face, you hear it ask

what you're still doing here. You have found an unlikely friend

in the night—

         There's so much that can be hidden in darkness;

         a dying flower, car keys, crumpled notes, a heart

         falling out of love. You wonder how many times

         she kissed you goodnight, knowing her love for

         you had begun to wilt




4.  Where did it all go wrong? How did you not notice

when her eyes started gathering storms? When you'd read her

poems, & she'd just stare at you like she could no longer hear

the music in your words. Little by little, her hugs started feeling too

short, she said your morning kisses made her late

for work. No, you noticed. You knew something was wrong.

& you did all you could to hold

on to your beloved. Too bad

your grip was all but strong.



A month has passed now

since that dreadful day, & like a body fed

to the earth, worms have begun to feast on the memory

of your grief. Her laughter, still a wasp trapped somewhere

in your chest, bouncing off corners, because you haven't learnt

how to let it go, & some days, it stings. . . stings. . .

stings. But you have gotten familiar

with pain, held hands with your sadness, &

sometimes, it lets you count on its fingers; the days

since you last saw her face. Too many things have been sieved

off your mind lately, like what you read before she introduced you

to Khalil Gibran's books, how you lived before she left, how

you lived, & some days you wonder how much longer

before your body ends on a coroner's table, what face he'd make

when he cuts your chest open, & finds a wasp.

Buzzing. Stinging.

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Let's hope his temper has passed ...

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