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.