Poem: ‘A Hope to Bloom’

by Irtika Kazi

I told you I would be fine. And you lost all hope,

As I lay comatose.

Gasping for life, on my death bed, numb, cold,
As dead as a doornail.
I did appear in your dreams, didn’t I?
To let you know that I am on a sabbatical from Life.
And I would return just like the adamant waves to the shore,
But you didn’t bother, you lost all hope!

As I lay comatose,
I remember everything. Each and every memory of you, is as fresh as a bunch of
Blossomed roses.
Our moonwalk on the brightly lit stage, your sedate flips,
The lifts, your moves, my whirls
and…you trying to woo all those pretty girls
Was like a knife twisting in my dark soul.

I felt so miserable, so helpless, like the injured tree struck with innumerable
Shooting arrows innumerable times by a skilled Archer.
It bled you know, but no one could hear the sobs.
But I also remember the long walks into the forest of nothingness,
Those mesmerizing dance sessions,
Our secret conversations, yours and mine, on open air roof tops,
How we sat there the whole night, promising each other never to let go.

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But you did go, left me to die in this bone-chilling snow.
Did you not say, “I promise to dance with you all my life,
dance with you in the heaviest of rains,
in the deadliest of storms?”
But then I wonder if you remember me at all,
Any lingering trace of me?
How I looked, how I spoke,
my face,
my grace?
Or the red satin gown I once wore, that you said matched the color of my lips,
Or the way the satin, during the whirls, from your dexterous hands slipped,

My memories have slipped from your head just like the satin,
Because you consider me dead, when I am still alive, like a fish out of water, on
My death bed!
Oh I know you always had your eyes fixed on that blue eyed girl in the audience
Who sat on the fourth chair in the first row!
And me? In spite of being so close to you, shoulder by shoulder, arm in arm,
I felt so distant.
So hopelessly cold.

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Our last dance still flashes in front of my eyes,
Our dance in the air, I can still feel the silky ribbons brushing my skin,
The maddening crowd below, those cheering voices,
The shine on your forehead, the twinkle in your eye,
The feel of your fingers trailing along my belly cove,
Your touch, oh what magic it wove.
The dilapidated,
Mind numbing,
Skull shattering fall,
That ruined it all.

Everything is over.

The sun hasn’t risen for decades on the arid stretch of my heart,
I am in perpetual darkness here,
There is no room,
For any unwelcome memories, thoughts of you,
Because I am unapologetically hopeless now
With still a tiny ray of Hope, to bloom.

And although, the red satin gown in my closet
still reminds me of you,
It also feels beautiful just to wear it, to feel its satiny material,
And although it reminds me of your love, free like the wind; scattered, unbound,
It also reminds me of my love, deep like water, intense and profound,
It is beckoning me,
“Come, and embrace me like a wailing mother embraces her
Lost child,” it says,
Put on your stilettoes, hold your head high and walk the aisle,
Show the world your vanished smile.”
Must I do that? Yes I must, if that should be the reason to live.

And my reason to live is not you anymore,
Because you vanished like smoke when I needed you the most.

But you know what?
One thing has stayed ever since my existence,
Ever since I was a little girl.
I remember tapping my feet to the rhythm of drumbeats,
Snapping my fingers, swaying my waist, playing the same dance songs on repeat.
I remember practicing my whirls,
While my dad sat reading the newspaper
Listening to old Bollywood numbers on the radio.
I remember swaying my hips to Chittiyan Kalaiyan
at my cousin Anisa’s Mehndi,
All eyes were on me.

I remember being proud
I remember people asking me where I learned to dance so well,
People telling my parents to enroll me in contests,
Put me on a real stage.
But most importantly,
I remember being happy.
My dance has yet again given me the strength
to simply let go of disloyal human ties,
And like a smoldering phoenix rise.
It was while dancing that I fell down in the darkest pit of sorrow,
And it is while dancing, I will rise
and make for myself
a better tomorrow.

Irtika Kazi is from Pune, India and works in Mercedes-Benz India. She is a poet and  performs her poetry in open mic sessions and poetry slams. Writing short stories is also one of her passions. She can speak fluent German as well. Poetry is the most creative form of expression, according to her, because people use lesser words with deeper meanings in a poem. She considers it to be difficult, yet interesting and definitely challenging. Her poem ‘A Call from the Alpines,’ which was written in Shakespearean English, got published in YuGen literary magazine in July 2017. Some of her poems will be published in December 2017 in The Indian Literature Magazine of Sahitya Akademi, India. Someday, she wishes to be a widely published poet.

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