There are times when I meander
through this dusty apartment
with its beige walls, off-white curtains
and grey marble floor like
a specter haunting a perishing corridor,
hope isn’t forthcoming
and even sorrow isn’t something I can
clutch like a man holds onto the edge
of a cliff,
I plummet, letting the gravity of apathy
make me crash into the nadir
of meaninglessness
but as I lay there, splayed out, personifying
nothingness,
a greyscale caricature of defeat,
quietude besieges me
and I rise, no longer looking at my
environment in shades of Autumn,
in hues of crimson or dying orange,
jolted awake from a nightmare
and no longer a slave to images of terror, I walk,
those are the moments when
a life that isn’t warped by the falsities
of pink grass, purple moons
and burgundy skies beckons me to venture
out and listen to the bebop of the songbird,
sway awkwardly to the avant-garde
cadence of the lurid Flame of the Forest,
swing to the steady tom-tom of the present,
building up to explosive ecstasy
like Benny Goodman’s Sing, Sing, Sing
but there’s something inherent
in the Tartarean man,
a predilection for despair,
a fondness for discord,
a hankering for disarray,
even if brought, thirsty, to a stream of water,
he’d rather marvel at its quaintness
than drink from it,
he’s inches close to grasping infinity
with its allegros of love,
adagios of peace
and codas of hope
but he’d rather look back
than throw himself into it,
perhaps its beauty is too much
for him to behold,
perhaps its song is too wonderful
for his ears,
perhaps he’s seen too much darkness
that the very prospect of light
terrifies and terrorizes him
but regardless of why he chooses
rags of brokenness over the golden
armor of victory,
he crawls back to the ramshackle hut
he came from,
letting an addiction to false-hope
augment his misery,
questioning meaning when it’s
there waiting for him
and in moments of profound insight
complemented with fear,
wondering if he’ll ever climb
Jacob’s Ladder leading to the heavens
before the vision departs.

© Nitin Lalit Murali (2019)

Photo by Elisabetta Foco on Unsplash

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