Unsent, Poetic Letters; Branded; My Love For Lying; Understanding What Lies Within

Unsent, Poetic Letters

I thought epistolary poems were great
until I started to write one.
The paper I wanted to write on
screamed at me and I lunged back in fear.
I had no one to write to.
All the poetry that flowed
within me whined like an ill-mannered toddler
and my heart beat faster than it was
supposed to. I looked up at the sky,
wondering whether I should write to the
God that resides among the clouds or not.
But I decided against it because I hate knocking
on doors that don’t open easily. Then,
I looked up at my mother
who was sleeping right next to me.
She was lost in her own dreams and
aspirations for the next day.
Writing to her would feel like
telling my darkest secret to the world
first and then slyly whispering it
into her ear. So, I got rid of that idea too.
I then decided to write to myself.
I painted the ink on my veins
and waited for it to dry out.
Epistolary poems were great
until I started to write one.
I had no one to write to.
Absence of friendship creates a hole
in our hearts so big that anyone
who pushes through with platonic love
bundled in their arms falls right into
the Hell that we originally created for ourselves.


Today, I am a twenty year old girl
whose most exciting venture in life has been to
drink white wine. I tend to sip it with vigor and
let it travel to my throat and my bloodstream, as if
it were somehow numbing the pell mell of the
world around me. So, when my mother’s best friend
asks me whether my lips have ever curved around the
round rim of a wine glass, I confess to her boldly-“Yes
aunty. I like to drink white wine but that’s about it.”
Before I am able to tell her that other alcoholic
drinks taste like muddy water to me, she makes
the kind of face that makes her look like
a disfigured drawing and she shakes her head
in disapproval, as if the idea of sipping alcohol will
send me directly to the pits of Hell. Her mannerism
benumbs my candidness toward her and I sit back, only
to think that sometimes, the truth we project to the
world is treated like a can of litter and that the lies
are gulped down as quickly as a bite of cake.
The next time she and I meet, she asks me about my
“alcoholic endeavors”. But I just shake my head and
lie back against the cushions of neutrality I have
propelled for myself. It’s better to sit back on the
beach than to conjure sand castles out of thin air, I decide.

My Love For Lying

She asks me what I have been doing since high
school ended. I want to tell her that I sleep till
noon, daydream and make life Hell for my parents.
Instead, I reply proudly by saying I write
poetry about anything and everything and get it
published by publishers whose faces I will never
see and whose voices I will never hear. And, while I do
so, the hackneyed words used in my poems puff
up and burst, leaving a warm and invisible balloon
of air behind. I construct lies to sound cool and look
cooler. I wait for the guilt to choke me. It comes off in
waves and even shines in my eyes. Now, I ask her what
she has been doing. She’s the girl I never wanted to be
friends with in high school and I don’t know why. Yet I
am having a conversation with her and acting like all
those school days were golden gauntlets filled with
celebratory drinks, laughter and joy. She tells me that
she does absolutely nothing all day. She tells me that
motivation to do anything productive left her as soon as
her mother departed for Heaven and I just stand there,
trying to drown in someone’s else’s grief
while trying to run away from my own lies.

Understanding What Lies Within

We all are hurt in so many ways
but we don’t show it often.
Our sad stories become
soggy from being replayed in
our heads all the damn time.
But the pain never lessens.
We try to hide it with smiles,
logic and the ludicrous
concept of love. But , the pain is
here to stay, darling. Even when
you are asleep or awake to go to
work. It stays with you like a leech,
sucking out all the happiness you
managed to pump into your chest.
And, remember that when dawn
breaks on the horizon,
stars don’t disappear.
They stay there forever-
Bright and adamant,
just like all the grief that is
stored within you and I.
So when the misery seems to
get wild and rabid inside your
bodies, just look up at the sky
and watch your pain be reflected right back.

Avantika Singhal was born and brought up in India and is currently studying English Literature at Regent’s University, London. She is also a spoken word artist and her poems have been published in several online and print publications. Some of them being Spark Magazine, Germ Magazine, Jabberwock Online, Textploit, The Landscapes Anthology, ‘Please Hear What I am Not Saying’ Anthology and Indian Review.