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June 05, 2023

The First Chapter

By Prithvijeet Sinha

The First Chapter

     The first chapter...
     left unread
     like that dubious horoscope
     for the day.

Once upon a time,
I would have blasphemed
if a book was left open.
The pact always was to immerse
and swim in the words
and take ourselves deeper than
the subconscious would allow.
That was a different time,
such a simpler time
when we would hold each word
close to our breaths
and always imagine the open park
even in deep sleep.


The words don't hold me still now.
I hope you see that.


The book is coated with dust
and I keep it on the antique shelf
that you inherited from your grandma
along with those gifted lines in your hands.

Bobby asks me to read your verses
to him as lullabies,
that is the way he remembers you,
soothing, humbling him,
like it was a spiritual sect of your own.

He takes your book away,
over to his recitation class
and on each page,
the moist, damp
concentric circles of three years
grow and blur his own defenses.

Six months
and he, too, has hardly
passed beyond the twenty-fifth page.


he told me,
'maybe, the book was meant to be
left as an unfinished journey
the three of us were meant
to scrawl and fill together with meaning.'

'The world consumes his compassion
while we deplete him with our unwillingness'
That's the nature of grief
and then the telepathy
of the last line
seems to get imprinted on the last pages
and our minds.

Article © Prithvijeet Sinha. All rights reserved.
Published on 2022-01-17
Image(s) are public domain.
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