I’d like the breathing to cease

Skin that once was chocolate
Is raisins lately.
I sit and count the wrinkles around the sockets
That had eyes shimmering with purpose
Once.
Now
There are hollow grey mouths of guns
Shooting out vacant stares towards me
That pierce the soul
For hours;
Sometimes days.

I wonder
How long does a day feel
When the breaths you take are fabricated through machinery?
How lengthy is an hour
That battles with air every second?
The belly
I witness inflating,
With pumped breaths,
Rattles every organ there,
Also,
Every organ here;
Within me.

Steak,
I see in a magazine
And then gaze
At the wretched food pipe:
One of the plenty
Attached to the limbs.
“Food or Sex?”
“Food!” I’d hear with laughs.
Food or Breaths?
Who knew,
Would be the options.

Treatment,
They call it:
Prolonging of pain
I deduce.
No words for months,
No songs,
No fights;
Not even humming.
Just
Fake breathing and beeps
Breathing
Beep
Breathing
Beep.

I breathe twice instinctively
Amidst every beep,
First for her,
Then for me.
Silly assistance;
Futile, I know.
But every desperate gasp for air,
Is her
Disguised agony.

I’d like, O lord, to hear now
Just the shattering
Beep
Beep
Beep.
I pray and plead to you O Lord,
I’d like the breathing
To finally cease.
Won’t you hear
These desperate calls
And
A mother’s plea?
All I want for her is now
The drowning to be
Complete.

The Other Woman

I love her and she loves me but I make love to a sin that has bewitched me.

Thrice or four times I have seen her cry. Her tears fall ceaselessly upon my shoulder as she swears to leave me this time, but cannot. I make a million promises going down on my knees, hugging her by the waist. Promises to never go back; promises to love her forever; promises I hope I can keep.
But here I am, standing at the gates of the dealer. In front of the pink house, burning with red passion I lose track of promises and I break all vows.

How hard is it to get rid of an addiction when the drug is the dealer and the dealer
is the drug? How hard is it to ignore the velvet voice over the phone asking you to come up?
I love her but I love her too. She loves me, but she loves me too. One is home and the other, an adventure. One is stability and the other, I don’t know. And I gravitate back to her, intoxicated, to get the answer to that ‘I don’t know.’

As she answers the door in her flimsy top, I undress my mistake mentally. Yes that’s what I call her; a mistake. A name she has grown to like with every lie I tell over the phone while I am tangled in the bed sheets with her.
Her skin: a magnet to my iron. I hold it tight enough to leave the impressions of blood on it. Her cologne: cocaine to my senses. I sniff till my vision becomes a haze.
I don’t have the patience to let her finish her sentences. With every word she says, I imagine her lips moving on mine.
I inspect her body before loving it and punish her for any scratch that is not mine. Not mine, but someone else’s, she dare not be. I make every desperate attempt to fence my property. I paint blue-red gashes wherever my teeth get access of her flesh and she climaxes under me with each hard bite.
I never let her dress even after having her a several times. I hate those fabrics that touch her constantly. Instead, I lazily trace all my embossed grazes that cover the round of her breast, the bent of her thigh, the curve of her shoulder and savour each cringe the wounds instigate in her. I let the pain of her revenge bites wash over me. She tends them with soft red kisses and cries.For a long time I admire all my branding proudly, the only form of art I know.
I kiss her from her neck to toe chanting “Mine! Mine! Mine!” with every breath, while she squirms and moans all night. I tickle her with soft touches and she laughs breathlessly in my mouth. That laughter, the one that drives me insane even when it bursts out in a public place, is the one that keeps me up in the nights she is away.

And in the nights when I live inside her, a small voice always pricks at the back of my mind, “two more days and she would go.” But never can I make her stay for me for more than two weeks, maximum four. Still in those days I ignore a hundred calls, from the woman waiting for me at home.
Accusations, loyalty and morals, all get side-lined while I count the moles on her neck and spine and my phone vibrates on the side table the entire night.

On our last night every time, I become the beast I fear. I fantasize peeling her skin to live inside it. I almost devour her limbs in an attempt to keep her inside me. I hurt her I know, but she never complains. She smiles through all of that physical pain. I try to quench my thirst before she leaves, but when I watch her climbing the train compartment, I find my mouth dry again.
I remember the times she used to cry at my feet. “Leave her,” she used to say “If you really love me.” I never could, I was too afraid. Weak, she said, to put a claim.

Now, she laughs when I propose to elope, like I have cracked the best of jokes.
“I am the other woman and I like that more. I like being the sin instead of your home. I love your racing heartbeat and your hunger for more. It’s fun to be the one you cheat with but not the one you cheat on. I love you too much to see your passion fade off.”