On some days, I feel like I have clenched the sun in the palm of my hands
so that it sears through my skin till there’s nothing left but ash.
Without the fuel, the sun dies too,
its last embers burning the last inches of my skin.
Without its light, the world is dipped into a can of black paint
so that it finally meets the colour of my charred self.
I should have let go earlier,
when the pain had just begun and only the very tips of my hands were aching.
For ironically in my self-centredness
I had taken away the world’s centre
and now we both were left on the doorsteps of death.
Would they have mourned for me had I let them live?
Would they have thought of me had I not snatched their thoughts away,
offering them on a platter to the cloaked figure of ‘the end’?
These questions run in my mind,
fast, because they only have a few moments left to exist.
I take a gulp of air choked up with ash and smoke
so that it serves as an overdose of opiates,
poison courses through my veins and I am killed in an instant.
Worry not, tomorrow another sun will rise like it does every day.
I would lick my wounds and hang another piece of skin on my brittle frame.
I would live for another day.
– Sonal Gupta
Photograph by Abhinavanand Singh.