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Do I efface your person or the memory of you?

The sky is as grey in colour as the colour of you.

How do I even dare to write a poem?

All words of the world would fail to contain the poem that is you.

How noiseless these hands remain moving themselves,

Did time run out of space for you?

The evening returns to me at nights, 

Are you still there romancing the shadows or have you filled a new geography with the scent of you?

How I collected our metaphors on a page, in a list

And imagined you must have too. But how, my love, 

How do I rid myself of the reality of things, of you?

There’s enough missing in me to know you

I’d run out of words, but never of poetry, for you.

The city is collapsing under the weight of constant crises

Has the sea drowned all the cries for you?

Are your mountains still still for you?

It is so much like the past, to be showing up in the present like this

I know it well. Do you? Did you?

Your silence beheld every ramz of the world. 

The air is now filled with echoes; will I know you?

I am now reduced to these objectivities, a spectator of my own life, 

a bug trapped in amber,

This is a lament, a ballad, a futile act of catharsis, this meeting again with you.

I’ve travelled through lives, spaces, and times,

How many stories and poems are left still, to purge myself of you?

(2021, an ode to a postmodern encounter, in remembrance, in yearning)

Ramz: an Urdu word that means ‘secret’. Here, it may also be read as ‘truth’.

Akshada Shrotriya is a Master’s student in Miranda House, Delhi University, pursuing English Literature. Throughout her graduation, she has been active in the field of creative writing – assisting in the editing work of the annual department magazine, publishing articles and stories in a journal brought out by the Women Development Cell of the college, interning as a content writer in an emerging start-up, among others. Her latest achievement in the field was her selection in the Creative Writing Program organized by Ashoka University as part of their Summer School. Her story was published in an anthology along with 12 others. She is fascinated by how poets like e. e. cummings, Vikram Seth, and Forugh Farrokhzad experiment with forms and themes. In the grand scheme of things, like Prufrock, she hopes to start a scene or two.

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