3 min read



I don’t want you to find any more 

about me. 

Don’t look me up 


Don’t think 

about me. 

Take your satchel 

and walk right out 

with the punishing 

disinterest that is 

a characteristic 

with the likes of 


Just fucking

fly out of this barren 

land and let this fertile 

(for fertility breeds foulness)

memory fly out of you—

this memory of me 

being completely 

opposite to what 

I really am like (not 

completely but a fair 

bit I’d say),

Muse about me 

if you must, on 

the way to your 

goddamned plane, 

as whatever version of 

myself I’ve conveyed— 

whatever portrayal 

you received. Use that. 

It looked effective at 

the time. 

But if you don’t do 

as I say, because you 

wouldn’t think I’d want 

to tell you anything— 

would you 

do me a favour? 

Don’t find any more 

about me. Don’t look 

me up anywhere. 

Don’t send me 


Certainly not 

friend requests.

Final Words

I have no parting phrase 

except what the twilight 

to the dusk says. I have a 

smoke-filled morning at 

the disreputable bus stand 

and the half-chewed pen 

cap in your drawer that 

bears the assault of my one 

chipped tooth. I have flakes 

of dandruff decomposing 

in your hard, linen sheet 

where you on many an 

occasion lay doubting the 

truth about whether I had 

spent all my last money. 

Just look for me in the 

creases I made on your 

scalp when I ran my stubby 

fingers through your smelly 

hair. I loved their strong 

scent that straddled the

little hairlets in my nose—

the kind of scent you 

manufactured by not 

stepping into the shower for 

three days. Look for me in 

the quick-dissolving corners 

of your ever self-serving 

memory. Look for me in those 

perishing, periodontitis-stricken 

gums of yours. I have hidden

my parting words there.

Love's Farce

Of course I don’t take love 

seriously. I like to remain 

aloof and poof away 

hapless admissions

conveyed by my would-be lover.

I scoff at their voluntary

absentmindedness—such as

when they drop their shoes 

fidgeting with their feet. 

When they slyly slip in a 

compliment but can only bleat. 

I notice when they try to noisily 

sip ice when the lemonade

has finished but I never show.

I keep looking away, half-expecting

another invisible visitor just

to break the snarky nodding’s flow. 

I return like an easily irritated

tradesman from their jejune passions

and refuse to comment 

on conciliatory persuasions.

Love might be said to taste 

best for those that submit 

but truth be told: those that 

rear their front legs in love’s 

so-named reverie, are actually 

horses pulling fated carts and 

subject to frequent administering 

of spurs and sacrifices. 

That’s what’s love.

Never lose control. Never lose 

control. I never do. 

I don’t take love seriously. 

The flames scald my innards but I

Warm myself only vicariously. 

I remember to forget dates 

But not to shave

And do my best to keep Yeats 

where he belongs—in the grave.

Passion is permanent blindness. 

This bastard lets a stream free 

and dams it up bad both at once. 

It hands one disloyal oaths to 

dance to like a modern-day dunce 

who staggers in the sunshine 

and traipses in the mist 

holding his leaky faucet-like fancies

in his half-clenched fist.

I heard somebody say the Irish 

are impervious to psychoanalysis. 

That is the standard I pursue,

concerning the cheese in my plate 

and the cheese in my mouth, 

the possible events my mind dictates

and the ones that hap of their 

accord up north and down south.

I’m not serious about love. 

But I know gardenias win over roses 

and affection is to be lavished in

measly doses. Solos to Shanghai 

and Bruges 

to be ensured no matter who died

and likewise for the bedside.

Declarations have to be 

infrequent and admissions sparse 

and the whole drama to be played 

out should play out like a farce. 

They will tell you the biggest of 

all lies: when in love, let go but 

in truth he who sends fewer ships 

in this skirmish, survives. 

Love’s only a proxy war 

even the reins of which I do not 

hold. Love’s a revenge unto 

the feckless soul, best served cold.

Prannay Pathak is a Delhi-based writer and editor.

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