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  • For Alisha

    Walking past these headstones,
    in this churchyard, I kneel, look back
    at the little Presbyterian prayer
    hall you used to frequent,
    pristine white, with blue-cushioned pews,
    its simple beige altar, grey steeple, little cross,
    and a miasma of nostalgia seems rise from
    the architecture, slowly creeping towards me,
    the twilight complementing it. I read your epitaph,
    “I’m grateful, and content now, as I was when I walked,”
    it says, and I choke, holding back tears
    because it’s true, I remember you holding
    my hand when I was utterly despondent,
    finding no beauty even in the simple things
    like a cup of coffee, or a stroll in a picturesque
    park with marble statuettes, or the photographs
    we took of that crimson horned pheasant with its breast
    like a red satin cloth embossed with little white
    raindrops, you said, “Remember we’ll always
    have each other, and I’ll walk with you, even if
    we’re trapped in this prison maze of regret,” and that
    was enough reason for me to start seeing
    again. And it wasn’t something without, it
    was a breathtaking, inner waltz of emotion
    I got a glimpse of, warmth, and kindness
    turning round and round on the floor of passion.
    I felt it, so intense, and I can only call it love.
    You fought a war with fate, refused bending
    and bowing, rejected servitude, and stood strong,
    and you still do, maybe not as something tangible,
    but as an indomitable essence, a force that helps me
    carry on even though I pass illuminated billboards,
    country houses, and alleyways imbued with poverty,
    reeking from the potholes, and bits of scrap alone;
    but I still come here when I’m weak, when I forget
    to remember, and find myself trapped in a paperweight
    of a haunted existence, the swirling mass threatening to
    overwhelm me. I come here even though something within,
    maybe a part of you says, “Let go, move on,”
    because I’ve never loved anyone like I loved you,
    with my very being, and as I clasp that stone now
    and wet it with tears of anguish, the cold, icy droplets
    of Pyrrhic victory, leaking from a hypothermic
    soul who longs for the fever of yesterday’s touch,
    I want you…no,
    I need you to know.

    About The Author

    Nitin Lalit

    Nitin Lalit is a twenty-eight year old poet from Bangalore, India who holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism, Psychology and English.  Mr. Lalit’s work has never been published prior to aaduna making a home for his poem.  His poems are generally poignant, emotional, and deal with themes like apathy, unrequited love, heart-wrenching sorrow, nostalgia and the callousness of society. He states, “I started writing poetry only three years ago, and my personal experiences have shaped my work. My poetry – though not entirely confessional – does have a personal touch to it, and I don’t think I’ll ever be able to separate my art from my essence. My journey has been one riddled with pain, and although I don’t see my struggles disappearing anytime soon, I’m thankful for the gift of being able to draw from them, and something that other emotionally wounded souls can relate to. My inspirations include poets like Sharon Olds, Linda Pastan; authors like Murakami and Pamuk; and grunge-rock bands like Candlebox and Pearl Jam. I’m very thankful for this beautiful opportunity that aaduna has given me.”