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Please Write This On My Epitaph by Vasvi Kejriwal

Art by Elisabeth Jerichau-Baumann

In the end we’ll all become

a life once lived, a lifetime;

a timed life.

Start marking mine with the nights clung

to the bedroom door of my first home. The chink

of mute TV rays seeping right to my feet, star-bright.

Ears pressed to fit the crescent of the keyhole

to collect, bury my parents’ worries, someplace forgotten

not effaced - like in the attic on our fourth floor,

were we to ever have one.

Mother’s sorrow muffled as she breathes onto glass.

The tough, sighing weight of Father’s dismantled hopes

burgeoning from his tailbone to the dead beads on his neck;

his apnea, a plea


Also, include those seldom afternoons when

I thought myself enough to cook a breakfast for one;

days devoted in studying the steadfastness

of our mango tree, to feel still rich in time;

the weeks taken to unlearn the vast vacuum that emerges

after some lover left, only to remember again;

and the months it took for my hips to expand,

hold soft the permission to be held.

Appraise it with the remaining wisdom of my hair

after it’s been conned by a multitude of consumerisms;

a decaying plethora of flyers received out of obligation;

thousand matches gone unlit, unnoticed

beneath ‘collector’ matchboxes, and the chaos

of unformed opinion scattered across my journal,

which be assured will lie unguarded once I’m gone -

what about poems that bled me out, yet not dry,

when I felt I had nothing left to give, and strangers

who took liberties to weld meaning with words?

I refuse to be timed

by stele or stone,

or to be contained

in an urn of ash;

what is a life,

if not passing through?

Follow Vasvi's writing here.


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