A little too familiar with death

I’m a little too familiar with death

No, not the pain

Not the tremor of turning into ash

But ive always believed

When a person dies, they’ve gone

To no longer realize that they are dead

But the ones who see a corpse turn white

Those are the ones who know

What death does

No, not what it means

What it does

When I turned eleven my parents were away

Maa slept next to me

Woke me up wishing me birthday

When I was fifteen I cried

I was in an alien place and I

Needed a touch that loved

But my mother wouldn’t come to me

No, she stayed with my maa

And I was so angry

I refused to speak with her

For weeks

The summer after when I went home

The clouds slipped from above

A car took me to the hospital

And my grandma was there

Because cancer sucks

A few months later

A night kept me up

I studied for my exam

Memorising bits and pieces

The other hand stroking maa’s head

And in a stupendous faze

That morning before school

I told her: I’m ready to let you go

Her fight had exhausted her

I didn’t know she would hear me

So when I came with a good grade

In a traffic that subdued the joy in my step

I saw maa lying there

She let go.

The little that remained I kept

Next to my heart, in my ribcage

Two years later

I let it go

She rose from the ground

Of my old house

In all her serenity

A good fight

No, a strong fight

And now, the whisk of it

Is coming back again

As nani lies on the bed

Of stagnant artificial oxygen

Exhaling empty medicine bottles

Her arms and legs I cant make out

Just yesterday she would cook me

The food that won her titles

And now recognition skips her

No, expression does

A reaction does

Something I’m craving

Ive seen it before

And I don’t want to again

The familiarity of death

Has struck me once

A punch gloved with nostalgia

Right on my left cheek

I can’t stop crying

I don’t want to let go

How selfish am I

I can’t stop crying

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