Termite & Exhale

TW: Death, Suicide, Self-harm

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You are a termite,

You make a fortress around me,

Make me feel safe,

Then you gnaw at my skin,

One slick white tooth at a time.

You grind exceedingly small,

Seldom make any noise,

You eat into my innards,

You have no satiation, no poise.

You have surrounded me with high walls,

My friends have given me up for gone.

But one day a long tongue will slither and smite,

It will take on your collective might,

Your progeny raised on my bone and sinews,

Your own living in my now vacant spaces.

One day the avenger will come,

Break through the mud walls,

And find my bare bones.

I know I will be thrown away,

Pulverized or left to the mercy of the elements,

But I will be free,

The wind once more in my ears,

The squiggly bits of ink

Making crooked sentences that have no meaning.

But you will be dead and gone,

Nourishment for another,

As I had once been for you!

***

Exhale

Roll your knees

Up to your chin.

Hug them.

You have acquired the foetal position.

Now, breathe in, breathe out.

If your knees hurt, let go after a while.

Then, repeat.

Let the voices in your head

Continue as they have all day

Shut your ears to them, metaphorically.

Keep trying till they are a mere hubbub in the distance.

Breathe in, breathe out.

Now slowly release your knees,

Lie on your back,

Look up at the ceiling

Close your eyes

Breathe in, breathe out

Then let sleep overtake you.

Or if you choose, pick up the knife,

Slit your wrist,

Feel the warmth leaving your body,

Watch the drops as they slowly pool in the unswept corner.

What is that, a stray wrapper of a gooey candy?

It’s alright. All alright.

The house will be washed out.

Cleaned of your blood,

Disinfected,

Emptied.

You are slipping into a forever sleep

Where there are no voices,

Just your silence.

Breathe out.


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Vaijyanti G

Living with two dogs, multiple aquariums and plants in Delhi NCR, Vaijyanti is a storyteller at heart and a content developer and editor by profession.

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