The Death of a Poet

(I tried to imagine myself in the shoes of a dying poet, longing for oblivion. The doctor just left the room and he turned off the knob of the breathing apparatus.)

Ah! Love is in the air!

The fools call this apparatus, a life support.
If only this ‘pure air’,
Could induce the life-like trance,
Like a certain mix of nitrogen, oxygen,
And sundry of other gases do.
For even though my being is punctured,
My lungs still love to put up a fight,
And pocket every ounce of the atmosphere it can.
For there are still hundred of stories to absorb.
For there are still hundred of stories to tell.
For I just heard a woman deliver a baby in the room nearby;
And when the baby cried,
I swear she was ciphering stories from a past life.
Or maybe a message for me for my new life to come.
And I almost understood,
But my finite felicity of words, still keep me at bay.

I remember how, decades from now,
When my Mum lulled me to sleep,
I instantly painted a sleepy face and closed my eyes in pretense.
When she left, I looked around through the gaps in my cradle,
With curious eyes, without a blink,
Because I didn’t want to miss the starlit grandeur of the winter sky.
Because my romantic toddler-self,
Wanted to name every constellation in the space he could.

When I first fell in love, I wrote a love poem,
And I thought it was the greatest gesture ever.
Everyone else but her begged to differ.
In time, the ‘her’ changed,
But the stories were still as fragrant as the Daffodils,
And they still had talks about the night, and the stars.

And the stories grew. The stories changed.
With the wars waging on, I had people to motivate.
With the wars waging on, I had people to comfort.
Love was different now.
It smelt like blood oozing out of wounds,
Wasting away but still warm to touch.
And then there were still the cold winter nights,
When the frost-bitten fingers were too wary.
Too wary to instill,
But they could still draw imaginary lines to connect the stars.

Oh! And the constellations I know,
They have crazy names.
And they’re my muse even today;
For I haven’t had a heartache enough to wrench my rhythm,
But my lungs have withered,
And each time I breathe, the air diffuses,
And my stories just suspend in the atmosphere for another to decipher.
Ah! And sky still looks this lovely.
And I hope you’ll find my constellations, do make sense.

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