beauty and death - anwesha mishra

“There is collateral beauty in death,”

you tell me as you chuck down the last of the beer and throw the empty bottle away.

We met at the downtown bar and you say that

I remind you of the hustle in Times Square

and the calmness of the sunset.

You say death is aesthetic for when you are nearing it,

you start counting your blessings and your entire life rewinds in front of your own eyes,

and you feel upset over death being denounced by people.

You say you admire poets who write more about death

for they are the only ones who celebrate her.

Now I know why Dickinson was your favorite.

You say coffins are brothels

for once you go there,

there's no coming back.


“Death is a harlot.”

Every morning, she wakes up to the tunes of a 80 year old saxophonist playing a cringey tune on his saxophone.

She brushes her red hairs and applies red lipstick on her lips.

She looks out of her window to lure the men outside with her fair and bare skin.

She has the eyes of Aphrodite, but inside she is Kakia,

walking around with the fruits of temptation in her hands.

She will pour you fine wine on a warm summer night, make black love to you and feed on your

naked soul.

You lust for her, but once you have her,

you no more belong to this world.

art: ira welankar


I was shuffling through my playlist

when I came across this song

“ये फितूर मेरा, लाया मुझको है तेरे करीब”

This madness of mine has brought me closer to you

and my world paused momentarily.

Your memories walked back to life

like dead soldiers rising from their graves with swords over their shoulders to finish the battle left in the middle.

Your carcass woke up from the beds of my cranial nerves and started dancing to the eulogy I had written for myself last summer.


Death and beauty go hand in hand.

Anything or everything that is beautiful is either dead

or is dying inside.

The autumnal leaves might delight your eyes

but they are detached and dead.


- anwesha mishra

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