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speed dial & other poems by shreya sivaramakrishnan

speed dial

With bloodshot eyes and austerity,

I lay down.

Putting my ego to rest.

The Id was an all time high, sending impulses of greed, lust, rage.

17th August. My calendar read,

The date circled with a red marker,

Making sure it did not fade away.

Indeed, it didn’t.

My mind replayed, paused and reset.

Staring into thin air, I cried.

Imagining a shoulder to rest my head on.

I grabbed my phone with angst,

Dialed a number,

It rang.

Giving me hope, then, it was dead silence.


No one.

I frantically recorded a voice note and sent it,

Why wouldn’t it deliver?

I was in pain, why would he not come and rescue me?

My memory was distorted,

I reset it, changing every detail which caused pain.

Now, 17th August was no more his death anniversary,

It was his birthday.

There was no car crash,

It was a long drive.

The voice message was no more valid, because it was an internet failure.

In all these distortions,

One thing remained constant,

He was my speed dial back then,

He is still my speed dial.

parker shatkin


It ate me up,


It was like a predator feasting on it’s prey.

It was the acid that formed in the pit of my stomach

And rose at an unimaginable pace.

It was all about the could haves,

And all the but if’s.

It was everyday of constant blame,

I should not have cut that call,

I should have gone to see that silly film which made no sense what so ever,

I should have fulfilled the promise of sneaking out to come and wish you on your birthday,

I should have agreed to sky dive,

I should have accepted the theory of you only live once.

I should have said yes.

But, the what if’s in my mind never paused.

It entered my brain at the speed of light,

Almost causing a concussion.

What if we got caught?

What if we died?

What if there were better opportunities waiting?

The guilt henceforth,

Never stopped.

It was like a creeper on a stick,

It circled around my neck,

Gaging me.

It almost whispered to my ear,

“You only live once”

You never let me be at peace,

Or did I not?

dancing in the rain

Your sway was depicted through my words,

Every frolic, every smirk, delicately found a way to be included in my muse.

The symphony between your footsteps and the gestures.

The constant need to get down during a heavy shower, twirl and say,

“Let my footsteps synchronize with the raindrops”

They did.

Every single note matched.

The disappointment of the petrichor not being strong enough,

The hot mug of coffee being by your windowsill,

I often pondered about your craziness,

The mud was never icky,

The roads,never slippery.

The sky, never gloomy.

Optimism is what you brought along, a huge baggage of it.

My pessimism often failed.

My prose seemed to love you,

For, my emotions illustrated potently.

My craft misses you.

For the sake of it,

Come back?

- shreya sivaramakrishnan


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