Desperate Purple

I finished the day with yearning,

Wished the day stretched further,

The violent orange glow and

desperate purples of the sky screaming, reaching

for another breath as the night yawned awake

and smoored the fires of day.

I remember, my head against the pillow,

my hands reaching to clasp some far-off dream.

So content in sleep, so self-absorbed in wakefulness

So conscious somewhere in between.

I remember myself so vividly.

As vivid as the excuses I made for problems I should not have had,

As vivid as the pure emotion that drove my decisions from day to dark.

I loved my beauty, whatever of it I owned, I loved my mind, for it was vast and filled with


I loved the small blooms of wisdom that grew there, that I would pick and share with others.

And so I am unclear, uncertain as to why

this dark, thick fog has descended.

Settled neatly between my confidence and optimism,

Smothering with its full weight upon what defines me.

What I could have been.

Nesha Usmani

April 23, 2015


the way

She doesn’t sleep.

It evades her as a skittish moth

would evade a determined palm.

Instead she dozes in the shallows,

the ice-cold and transparent tide.

Pushed along the hours by dark thoughts

and dreams.

Affection is the worst of lures.

Blinds you in its presence and

leads you deep into the woods.

Holds your hand and caresses

your knuckles with warm thumbs.

You are reassured.

And then when it leaves,

the blindfold goes with it,

fluttering in the wind.

And you are alone

in the woods, in the dark.

In a clearing that looks the same

in every direction.

and consciousness

is worst than the nightmares.

But the only way home

is up.


Nesha Usmani





Through the pain of loss

and the frustration of the heart

my body has developed a fondness for sleep

the depths of which go beyond simple


traversing into addiction,

lulling the body into a state of

constant exhaustion

despite sustenance

despite wakefulness,

and despite activity.

Constantly craving to succumb

into a dark abyss of sensory blindness,

in which I neither see, nor feel

nor hear,

nor dream.

And which, upon waking,

I half-heartedly reason that my sleep

was not a peaceful one (as a reason for its length),

when in reality,

The abyss in which I know nothing,

is the realm in which I wish to stay.