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


You tried.

rivers, forests, houses,

skies, mountains, horses,

Eyes that wept in laughter,

Hearts that beat fast with love.

Memories of before I really knew you,

Dreams I dreamt before I really met you,

And the whisper I heard in the thunder

of a heart about to break.

You stand by the door waiting

for some green light,

As if I’ve given you only pain.

Your hand is at the doorknob- wait!

Surely, this is a nightmare,

surely, I am being tortured.

But I know you are sick of hearing my pleas

And I know you care not for the ways I care.

I fall asleep as you turn the doorknob,

And when I awake,

I am alone.

A dried red rose sits patiently

in an empty glass.

I can almost hear you whisper,

“I tried.”

As I turn away, towards anywhere but there,

My hand is caught and I startle,

pushing and shoving, hoping



And I am wrapped in arms

I never



but remember you said


You want so badly for me to let go

for me to be more like her

or be more like you

but i’m losing the words so I can only point

at an unlocked door. You can exit anytime.

turn the knob and either way

you can say

You tried.


Nesha Usmani

Aisha, I Imagine.

She runs into my arms

all bouncing curls and though I do not see her face

I know her smile is wide and bright

She has no name that I know of yet

But in my heart she knows fame

I know not of her father

whether I have met him or loved him yet

is still a secret.

But she has his wisdom and his breathless laugh

I watch her eyes turn up the same way his does,

I imagine.

A wet kiss meets my face and a laugh rushes

into my ears

My heart leaps and I hold her close

Child of my dreams.

What is your name?

Nesha Usmani

Promises, Ideas, and Dreams.

How is it that, just yesterday, I rose from my bed,

a child of such youth and vitality,

that no age can depict, nor can any number

describe or rationalize?

From the smooth brown skin of my arms,

to the dirt-roughened patches of my knees,

How can such innocence be expressed?

Fire at my heels, questions growing

in fractal like branches;

Where one is, there sprouts three!

Connecting and growing and reaching,

And like the brown and black tangles of

hair on my head, unkempt and carefree,

Curiosity never knew an end.

And now,

Content to stare and wonder,

or hide in dreamless sleep.

The innocence smothered

by the temptations of the world

and the errors of self.

The mind, once insatiable with questions,

with dreams,

Occupies itself with the convenience of today.

Would the child recognize me,

and I, the child?

Would we pass by each other

in ignorance? In relief?

In curiosity?

Would she see something familiar,

or would I look down in shame,

Knowing that I’ve long since

abandoned the promises and ideas

and dreams?

Nesha Usmani

February 1, 2013