Love, loss and nightmares

(First published in the Contemporary Literary Review of India, Annual print edition, 2013)

Sleep seeps into me, one step at a time

I am still awake
eyes closed. The garden of tulips,
its boundaries defined by your love,
spreads far and wide, tingling my senses,
exciting me. Love is a beautiful bride,
with the loveliest flowers on her hair

I slip into the dark mouth of sleep,
eyes dancing beneath the lids.
The beautiful bride, it is I, and I am ill
I sense the warmth of a blanket, covering
me in the feverish shiver, making me alive,
I still have you, and I rejoice, intently

Sleep has gorged me into its darkest pits,
the blanket of warmth being pulled off me,
I smell blood, the stench of rotten flesh,
This is the cemetery, where dreams
are killed and hopes are buried,
The haunted graveyard where love is guillotined,
A headless me, tottering, falling, dying

Trembling, I wake up, another nightmare,
as yesterday, the day before that,
the one before that and forever, since I lost you