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4th September

By Aananda Verma

i dreamt i could walk on water without slipping into its folds.

i could waltz with the sunlight without treading on its toes,

for it was september and i was only a ghost.

i woke up breathless and ran to the river. my aching feet met the water for a

heartbeat before it fell from under me, and i fell with it. the world became

a slow haze but i found myself breathing, still. as i drifted all the way to the

bottom, the water cradled me, gentle, as though it was welcoming me home.

i burrowed into myself, staring up from the riverbed at what i had lost, and

my heart burned with a feeling i accepted as grief.

shards of sunlight danced on the pale surface of the river and its warmth

bled all the way to the bottom. it was only when i felt my heartbeat die

down in my chest, i realised the burn in my heart was liberation.

the world had been so cold. i had been so tired.

it was september and i was only a ghost.

By Aananda Verma

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