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an epistolary poem

By Mesh ToraskarPublished 4 months ago Updated 3 months ago 3 min read
Top Story - December 2023
December 2019 - a frosted red rose

Dear Ma –

I am writing because it’s late


Because I am ill and you are sleepless.

Because I didn’t tell you about the time I stupidly lost my name.

I wasn’t drunk, just didn’t believe in time, only in renaissance. The fairy tales were all

true. Only magic could lift us out of here.

Yesterday I dreamt. You asked me what it means to be a writer. So here goes -

It is to find reasons.

To stay.

Sometimes, they are as small as my brother telling me he can’t binge Grey’s Anatomy because it’s “too much” for him and suddenly he’s no more

my brother but now a person.

To remember.

Because memory is a second chance.

The night of 9/11. The street lit dimly by the neighbour’s TV filled by the politician’s

poetry, the days soon to be colourful –


How the colours leaked out of the night, green today, amber tomorrow, red the day after.

Like the sun slid behind the trees and the windows reddened. Someone seeing through shut eyes.

Was the evening really blood red, or is my memory of yours just


About the time autumn was declared in December, and stood under the brutality of Vauxhall bus station, the grey roof became a catapult to nowhere,

to heaven.

Autumn, yes. Say autumn, despite the green in your eyes. Despite the cripple in your throat and watch the leaves rust golden.

Autumn: a honeypot now draining through celebration and rebirth, through disappearing and still


The time we ran, eyes closed, wheezing, our teeth sharpening with heavy


the fuchsia field a lavender confetti.

Remember: how you shined golden before you loved.

Let’s take the longer route back home. Just off Stall St, you’ll see the Pump Room Restaurant where I worked last summer. Hungry on a twelve-hour shift, I locked myself in the cleaning closet and stuffed my mouth with a scone I snuck in my blue apron.

Ma, I am writing because from men, I learned the art of burning

bodies, from you I learnt the art.

To fracture.

Because as a poet, I work in a form that breaks

itself towards unity, that must fracture to arrive at its


Because it’s night.

And like other children, I was made to believe miracles happen in the night. A tooth, free from the mouth becomes currency. For the curious, staying awake becomes a duty. Because miracles need witnesses.

The sound of beer bottles bursting on the basketball court across the street, the crackheads lobbing the empties up in the sky. Just to have the streetlights make broken things seem touched by magic, glass sprinkled like glitter on the pavement come morning.

What if art was not measured by quantity but ricochets?

Ma, I know you asked me what writing means and all I am giving you are ricochets.

But I am not making this up. I made it down. That’s what writing is. To go down so low, the world is merciful again. Because God only listens when you’re closest to the devil.

That time when a friend asked me how cool it is to be brown, to be an immigrant. Plenty to write about. And we clinked our wine glasses to her misfortune.

Because I know, it’s not fair that Silence is trapped in Resilience.

That honestly without kindness becomes brutality. And kindness without brutality becomes manipulation.

Because I was never interested in a ‘body of work’, but our bodies, breathing and absent from brave history. So, tell me where is it that you are broken and I will fix it. Tell me where it hurts.

You have my words.

The truth is I came here to remind you. That Ma,

you made it to the summit. Now all you’ve got to do is throw your hands in the air &

watch this become summer.

surreal poetry

About the Creator

Mesh Toraskar

A wannabe storyteller from London. Sometimes words spill out of me and the only way to mop the spillage is to write them down.

"If you arrive here, remember, it wasn't you - it was me, in my longing, who found you."

Reader insights


Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

Top insights

  1. Compelling and original writing

    Creative use of language & vocab

  2. Easy to read and follow

    Well-structured & engaging content

  3. Heartfelt and relatable

    The story invoked strong personal emotions

  1. On-point and relevant

    Writing reflected the title & theme

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Comments (14)

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  • Shirley Belk4 months ago

    Beautiful and brilliant and so honest. Thank you!!!

  • J4 months ago

    Poignantly profound wordplay woven into gut-wrenching nostalgia-inducing shiver giving truths. Thanks for this :)

  • Morgana Miller4 months ago

    “That honestly without kindness becomes brutality. And kindness without brutality becomes manipulation.” I hung on this for minutes and spun. I paused, thoughtful, in a dozen other places. Sharp, from the heart, this is some good art. Thanks for sharing.

  • Carol Townend4 months ago

    That is one breath-taking work of art and a beautiful way to express yourself. Congratulations, and very well deserved.

  • Ace Melee4 months ago

    Dang. I am speechless in a good way! Congratulations on top story!

  • Cathy holmes4 months ago

    Omg. This is incredible! So many outstanding line, but this one "God only listens when you’re closest to the devil," will stay with me. Amazing work.

  • Paul Stewart4 months ago

    Back to say, congrats on a deserving Top Story!

  • Such an effective evocation of the quandary that is writing & the very effort to express. "Because God only listens when you’re closest to the devil." Such a powerful way of saying that only when we are at our lowest, our wit's end, do we tend to turn, cry out, & listen for a response.

  • Mackenzie Davis4 months ago

    Hey it’s your profile pic! I shall be returning to this soon. Holy holy moly, Mesh. What a slice of perfection this is. 🤩♥️😱

  • Daphsam4 months ago

    Very powerful!

  • Paul Stewart4 months ago

    Bloody amazing. Sublime. Just...yeah. Well done.

  • Poppy 4 months ago

    I have no words. Oh my gosh, that was astonishing. Breathtaking. A masterpiece. I cannot pinpoint a favourite part because the whole thing was consistently beautiful. Please please publish a book. I want to have a physical copy of this in my hands asap.

  • Matthew Fromm4 months ago

    Damn this is good, like real good

  • Love your story

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