Poets logo

We Wasted Our Wednesday Dying Slowly

something must come of this

By Mesh ToraskarPublished 4 months ago Updated 4 months ago 3 min read
14
We Wasted Our Wednesday Dying Slowly
Photo by Daiga Ellaby on Unsplash

We are folding laundry, this man and I, our hands moving in tandem along the cotton sheets and shirts. Someone somewhere is losing their mother but here, it's so quiet, every crease in the fabric tells a story. This man and I, we take what will unravel anyway and fold it neatly, creating space. There is so much room in a life; there should be more of us in here. My voice, which is inches away but never here, are you content where you are? Are you you where you are? Something must come of this.

*

In one corner of the room we both share, a pot of tea steams gently. In cooking, we call this brewing. In human, we call this memory. We're in our forties now, and I placed the tea leaves in the pot just a few minutes ago, pushing my glasses to my forehead to avoid disappearing, my fingers smelling of soil from when we tended to the garden earlier. He pours a cup and passes it to me and from where I'm sitting, it looks like kindness is spilling out of him. When we tend to the garden together, I always end up believing in god. We’re in our forties now, and I remember planting that first seed with the man at my side, the sun kissing our foreheads as we toiled the soil. How could we know, with a garden full of lavenders, that it's love, not flowers, that blossoms eternally? He hands me a sprig of lavender, and from where I was standing, it looked like tenderness was swelling within him, as if breathing.

*

The day we left everything behind, the city was still smouldering. Otherwise a perfect morning, experimentally blue, white lilies gasped in the lawns of the army barracks, like little lies. The birds were pecking on the broken baguettes scattered from the bombed foreign bakery. Our breaths misplacing the weather, signalling an uncalled migration, missiles soundtracking the pillaging. On the road, the man, I mean you, burned the last guitar to keep my hands warm because I had the hands of someone you used to know. Someone I used to be. We had been walking for months, our sentences touched the world with no endings because the edge of the world had disappeared into the horizon. The iron in the city we left was still within us, rusting my back, oxidising your lungs. If you must know anything, know that we were trying to not fail at the only task at hand: to live once. If you must know anything, know who I was before this, but please, don’t tell me.

*

The tea is steeped, our laundry is folded, and as we sit in silence, the room is filled with music or rather the sound of rain outside, undoing our tracks and creating a space for the future. We hear a train everyday, taking people to new beginnings. But to live like a missile, to arrive with such intention, to be born going only one way, toward everything alive, to step into the reality unrequested and find a place where desires find an end? Which aspect of war strategy do we credit for this knowledge? It’s warm in this room, and I know history will repeat itself comically early this time. I know brewing tea and folding laundry may not prevent it. I know, too, as I look into your eyes and see the lines etched with time, that it's love. That unlike a river, I am not running away from what I am made of. I take your hand and kiss it gently, the way one kisses a grenade before chucking it into the shadows. Don’t worry, you say, smiling with warmth that reaches your eyes. Don’t worry. And I believe you. I shouldn’t, but I do.

*

sad poetrysurreal poetry
14

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

Outstanding

Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

Add your insights

Comments (8)

Sign in to comment
  • J2 months ago

    My heart hurts, my skin is vibrating and I need to hug something. Absolutely beautiful, how dare you.

  • Mackenzie Davis3 months ago

    I have waited this long to reply because I literally could not think of anything to say; this piece is so perfect. I’m going to try my best to bring some kind of illumination to this miraculous slice of writing, but I’m worried it will turn into effusions of praise instead. But first, please tell me that in the time since you’ve published this and in the time since Teresa encouraged you to submit it to a literary magazine, that you have, in fact, submitted it to a literary magazine? You must, must, must. Is this part of the narrative you envisioned for your Great Novel entry? I’m getting vibes of it, as if from the future of that potential relationship if things not gone wrong. (Or maybe, it would still work, be like a dream in a ballet of the future, but not quite tangible because it is a hope-dream and ends the same as reality did, with a death.) Did you write the alliterative sentences intentionally? My god, they’re immaculate: "white lilies gasped in the lawns of the army barracks, like little lies"; "the birds were pecking on the broken baguettes scattered from the bombed foreign bakery"; "breaths misplacing the weather, signaling an uncalled migration, missiles soundtracking the pillaging." I’m sure there are more, I just don’t want to plug up this comment even more than I will. I love these so much, they create a melodic rhythm, a punctuated thematic emphasis for the entire piece. This stanza IS the heart of this poem. Okay. After reaching the end, I think I can illuminate a few things, while also effusing my praise. First. "The iron in the city we left was still within us, rusting my back, oxidizing your lungs. If you must know anything, know that we were trying to not fail at the only task at hand: to live once." + "I take your hand and kiss it gently, the way one kisses a grenade before chucking it into the shadows…. Don’t worry. And I believe you. I shouldn’t, but I do." — The "you" is sick, dying, in fact. This is almost literally stated in the title and yet it came as a surprise. Holy shit. How did you do that? Of course, the title means other things, more deep things, the death of this love, the past, the current relationship, the speaker’s identity (again), etc. But yes, the first interpretation of this is that the "you" is dying. I’m assuming lung cancer from context. Goodness, my whole chest is aching with understanding. There is a part of me that, in rereading the first stanza, believes that the "you" has died already, perhaps long ago. "My voice, which is inches away but never here, are you content where you are? Are you you where you are?" — This part seems to support that hypothesis, like this memory is happening across dimensions. Folding laundry is a liminal space, or a pathway the speaker hopes will create one, in which the two can be together again. Or perhaps it’s more accurate to say that Wednesday is a liminal space. The day is spent folding laundry to create even MORE space, then, and the gardening is planting seeds that will root inside that space and the tea is the memory that they’re trying to ground. All together, it is an effort to stay. The rain seems to simultaneously support this effort, rain to let the seeds grow, and grief the effort’s failure, because how could it not be? "I know brewing tea and folding laundry may not prevent it." The war metaphors happening here are blowing my mind. Like, you say this in the last stanza, "But to live like a missile, to arrive with such intention, to be born going only one way, toward everything alive, to step into the reality unrequested and find a place where desires find an end…" — I am in love with this metaphor, it’s breathtaking and emotional. It’s practically a story all by itself. Holy fucking shit, Mesh. Need I say more? "We wasted our Wednesday dying slowly" — I cannot unbelieve what I said before about Wednesday being a liminal space for this couple to attempt to make their time together remain permanent. And this title is sublime. It’s working so so well to communicate this. "We wasted" indicates that Wednesday was a gift and they wasted it by only slowing down the dying process, rather than focusing on the present moment. But then when you read the poem itself, it doesn’t feel like the present moment is being fully ignored and I wonder how much of that is because of the narrative voice trying to emphasize it in retrospect. Because objectively, the poem goes into the past and into activities that cause reminiscence more than it stays present. And I adore that difference, the distance between narrator and character, between present and retrospect. Brilliant. Finally, love. It’s the central lesson, perhaps not theme exactly, that the speaker learns. Again, just like in "a litany," the speaker is contemplating permanence, eternity. "It’s love, not flowers, that blossoms eternally." — This is reprised in the last stanza. Love will not prevent the ending of Wednesday, but love will. It will not feel the same, look the same, but it will continue when the people stop, when the missile hits its target and ceases. Love outlasts war.

  • Teresa Renton4 months ago

    Oh my word! Mesh, what have you done? This is spectacular in its humility. So much to unpack here—tenderness, permanent damage, resilience, sadness, hope, growth … I love the image of tenderness swelling, like a living breathing creature. The tension you started to create with ‘ white lilies gasped in the lawns of the army barracks, like little lies’ made me breathless. What a line! I won’t go on but this should have been submitted to a lit pub somewhere (imo) ❤️

  • Timely, poignant, beautiful, hopeful & sad.

  • Omgggg! This was so touching and emotional! Gosh, I love this so much! It's a masterpiece!

  • Manisha Dhalani4 months ago

    So beautiful, Mesh. I welled up a little at the thought of such a lovely life!

  • Poppy 4 months ago

    Ahhh another incredible poem of yours!! Once again, it’s hard to pick favourite parts but I’ll try. “from where I'm sitting, it looks like kindness is spilling out of him.” And then when it says tenderness swelling later on… SO GOOD! ‘unlike a river, I am not running away from what I am made of.’ So clever!!! When it says ‘the man, I mean you’ that was so powerful omg, it makes the use of second person for the rest of the poem so intimate when it was built up to like that. And then the ending, oh my gosh. Literally every single line of this is a masterpiece though! Your unique writing style/ voice is just so incredible and I completely admire it!

  • Mackenzie Davis4 months ago

    Yep. I’ll be back. 😵

Find us on social media

Miscellaneous links

  • Explore
  • Contact
  • Privacy Policy
  • Terms of Use
  • Support

© 2024 Creatd, Inc. All Rights Reserved.