It’s not love.

It’s not love

You tell yourself

In the noise

Of a school break

In a little garage

Paper notes and

Restless scribbles

Rainy afternoons

And parade practice

Roses made of

Soft tissue paper

Young hearts

In love with love

Petering away

With time and distance



It’s not love

You whisper

Heart fluttering

Cheeks burning

At a dimpled smile

At a hesitant look

Chits slipped into

Borrowed books

Cycling in dusty bylanes

On winter mornings

Sunlight glinting off

Shiny spokes

Fingers tapping

Furiously on limited

Text messages

Until one lets go

Begging, begging


The bitter realisation

That people leave


It’s not love

If you walk away

Only to return

With the taste

Of regret in

That shy smile

Trying to hold on to

The slippery silk

Of the past



It’s not love

You tell yourself

To calm your

Restless heart

Reluctant to fall,

Reluctant to care

Panic crawling

Up your throat

As everyone tells you

To stay away

Making the same

Mistakes, a thousand

Times over and over

Bunking classes

On sunny afternoons

A waiting bike

And cruel serendipity

Plasters and sofas

With Doctor Who and

The strum of

Impending heartbreak

Playing softly

In the background


It’s not love

If you can walk away

Every single time

If you can break

The same heart

Multiple times over

Leaving behind scars

And the lingering

Unease of guilt



It’s not love

You whisper

With your words

Draped in the

Distant hue of regret

Of the detachment

That creeps into

The tangles of

Human ties

Infatuation may burn

Like a sudden flare

Snuffed out

At the slightest breeze


But if it’s love

Shouldn’t it linger

Shouldn’t it stay

Like the shadow

That dogs your

Every heavy step

Holding onto

Trembling fingers

Running soothing

Circles on a

Shivering body

Holding you together

As you crumble

Into infinitesimal

Broken pieces

And kissing your fears


– Gautami.






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