New | Poetry | Bharti Bansal





I am a little late to the party

Where people meet and drink and laugh too much

I sometimes pretend

actually, a lot of the times

I have misinformation in my brain which I turn into poetry because then things seem 


I don't even know who Frank O' Hara is

But his name has a musical tone to it

I perceive he must be like me

Just like Freddie Mercury

They have no use in this poem

But now you know how I try to dodge names

Or questions attached to them


I have no real sense of directions

Once I gave a man wrong direction in my college campus

I left the college afterwards

Do these dots connect?

I believe the sun can rise from any direction

If you keep changing positions

And the Pole Star is a conspiracy theory

Of  sailors who never wanted to reach the shore

Aren't we all escaping somehow?

I am a little late to the party

Where people smoke and get high

I can't.

I have to take anti-depressants with me wherever I go

But to tell you the truth

Benzos literally help your astral project

Which ones, I won't tell


I see people standing in a group

Playing games, some sharing their love for cinema

 Singing old songs

Beatles, Backstreet boys

But I have no memory of ever hearing them

Someone approaches me

Asks me to join too

But I have nothing to talk about myself besides my name

I nod and smile

Move slowly, remembering all the books I have read, movies I have watched, rock 

bands I have listened to

But they ask me something different

Am I a poet?

I didn't think about it while preparing myself

I mutter a vague No

They start talking to each other

I am now moving towards where the food is

I see him

The boy from yesterday

We nod as if in a world of handshakes, this is the new rebellion

But I know he knows


I start munching down the French fries

My heart beating fast

What if I eat it before everyone else?

Will they see me stand?

Like a celebrity, will I lose the privacy of the world in my head?

Nobody's looking, I see

Nobody's looking, I make a note in my mind

The party is losing its rhythm

Nobody talked about Frank O' Hara or Freddie

Or Sylvia or Virginia

I take their names as if I know them

I don't

But we all were at the party

I remember I am the only sober one to drive

But I don't know how to

I never know how to start



Or vehicles

The party has now stopped

People are staring at me

And I am looking elsewhere.

The boy from yesterday is now coming towards me

Saying a vague hello

I whisper instead

Maybe he is shy

May be I expect too much

The people in the party are leaving

For their homes

Glittering buildings with dark alleys

And I realise I have nowhere to go

It had been my home all along.

I was a guest sitting somewhere

Who didn't know how to claim her own space

Without curling into a fetus

The party is over.

And I realise the boy from yesterday is still sitting

Looking at me

I don't know what he is thinking

Maybe he is wondering who Frank O' Hara is

I say he's a poet

Like you? he asks

Like me, I answer…


If the world ends

If this is how the world will end

Let all the flowers buried in my chest bloom

Like children playing in a park.

Let all my sorrows make peace with me

And the caged white doves finally get to taste the sky.

Let all my past lovers find their love

As I begin to start a journey faraway from home


I cannot find words today

That will comfort you in this slow death

But if this is how the world will end

Let me be by your side

Hold your hand.

Sing our favourite songs together

As the traveler in us packs his bags and waits for the final train to arrive

Let me bid you goodbye at your awaited station

Where you direct an audience applaud our parting ways

Where you are so happy that you look around to see if this is really happening

If this is how the world will end

Let all the cherry blossoms flower

For leaving should never be colorless.

If this is how the world will end

Let all my paper boats rest at the bottom of the sea

As the sea dries away slowly.

And someone out there remembers to dream

In their last moments

Finds those paper boats

Makes them into paper planes

That reach places where the end was never a tragedy

But a celebration

If this is how world will end

As we close our eyes and don't even know if this is the last time we do it

Let all our eyelashes fulfill wishes

All our hearts jinxed together

And when the world finally stops rotating

A silence so loud downs over the clouds

That in our last moments all we hear is the sound of each other's breaths

Breaths that whisper I love you again and again

If this is how the world will end

Let this be a final good night

Gentle and calm

Without hope of the next morning

Let this be a final sunrise

A final glass of milk

Burnt toast

And unsaid feelings

That always have been waiting for a moment like this


Honest poem (after Rudy Francisco)

I have a weird habit of waking up at 8 to have my breakfast and sleep again. Maa calls it laziness, I call it buying some time before facing the day. This poem is supposed to be honest.  I try to make it look like truth everyone can believe.


I do not know the last time I was this numb. But I know irony is a good comedian. It slaps you right in the face with facts and figures and sometimes side-effects. My mood stabilizers can lead to depression and suicidal tendencies and are mostly used to treat seizures. I believe my brain becomes dysfunctional when it comes to happiness.


I love mangoes. A lot. They are a happy fruit. Sometimes, I still wonder why did Van Gogh eat yellow paint when he could have easily eaten mangoes? Yesterday Maa brought mangoes I could easily count. Three, they were. Three my cognitively erring brain's favourite number. Three. The number of times I check the gas burner. Three. The number of times I wash my hands. Three. A death threat. But I ate two of them because one is two less than three but still odd. The only similarity between me and the three mangoes is that we both wait to be consumed by something larger than life. Universe. A mango lover.


I have nightmares and sometimes I start crying in the middle of a happy journey. Why? Because bad memories are powerful tools to destroy anything as feeble as happiness.


I do not know what to write more in this poem that asks me to write about myself. I am a boring person. My best friend once wrote this statement in all capitals on my science book and I still cannot find out the reason for this striking contrast of information written on a page that talked about human diseases.


Sometimes I care too much. Don't we all?


I am almost a good daughter. Almost. Except the days I find enough courage to actually say what I feel. Which is why my decisions are still rendered as childish mistakes. I have made a lot of mistakes/decisions and I still do not know if I am being punished or rewarded.


There is no end to what I want to say. Sometimes, I droop like my sunflowers and sometimes, all I need is a little light. But the night always arrives for me.


I am a bad poet and I know this. They say "art should make people uncomfortable" but I am not bold enough to write poems which make people question themselves. All I do is write answers instead of poems on questions instead of metaphors. I always fail. Didn't our teachers tell us that simpler the answers, the better our understanding was? Now I know the reason behind complex poems. We all are trying to understand ourselves.


I am afraid of swings. Like Columbus. While people stand on it to touch the trees as it rises up, I think about jumping off. The first time I sat on it, I almost became unconscious and that was the first time I knew that not all things promising the sky guarantee a good ride.


This poem is an open wound

You keep looking at it

And it just doesn't stop bleeding.


 *Bharti Bansal is a 24-year-old poet from Shimla, Himachal Pradesh. She loves the moon, the universe, stars and cats a lot. Poetry is her way of self-healing. Her work has been published in magazines like Aaduna, Harness magazine, Oc87recoverydiaries.org, and The Vocal and the Prologue magazine issue of the Hindu college, DU. Some of her poems have appeared in books like Heavy Lies the Crown, Love As We Know It and Sunflowers on the Horizon. She aims to write her own book someday.


**Artwork La Promeneuse by Henri de Toulouse, courtesy Wikimedia Commons