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The Artist And The Nightlight

By Abhilasha Chhabra 

The artist drank in despair.
Drink in one hand, 
Brush in the other. 
The artist coughed, 
Throat burning, Eyes stinging,
As the blank canvas stared back. 
The noises faded in and out, 
With colors,
Of Ecstasy, 
And misery.  
The artist screamed, Silently.  

The room was dark but for the nightlight,  
Aiming to illuminate none but the canvas.  
But the artist could still see the printed papers,  
Tucked away in corners, 
Taunting reminders, Of naivety, 
And the childlike optimism of yesterday. 
The dim light didn’t hide, 
The lover, Scrounged up in sleep, 
Withering away on false promises. 
It also illuminated the bare shelves,  
And dirty rags, 
That were once too, Art.  

The nightlight was a sham. 
Fist clenched,  
Muscles tightened, 
As from a cracked mirror,
A reflection stared back at the artist, 
Dismal, Pathetic.  

There was a moment of rage,  
And the room spun.  
The artist grabbed the brush,  
But the moment had passed.  
Age wouldn’t allow,
Fury to be mistaken as inspiration, Anymore. 

Age didn’t allow for much, 
Besides shame. 
The artist grabbed the knife 
Lying on the tabletop, 
Clutching it so hard, 
That the weak plastic mold cracked.  

Fingers shook, 
As the knife drew closer.  
Every sensation was heightened. 
Veins throbbed in anticipation, 
Of release. 
Of finality.  

There was a clatter, 
As the knife 
Fell to the ground.
And smooth unharmed skin,  
Glistened yellow,
Under the fluorescent lamp.  

The artist, 
Craving the vanity, 
To believe that Death,  
Was one’s own,  
To command.  

The nightlight flickered shut,  
And as the street silenced,  
And sheets ruffled.
The artist lay once again,  
In filth and misery,  
Celebrating another day, of being alive.


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Let The Good Times Roll Magazine is an online youth magazine
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