Three Poems by Christ Keivom

People’s tragedy

In my end is my beginning,” -T. S. Eliot

Only the dead know what the living don’t.
If you left this world what world would
You leave for? Tell me.
No one asks me, but the best reason
To write is that there’s no reason to live.
And words preserve us like anniversaries.
What is the name of that water inside us
Which departs forever and forever returns
Where we put our hand
And experience eternity-
You are like me, you too owe, death
A life and when seeing you on the street
(and not in a bedroom)
Reminds me in the particular there’s the universal;
How we’re full of nothing,
As the world is full of people
And I would like to say something
To everyone I see: Live on.
As the death of someone we love more than
Ourselves is lowered into the earth.
People’s tragedy. People’s tragedy.
The sun just before setting.
One last call at midnight.
A handful of white tufts floating in the air.
The few cities in the world where its raining
As I write this. As you read this.
As I re-write this aloud and somewhere
Whatever is lost, it does not return.
People’s tragedy. People’s tragedy.
How I’m not sure if I should tell you
What follows next is- something
No one saw it coming: it will
Be someone’s birthday when the world ends.


When the nights sprawled on and buried the sun.
It was as though a young person died unseasonably.
We must have been people
With a three day wish and two days to live
We must have been alone-
In graveyards and cities where
No one knew our names.
On some other world that’s so far
Up or down there
Where the elevator stops just once
The music did play and ended
(like a life someone formerly had)
And life was always this glowing exit sign
At a show that went on:
So long as we were in it.
And what wouldn’t we want death to know about us?
Tonight, it beckons to us with a searchlight
Clearing the darkness;
From within the great dream of the night
How we sleep into it-
How like animals, in the end we walk toward
Whatever calls our name.

Start with the Last Things

I have a photograph of that night.
You’ll see in it what you’ve already memorised inside.
Where I’m writing this there’s a thunderstorm
from my childhood been-beating against the window.
Outside, this morning a person stood under the streetlights
so garish and loud that the second person
not too far away looked like
the unfinished shadow of the first.
You can fill that in.
You can call it.
Our hands from two different worlds, joining?
Sunsets. Moonrise. How terraces hold us.
Memories cross our minds like planes
But never do leave or land.
Its love to fall from the sky and still falling.
I found you. The way darkness tells itself
about the origins of light.
And did we talk about God? I think we talked about God.
Did you kiss me with a past instead of the future?
I remember that too. (the phone rang in your leaving).
Listen, I have a photograph of that night.
In it you will see love: the moon
hung loose from its shaking.
Night: an endless vocabulary of darkness.
Someone looks up and the whole world is spelled out.
And at this very moment.
Everyone’s thinking of someone.
Everyone’s writing about someone.

Christ Keivom, is an undergraduate literature student at Delhi University. His work has previously appeared on Novus Literary Arts Journal, Charmolypi Literary Review, and Write now lit. Follow him on Instagram @passmethecigarettes.

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