The Space Between Absolution and Forgiveness

Cover Painting: Loribelle Spirovski Design: Philip Laslett


Anindya Arif

I have conjured all of my misplaced guilt 

and enclosed it in satin Armour wrapped 

around 19th-century mysticism.

The armour, now ruptured, reeks of repugnancy all throughout.

I have taken all my Rationalizations 

and stamped them all over my egotistical whims,

Which have caused them to mutilate into 

A crash site in excess of artificial keepsakes.


I have grown so jaded of the keepsakes, 

That I want to turn my empty midtown apartment

Into a grief observatory

So I can create a detailed Renaissance map

On why I keep circling back to everything 

That is considered deplorable,

And then paint the dome of the observatory  

With a primer for forgetting.


Then, I want to leave the observatory behind, 

Sit on a cornerstone and write tedious essays on the internet 

On how there’s a metaphorical

Knife in my chest that I keep plunging back into 

Old wounds whilst disproving conspiracy theorists.


I have been asleep for so long 

That everything that I had left behind

And everyone I have lost to indifference and distance

Have now been contained inside a vial 

turned bright fuchsia

And exploded,


And by the time I am done with the following line

I would have already elongated my revile against

How the universe does not care,

And we are nothing more than a bag of chemicals 

for whom everything is already preordained

Spiralling down towards 

Any form of desire 

That would convince us otherwise.


Everything I have written thus far 

Is ineffable, and I feel weary and desperate 

To return back to an overly saccharine place 

Where Pascal’s Wager does not apply 

In yet another vain attempt

To find the space between 

Forgiveness and absolution.

And in another forlorn October,

I will turn the observatory 

Into a bunker

To write a Post-war anthology series of poems. 

About self-destruction, addiction to Percocet

About people who grieve by loving someone new,

About those who want to drown themselves.  


Only to rediscover the obvious,

That I am, myself, 

And there’s no cure for that.


Anindya eats music, fiction, and reality — all for breakfast. Send him fresh recipes at [email protected] 

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