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Poems By Nihal Parthasarathi


The Lone Flame in the Dark

What lifeless thing could seem more alive
than the flame that dances in front of your eyes,
buffeted by the children of breezes,
whispers and breaths from across the house,
finding their way to gently rock the flame’s cradle,
as our blackout companion consumes its birthplace,
bringing its life into our empty rooms,
as we huddle around its immaculate beauty,
watching it sing its silent songs proudly,
as its pedestal slowly withers away beneath it,
until at last, it glances down,
and with a final waxy tear realizes
that its performance is almost over.
But setting its feet, the flame refuses
to abate slowly, or shrink for an instant,
instead burning just as bright as before,
until the final moment,
when, with barely a muffled whisper,
it vanishes,
in a puff of glory,
leaving us all,
alone in the darkness.

Take Me Back to the Days

Take me back to the days,
of purple popsicle tongues,
juice lingering on your lips,
taste still exciting the inside of your mouth
as you run, chasing one another,
exploding out into the sunny afternoons,
finally flopping into the shade of the weeping willow.
Take me back to the days,
of tattered sneakers,
tongues panting as they stretched to escape the shoelaces,
soles worn away with the years of pavement,
holes appearing at the heel and toe,
allowing your feet to peek out and say hello,
dirt permanently tattooed into seams,
telling stories of the days they’ve shared with you.
Take me back to the days,
of sprinting, thudding down the docks,
then in one fluid motion escaping gravity
for that brief second until it regains its grip,
pouncing, like a playful cub,
to pull you back into its cool liquid arms,
that embrace you like your mother.
Take me back to the days,
of discovering paths in the forest behind your house,
plowing through brambles and thorns,
that cut up your arms
and gave you that powerful pride of having beaten them back,
with only the battle wounds to show for it,
mixed in with the painting of sweat and dirt and smiles.
Take me back to the days,
of peddling powerfully on that one speed bike,
wind in your ears, diving through your shirt as if
searching for something stolen,
as you race through backyards and parking lots,
standing up as you round the corners,
careening forward, trying to outrun your friends.
Oh, take me back to those days,
of freedom,
with nothing but the green in your eyes,
the grass between your toes,
the sky waving down from up above,
the cool breeze,
whispering in your ear,
telling you that it will last forever.

Nihal Parthasarathi is a 19 year old sophomore at NYU STERN business school. He has lived in North Branford, CT his entire life, and has been writing poems since he was 14. His inclusion in Chantarelle's Notebook is his first publishing credit. He hopes to minor in creative writing at NYU, and plans on continuing writing for the rest of his life, whether or not he is ever able to publish a book.



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