The Elysian Muse




Written by Jiah




not wanting to wake up for school, six year old heart beating to the brim of life

when big, bright eyes stare at things that shine

the need to look closer overpowers and ripping hands away from bigger ones,

feels like the biggest of all crimes.

the clouds look like anything but a haphazard clump of humid air

and when butterflies just might be fairies.

dreamy dolls live and breathe as well, others just don't see it though.
the wax of crayons doesn't feel sticky, and the best of canvases thrive in plain sight
merry little houses where princesses live, right on the white wall beside the fireplace,

that's art.


picking clothes without assistance, rainbow beads hanging off of petite wrists

when barbie movies become too immature.
everyone is a friend and deserves a bracelet on august 1st;
chattering about movies and boybands during recess
and the one guitarist with the blonde highlights is deemed the hottest one
and no one liked it when mrs. roger assigned maths homework.
sleepovers with face masks on the weekends, 12 is an hour and a half past bedtime

messily painted fingernails and an equally messy love note

to that one boy from science class,

that's art.


life is just taking a breath in and heaving one out,

and no one really knows if the person with all the secrets is trustworthy
nothing stuck around except the unnecessary baggage when souls turned of age,
eager for not another year to live, but because the fake ids are useless now.

everything is suddenly a violent deal
stampedes for what one wants to be the first one to grab.

the ugly satisfaction is not nauseating, it's the stench of spray paint on cement.
when the clock hits 4 but the good girls are still out under the velvet night sky
lips meet lips in an open secret and the way cigarette smoke meshes with cold air,

that's art.


time becomes something too much to ask for

when computer screens paired with tired eyes bring in paychecks
and that one prada purse that grabbed attention in the store is almost within reach.

someone handsome asked for a date in a caffé the other day,

maybe the chuckle that poured out at his joke stems from reasons other than humor.
ebony irises glow golden and the sun becomes an excuse for flushed cheeks
words flow out like poetry, yet the sweets in picnic baskets remain untouched;

the subtlest brushing of hands in an exhibition, right in front of
splattered paint on framed linen that comes with a six figure price tag,

that's art.


it rains more on suffocating hours

where all the blame is pinned on the world for red flags going unnoticed
getting soaked on the roof is better than being under one where it feels too hollow.
expensive whisky bottles don't have feelings but the one holding them does
because comparison becomes too easy and other women more attractive.
shards of porcelain on marble floor become one with the dripping water

from wet clothes at night,

and senses grow too drunk to see the brightest of stars falling apart.
finger drawings of broken hearts on foggy, sliding glass doors,

that’s art.


the sun has been cracked in the centre, leaking aurelia

when eyelids lift and realize that the silk of the bedsheet doesn’t burn anymore.

the sky smokes a brighter blue, yet breathing feels easier

days like these where the scent of air seems generous and the self more forgiving.

watching the dark streaks of caffeine swirl with the milk

stirs back memories of lying on car bonnets but it doesn’t feel sad for a change.

waiting in the dark seems useless,

when footsteps can reach what reflects the most light with a smile

and whatever is seen through the mirror,

that’s art.






Jiah is quite the tangled set of colorful strings. Being from a polluted metro city in India and having only two months left to turn 16, her hours are mostly crammed with studies, the scent of books, hours and hours of music and creating poetry. She breaths literature and is looking forward to incorporating it into her career in the near future! [This specific poem has been previously published in Bloom Magazine, Ice Lolly Review and Cloud Magazine].