Midnight oil

Here I am, burning the midnight oil,
Surrounded by thick, bound tomes
Of knowledge.

But all that’s ensued from my midnight’s toil
Is the burn I feel in my weary eyes.

The splash of cold water on my face
Smarts my skin, burns harder still.

I am tired, I am weak;
I long to curl up in utopian sleep
But things there are that keep me from it.

My mind numb from the plight that is life,
My eyes burn in the chill of the night,
My brain aches from the battles it fought,
My heart pines for the love that it’s lost.

I cannot feel, I am numb
Life has bludgeoned me enough;
I’d dared to venture into forbidden lands
Entranced by the scent of the forbidden fruit.

I cannot see, I am blind
Knaves have stolen my gift of sight.
I know not right from wrong any more
My mind’s as tired as my eyes are sore.

The champion of the battlefield: I know I am now
But the Pyrrhic victory has robbed me naked.
I limp across the battle’s wake
And wonder, was it worth what I have lost?

I wonder as I wander about
I wonder if she’s still thinking of me.
I wonder how it’d really feel, her skin against mine.
But then again, I know that it has been enough time,
Just enough, to have all but forgotten.

The cold draft hits me squarely again
Waking me up from this reverie of mine,
And reminds me of my thick bound tomes
And reminds me of my midnight oil
That I have, by this time
Spilt all over the floor.

—- Sanjib Mitra  


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