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  • Arya Utsa Varma

Infinity, Nothingness, and Less

By Arya Utsa Varma
Posted on August 1, 2023
Cover Image Title: A Drop of Immortality
Cover Image by: Jocelyn Vasquez Camey
Classification: Watercolor painting
Specifications: 9 x 12 inches
Year: 2023

A sip from the chalice of Infinity,

A taste from the goblet of Less,

A draught to reset and commence anew,

And a touch of Nothingness.

Infinity’s taste was oh so sweet,

And Nothingness so sour,

But sip begot sip and soon I was left

With nothing but two empty jars.

I poured away Less, because I wanted more,

But three empty bottles remained,

So I summoned Death right to my front door,

And we began to bargain,

He refilled Nothingness and Infinity too,

And gave but a drop of Less,

So I drank the elixir of Life and of Loss,

And challenged him to a game of Chess.

Death was a good player, his moves were sharp,

But he lost his pieces to me,

And because I won, he gave me a bottle,

Labelled Immortality.

Immortality was tooth-achingly sweet,

Yet something didn’t feel right.

I opened my eyes and I was alone,

With neither Death nor Life in sight.

And so I closed my eyes and prayed,

For Nothingness and for Less,

Instead Infinity appeared;

I drank it, I confess.

Infinity, the luscious poison,

Led me once more to Death.

I poured away the elixir of Life and of Loss,

And I became Nothingness.


The poem explores the concepts of immortality and mortality. Though death is inevitable for all things, human greed, and ambition naturally lead us to wish for immortality, challenging the very structure of life. However, a life without an end is meaningless, and more of an existence as opposed to true living - it is only when we are confronted with this reality that we understand the importance of death: desperation will push us to believe in even the most empty of promises. Inevitably, life is made meaningful by its ephemerality, and human power must not interfere with the natural workings of the world.

[ * The End * ]

[Writing Editor: An anonymous contributor]


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