Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Abstract worries

A stray hair on the cheeks,
A chipped nail,
A wild dog’s bark two blocks away,
A lost pen,
The bus-friend’s leaking water bottle,
A neighbor peeping from his window,
An itch in the nose,
The loud-mouthed uncle,
The bum scratching when you are in a meeting,
A dozy moment in front of the boss,
A random forward mail,
A screechy cricket in the lawn,
Slow internet,
An unresponsive colleague –
O! what annoys you not
when a nagging thought chews upon your brain?

Monday, 24 September 2012

Ashes of memories

The cigarette butt began to burn,
And that foul, tarrish smell enveloped the fingers -
The last pinch of ash,
like withering human-years,
falls off the cigarette in a silent weep.
She turned to her reflection in the mirror,
And her charred lips spoke of a love
taken away.

In the end the butt has to be thrown off -
Having sheltered the line of tobacco
Until its embers melt in the altar
of human yearning
and unspoken pains.

Her eyes glinting like sunshine upon the river,
Her face rigid as platinum,
She picked the last spot of ash
and tasted its scorched remains;
They arouse memories of the nights
When cigarette butts and ice cubes splayed on the floor
Alongside naked bodies and satin sheets.

The taste of alcohol from the lips that parted to whisper her name,
The smell of smoke settling into her hair
like his skin on hers,
The nights that turned into day without a flicker of sunlight,
And half-eaten pizzas awaiting stray consumption.

The cigarette is burnt again,
And the butt has singed her fingers,
But the smell of love that wraps her being
lives on through the ashes of memories.

Tuesday, 18 September 2012


I watched
As the men,
lanky and oiled,
lifted the corpse on their
dark shoulders,
And the women stood aside,
eyes awash with tears of losing a friend,
daughter, sister;
I sat in the same corner
Where my little brother once
threw a glass piece at me
and jagged my face
Into that permanent
red zigzag of a lightning
and I got scolded
for leaving the glass in his hands;
Where my mother once cornered
me, to scorn my incompetence at
the stove, where I burnt my palm
in boiling oil;
Where my father struck me with a belt to
Wash me of the sin of
Having eaten before my brother...

I watched
As the men walked
away from me,
Not caring to look behind and see
my heavy tears
dragging my cheeks down
and distorting my vision
Of the nightmares I once withstood
with a stoic face
perhaps inherited
from an old grandmother
Who lived short but served
the family with more sons
than her womb could have borne;
They walked ahead,
carrying the body in their bony arms,
and everyone looked,
said things they were taught to say
at someone's death.

I watched
As my shrouded body went farther away,
Taking with it the pain,
the sorrow,
the grief,
the memories
that kept my tiny heart alive. 

Monday, 10 September 2012

Getting back

There lay the shards
Of what was once my heart;
The pieces that belonged
To a beautiful whole,
That once belonged to you.

I looked at those pieces again
And they still were beautiful -
There was the tear from the day we fought first,
There a wound from the day you dated someone else,
And there the guilt from when I slept with your roommate,
After you lied to me of your new date.

I cannot hold you again as I did that night
When it was raining and we were caught under the awnings
Of an old house on the way to the cinema;
I cannot touch your face as I used to
When you cried about how mean your boss was.
I wish I could see you just once more,
To tell you I do not hate aubergines
Or hold your hands and watch that football match together.

There are those who move on,
And those who pretend to;
I haven't yet figured out
Where I belong,
But no confusion on one damn thing -
I love you still,
And I love you lot.

We have no friends aching to get us back on terms,
Haven't shared phone numbers, no emails -
But Shania showed me your Facebook profile
And I did not send you a friend request.

I love you still, seven years on,
I love your memories,
I love your old gifts;
But the broken heart cannot be pieced together -
Without deepening my gashes - and hurting you again.