Time

Tonight, the moon shines
Just like a decade ago
With a little fire, glowing yellow
Setting memories aglow.

At my bedside, a lamp comes alive
After long; golden lines slanting
At a familiar, pleasing angle
Gazing upon these words, knowingly.

Dusted and brimming, nostalgia
Arrives — moments beam up
Floating slowly through this
Tropical air — and it is a moment, pregnant.

This rain, enthusiastic, torrential,
Seeped with the spirit of another time,
Awakens a longing, tugs at my heart,
Turns my soul on.

So much the same, so fleeting
It remains. This night must
Not leave. For as dawn encroaches,
I’ll be lost, my past vacant, yet again.

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Origami

On my body, you will find

The lines you’re looking for. These creases

are just old enough – for the lines

To not become borders. impenetrable.

Impregnable. Trace your fingers across

My solar plexus, and you will

Find

 

[Pigeons soar alongside, I see them

Racing to stay in my line of vision

As we hurtle on, epiphanies within

Sight. They throw themselves

At me only to hit duplicitous glass. Now,

The light turns liquid and flows down

The cracks they leave behind.]

 

                                       The light

Of a million galaxies trickling down.

If you listen closely, there’s bird song

Too. You will bend me, and I will

Comply. Rehearsed; this routine isn’t

A lie. But it isn’t the truth either.

 

There are only questions in these folds.

 

These folds that are grey with age.

 

This is an age unwilling to bend.

But around the bend, lies the answer.  

Static

The drum stick ricochets off skin

Like the flutter of wasp wings.

They dance – thrust, throw, shove, grind –

Frenzied, hurried. Dirty

They’re pigeons in heat.

The tiny hair on their cheeks has risen.

Accidents happen – gaze, chests, bottoms, lips.

Around them, within them, their own blood

Turns to sweat. The air turns musky;

Their voices, husky. Zoom in, out of focus.

There’s nothing but the sound of them

Breathing. Nothing; but them. 

Glitter

I lie in a bed not made for me,
Wrapped in sheets that smell of you.
You, who stay away, far far away,
a thousand miles, a million galaxies
away, in the room adjoining. There,
I spy you, hiding among shadows that
grow as evening turns to night. Sometimes,
what you seek is not what you find.

I am shrouded in darkness – I want
to believe you search for me just as I
turn to you. There is much I imagine as I
breathe you in, but lesser that I forget as I
air you out. We are lost in the dark and to each
other. The night has worn us. You glimmer
pale, reflecting your thoughts. Sometimes,
the people who save us, also enslave us. 

You plague me – as you are and as you could be. 
You are a warlock, an addiction; a spell cast,
a charm thrown, another self invoked. I am as afraid
of seeing as I am of dreaming, for I thought I saw me
when i saw you. Illusions must not last. Now, we
must sink the stone. Before it ends, the surface
will shiver. Now, we must disappear. Because
sometimes, we are just the dust, not the gold. 

The Story-Teller

Everyday, she tried, without success,
to string it all up together. She sat
cross-legged, eyes clamped shut; stood
on her head, belly sucked in; lay
prostate, airing her thoughts; walked
painfully slow, measuring her step.
And yet, it all stared back at her,

Mussed up, strewn about, incoherent.

Mere words, she looked at them,
lolling about in the sun, making her 
sweat buckets, trying to take stock,
like a mother of triplets: one produce, 
but thrice the effort. She plucked and 
pleaded and coaxed and berated:
“Gather around!”; but they wouldn’t listen. 

Within her, she knew, there was a story
waiting to be told; a song to be sung, 
a landscape to be painted. Everyday,
she told herself, is a new start, for today
we shall finally voice. Love, war, peace, hunger,
passion, pain and introspection — today
was her day of expostulation. 

But the days stayed mum, whispering through her.

Them words be tricky, smug little imps,
Hanging off the edge but never diving.
Them words, they laugh at her — now old, 
grey and frail — taunting her still, playing
hide and seek. They still rushed past her,
and once, she was certain, she caught a
pity-soaked whisper: “You are the story, m’dear!”

Momentum

This time, they sought
the dark corners of the Web
to hide in. Anonymous, shedding
off all identity, this is where
they would let it blossom. For now.

They’d tried, and failed,
to keep a low profile. No public park,
heritage monument, or obscure cafe,
brimming over with so many like them,
could contain the music

Of their rising, overwhelming
affection for each other. Public
display was another matter —
They weren’t sure who had earned
the right to witness those moments.

They always came, invading
upon their continent of silent,
imagined kisses. But this at least,
they believed, was worth it.
Worth protecting. Worth preserving.

Even matchbox-sized rooms,
with the sun drawing needle-thin
lines across the terrain, was not
enough. They always came,
wondering what was being strangled

Or birthed. Contain. Compress and
compose. Words, now, were
their choice of coitus. Only, they feared,
no turn of phrase ever invented
could describe the enormity of

This accelerating crescendo.

Wear-about

It is a caress gone unnoticed everyday.
Softly, flowers graze my breasts,
seeds flying wild, transported
on chiffon, floating far away
on your anguished, breathless sighs.

A bare mid-riff — silken to touch
with the dampness of down
trussed up in roses billowing 
on a petticoat the colour of summer —
is the middle, the end, the beginning

Of a new chapter, a new idea,
born in your soul, a desire that burns,
much like dry, flaky wood,
incensed by a fluttering pallu,
winging up your lustiness.

but much like that brittle bark,
your burning will be all smoke too.
six yards to seduce — is that all
it takes? I may not be as compliant,
flexible, open or ready to bend.

It’s a caress I may not feel anymore,
But my delicate chiffon will defend.
Your mind may sing, even go hoarse
thinking of my virtue, so loose. 
This chiffon, I warn you, will strangle.

Narrow Escape

That morning, I woke up wanting
only a vision to calm the restive animal
hammering to get out of  my rib cage.

That morning, my breakfast
was a few dry crumbs dissolved in tea gone 
cold. I wasn’t paying attention. 

That morning, all those years of lies
And deceit were unwanted company 
On the balcony, twirling in tune with the smoke.

That morning, the valley yonder
was a vast, relentless admonishment —
“Who do you think you’re running away from?”

That morning, I thought I’d escaped
on a blue bus, out of the city, out of the civil,
out of me. And there I was, face to face.

That morning, the wilderness was inside
me like never before, confusion reigning,
anger thrashing, the madness hunting.

That morning was just the night in camouflage,
only just beginning to descend. With fingers
clammy, it would’ve squeezed me bloodless.

But that morning turned into noon, into 
evening and into twilight, and i walked
from sunset to sunset and rainbow to rainbow
and felt the monster disengage, dissipate,
apparate as the sweat on my forehead
arrived to witness………………………………..

…………………………………….THIS.

The illogic of small big-big things.

Beware of the night, they whisper.

In the black, there are always, and only, shades of grey.

A vortex, it will slurp up the white, like a Hoover,
Burp and beam, from Jaapan to Jalandhar.

Replete with satisfaction, it will leave red.
In your face, on the road, on your sheets.

And then Society will come a-knocking.
And all they’ll be able to see anymore is the mud.
Horrors. No blairwitch, this. “She wouldn’t listen”
Is all they’ll have to say, passing it on.

*Facepalm*. Life’s sucha bitch.

Bewitch

Of course, by now, heartbreak was
a foregone conclusion. She knew, even in
those intense moments when she could almost
touch a wave of love welling up inside her,
that this too, like all else, wasn’t going to last.
Nor was the universe, only our perception
of time didn’t allow us to comprehend reality,
she thought, melancholy. She knew, the comfort
of that blissful blindness, when all her flaws are eclipsed
(because she knew how to charm them a silly pink),
was temporary. They would see her, inside out, baring
thorns on flesh and bones, they would see the big hole
where her heart should have been. She knew that they would
know, in a single moment of blinding clarity, that she was
merely mortal. Not Princess Leah, not Sasha Grey –
Not transcendent. She knew, they would be appalled,
When they saw her plain, reflected whole in an honest mirror.
They would puzzle at her fears and her dreams,
they would blink, stare, wonder – is she for real?
She sighed. She knew, she’d have to end this too.
Self-preservation, her mirror told her, meant
she must hold on to the pedestal. That, at least,
they won’t see her addiction to adulation. Only
her tears, salt and sugar, swords to etch
unforgivable wounds into unsuspecting souls.