a narcotic delusion rupturing the appendix
of your mind— you say: I did not need this
to begin with, that much is true, but
now that its remnants are scattered all over,
everything is indigo woe and
hurt; I come from the land of disuniformity
and phantom limbs and fresh-baked words—
but this smell is more pungent than
any other of deceased / diseased flesh.
I watch you from the finish line: I know
that you will reach me soon. Shadows have
a tendency as such; and that is all that
you are — we are.
They, who reduced me to a murmur, are still in the wrong.
I find myself lining my hands along every barricade
— I am afraid— with no warning call in my chest.
Now, if I was to get lost, whose fault would it be?
Theirs, of course, for letting me.
(Mine, of course, for not using this pen to draw a trail
and instead crafting another maze;
safe does not mean saved, I should know this.)
They, who dwindled me down to a whisper, are still in the wrong,
right behind me.
on one end of the string,
unable to decipher the sound
of my own name;
who is it that he calls to?
Habitually odd circumstances knock at my door with authority,
knowing full well that at the end of the
corridor rests a rug especially for them,
knowing full well that my house is a cul-de-sac.
Our mouths so loud with
a finger placed across lips
As the sharp inhale
borne by a nicotine lust,
the poem wolfs me in-
to its nostril, my voice
black soot in its lungs.
(trigger warning: reality)
smooth razor against my clean skin/ their bodies sheathed in hair pre-matrimony. white blank of bathtub’s lap/ their bodies cocooned in saris. my hips bare/ their bodies hidden from their own hands. small breasts between my arms/ their bodies large and scorned. tan lines sketched on my thighs/ their bodies craving white, fair, white.
my body a burden/ their bodies forgotten.
my menstruation an alarm clock/ their menstruation a curse, a disease. my gaps/ their wads of washcloth and rags. my lace/ their disgrace. my bra hanging like an unpatriotic flag/ their blouses shoved to the back of all drawers. my solitude a choice/ their bruises a condition. my blade my privilege/ their cuts their maldecision. my silence my choice/ their silence. my mouth of soap/ their jaws of foul-tasting words and stale youth. my waist, touched by countless men of no face/ their chastity preserved in turmeric paste.
my body distant/ their bodies unaware of their existence.
my hands thinking of the legs of another woman/ their nails jammed with dough and duties. my knees dark and bent/ their knees unknown. my calves full of history/ their history too heavy to be held.
my body almost mine/ their bodies never theirs.
my eyes dry with presentmindedness/ their eyes glossy with this death:
my body free of them.
We are children still, small-beaked sparrows still, midnight still, dark turquoise still.
I slip two cloves and a twig of cinnamon on your tongue to ward off the stench of lonesomeness; although I am right beside you, no smell of mine has loud enough a shadow to quieten yours.
We rub against each other like a page of a letter, creased onto itself. Our words remain unchanged. My finger rests upon the lines and lifts up without a smudge. Permanence. Dissonance.
You are licking your own skin off my hands.
I want to fold your legs, cross this ankle over that thigh, and point your toes towards your torso. I want to say, Go back home. I want to say, This is not love.
But I don’t.
Instead, I offer you my own two legs, my own two arms, my own sorrows. Like the overripe flesh of a red-shelled mango. You have sugar and yellow at the corners of your lips, heavy. This is why you can smile no more.
We are children still, unlearned still, stillborn still.
I want to say, This is not love. I want to say, Go.
But I don’t.
Now, be gone, I am Her no longer:
not the Her who slashed cuts on flesh simply to forget,
not the Her who did not dance,
not the Her who writhed out of skin,
not the Her who could be won,
not the Her who could be one,
not the Her who left mailboxes unlocked for admonitions,
not the Her who let knees ache with patience,
not the Her who mumbled,
not the Her who listened,
not the Her who spoke an elegiac whisper,
not the Her who you used to wish for,
not the Her who could want you to.
You have come to the wrong door with the right face;
the voice you seek in response was just a guest
(and She has left, She has left.) So now, be gone:
the house that once softened at your touch
will erupt in flames if you step in. I am Her no longer:
She does not exist.
I drag my sorrow by the leash, a phantom limb of augmenting weight:
is one ghost that does not tire of me—
even in the light, when my own shadow hides in fear,
is the companion always behind me,
propelling me forwards with a taunt and a glisten, as if
is the only mentor that I allow to guide me.
Fatherless— a bastard child— this verse
sprawls in the corner of the page.
I do not treat it with maternal touch;
I have an abandoned carousel for a tongue
and no fuel to keep these gears arun.
. . static, a distant whirr
of pedestrian life. . come close— my silence is not
too stout: the blood in me is subficial only,
the death in me is routinely,
the sex in me is shallow and unrattled.
there is no plot to this. this is not a story.
gaps and indifference pervade, and I am mostly
inhale :: exhale
come close— I do not have much else to say.