Woman at the Window

her floral sari, ageing into paleness 
her window is stained by colonies of fungi 
they blur the outside world into a strange painting
she lets her fingers graze over damp furniture
reminding them of their lost senses
the house smells of unsaid things

walking past her on the cramped staircase
one senses an emptiness arriving and departing
her tired eyes accept the peeling walls as proofs 

I have never smelled food cooking from her kitchen
I have never heard music spreading out of her home
I’m assuming the phone doesn’t ring either
and why those hanging planters have been left to dry
one might never fathom only by observation

in her I see unseen bits of the women who make me
my mother, grandmother, friend, lover, sister
even the passer-bys who I will never register
being a man there are sanctums I might never enter

arriving at window she searches for rain
she kills another cigarette and drifts into her room
at times she opens the window and settles
seasoned by the silent sorrows of
the passage of a thousand moons



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