Passing

light voyages of fingers, a book
ruptured then pinned down, deftly

a swallow pecks a lake’s portrait, mirror
rippling mutely, eventually regathers

clouds that once were grey, like your
grandfather before he laid bare, on wood

set alive by a son’s wound, his eyes
covered by postponed tears, light

voyages of fingers, a lifespan burning
into a temporary mirage, deftly

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The Day My Cat Died

The day my cat died we won a cricket match
The mosque opposite my house butchered the air with decibels
My neighbour tripped and broke a rib, letting out a weak scream
And I was out drinking, missing her furry mane,
hoping to share new secrets with her

Walking past school, I refused to pet
any cat which stroked my calves, I barged into
the fish market at dawn and fought for fresh
fish heads, liver, even some shrimp and eel
And later I stood by the butcher to collect, every
last portion of cartilage that was leftover
it was her birthday, after all

And later at breakfast I got my heart broken, a
woman I thought I loved left me bewildered, worse,
leaving me with an unpaid bill and badly written letter
neither of which I ever made sense of, I needed my cat
to cure my life, more than my sister

The day my cat died I was told she is alive
I called at home and left her a long message
My brother pretended that she’s playing upstairs with pigeons
My dad said she is watching a stew coming to boil
My grandmother said my cat is waiting for me

I waited for her as she fell down twelve floors
Unaware that she would die seconds later
And from another suburb, I sent released cigarette smoke
Knowing that by evening she would help me quit

Afternoon

humid breath 

between the rain and I 

a steamed window

one kettle
brews a future sip
of both tea and mint

intoxicated, 



leafbird dashes

once grey air 

now flourescent green 


damp wood
-
quiet lungs
perfumed 
final monsoon

Reading Aloud

Reading it aloud:
You
Your whims, your hormonal rants,
The part where you sneeze
The moment you finally cry
I read it all out, your eyes open
Like two journals on either side of your age
With you in the centre, present in the present
Mute as a photo
Out of focus

Your nights
Your breath
The bits of you leftover
In text messages and friends of friends
Even music you forgot
Comes around unasked
The wall holds your face
As you fall asleep scarred
Read it all aloud, like a play
We’re listening to each other age
The clock waits for you
The taxi drops it’s meter, the new year
Opens and calls for an encore

Incomplete

How could you, how would you
Just come up with random things, on the spur
The prank of the refrigerator, the thought
Of having glowing star stickers
On the bedroom ceiling, signing
Your emails with a Buddha quote –
Stories, nightmares, dreams,
Wicked jokes and shower screams
In each room you left behind signs of you,
The good and the mad
The dirty and the sad
A garden that reeks of bad cutting
A sink that is tired of drowning
A toothpaste unclosed and hanging
Like most things, you too, left incomplete
Either too fast or either too early, for which
In a corner crying
without a battery change
Without the reflection
of your childish face
Even the clocks remember you

Flowers

Really, such pretty flowers, aren’t they?
Growing amidst the noise of doubt
Blooming in smoke, watching forest fires
Standing among a horde of dead men, decaying
After being used in a war
Even the planes couldn’t stop them from growing,
neither could the invaders, neither could we
Really, how pretty these flowers are
Watching life sail by sagely, and even
While dying, undressing gracefully
Leaving behind scent for a hundred days