Childhood

We grew up in the muddy puddle

That was our coffee

In a begrimed little café.

We ate in little bites of each other,

Rolled our tongues in our mouths,

Tasted each flavor and each seasoning.

I gulped you down and digested each little mishap of you.

I undid all the sordid belongings residing in your mouth,

You were the embodiment of shame and failure,

And I made it all such a part of my gut,

That I haven’t shaken it off

Thirty years hence.

 

How did I make it to here?

This is such a foreign rest.

The only familiarity was that,

Which settled around the corners of your eyes,

In the crevices beneath your breasts,

And the clarity of your skin.

There were snacks,

And books.

You had your brown sweater on.

Your moist brow was so restless that day,

That I was reminded of all of my desperation,

All the stories I hurled at myself,

All the children I knew were all right.

Oh Nara,

Your brow vanished all that I held true,

Even you, Nara,

Your brow swallowed you whole.

Oh Nara,

You killed a part of me that day.

 

You exploded into chemicals,

That stuck onto my skin.

Into hot tea that surprised me every day.

It crept into the jasmine oil smell of her hair.

In the sweat of her neck,

Into our lazy evenings filtered through with years

Of careful exclusion.

Everything I owned was only me

When I was naked, and writhing,

A baby in the womb of something so desperately motherly,

That it forgot to give birth.

She noticed, Nara, she noticed me.

She noticed these hands shaking through everything they did.

And she hid.

She hid into her red, pleated saris,

Into cookbooks and cakes,

Into soft butter, and hardened cookies.

Everything has been seeking to destroy itself since, Nara,

Cigarettes would paper itself into existence.

Now it burns smoke and blindness.

The trees move in fast forward,

They are arthritic fingers

Grasping for something,

Long since out of their reach.

Acid has been running in the veins of this house since years,

The wood is out of place.

The rot in the bamboo tables is only concealed

By the tinted glass.

 

And sometimes, I sit at the cadaver porch,

You are a mindless zombie of a woman,

Who decides to stay with me,

And leave me alone.

Destruction had become your favourite hobby when you were that real.

When did poetry become so important to you that

You quite forgot me?

 

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