The Mouthless Woman

The drip of a leaky tap

Has turned into a gush of blood.

I am terrified of time:

Its malevolent, fickle movements.

The night no longer embraces me

In its absolute blackness:

I can hear all of its voices now.

I fear if I turn just an inch,

They will tear my skin off.

.

I find myself being afraid

Of so many, many things.

I am so full of secrets.

History’s pull is stringer now

I dare not imagine a future

Rid of yesterday’s scratches and screams.

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I fear I will turn

Into the mouthless woman

Decked in her father’s sweat

And her mother’s tired expectations.

The mouthless woman is dangerous:

She lets him have her life.

More importantly, when she finds a voice

It will only say, “Keep your eyes down, dear”,

“Do not provoke them, daughter”,

Or worst, “you’ll grow up to be just like me”.

I Don’t Want Your Pride

You said you were proud of me

I do not want that.

I don’t want your praise

When I do what you approve of.

If my actions sometimes cross over

To your neatly structured plans for my life,

That is only a coincidence, not a deliberate realignment.

.

I don’t want you to be proud

Pride is dependent on so many fragile conditions

That I will surely disappoint,

Or make myself bitter in making you smile.

.

I don’t want your pride

I want your hugs on a tired day:

Gently rub my arm as you press me to you

And let me know it’s fine, humans fail too.

The Last Photo before Goodbye

My hands shook when I clicked it –
You were laughing so hard that I couldn’t be still
I didn’t realize the flash was on:
It came out blurry,
You with red eyes and a far too wide mouth,
The background indecipherable.
.
I want to always remember you like this:
Slightly blurred, distorted sweetly by memory
This one-dimensional image of you will grow
Fonder to me as you seem lovelier with each day.
Let me forget the absurd pain and funny anger intrinsic in any close bond
Until I face the inevitable disappointment that meeting you will be.

Little Happy Days

Little happy days like these:

Summer suns which suddenly dissolved into

Soft winds, wandering clouds and grey rains,

Long walks to nowhere, laughing at my songs,

Roadside momos and juicy mango shakes,

Hurried mutton dosa and a tiny cup of vanilla ice cream,

The bed on my floor: I look up and see an endless sky

And the wandering clouds lazily chasing each other.

Coffee grounded by my grandmother. A room just for me.

A place where I can look up to see an everlasting sky

Where only the wandering clouds smile back.

Little happy days like these, soon to be over,

Always to be loved in that happy place in my heart.

In Memory of an Assault

Disclaimer: Not autobiographical

.

I wanted to scream when you were done with me

To rage and kick and pull out your hair and bite you

In my dreams I slap your face and watch it dissolve.

When I sleep I see a different world,

One where you live in a muddy pit

Dug from all the hot anger I felt.

I am vindicated in my imagination.

.

In real life, I cannot scream,

Not when I see you. Your photos.

Emblems of your successful life.

Your clueless, perfect, nuclear family.

I want to cut you with my words

I want to laugh as you repent

What you’ve done, hidden for so long.

.

Instead, I am forced to shake your hand

And be nice to your family

And answer your stupid questions

About my life.

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I watch your happy life.

Why is it that I am the one who hasn’t moved on?

Will I go to sleep everyday, exhausted from the ordeal of the everyday,

And wake up in the middle of the night

To feel your hands up my thighs?

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Why am I the one tired?

Why am I the one broken?

Why are my sentences incoherent and mundane?

Why is this a terrible poem?

A Worn Out Note

NaPoWriMo Day#7: Write a poem about money

The rickshaw driver handled me a worn out note, frayed

At the edges. As lined as the palm of his hand. The

Dirty tape that held the collapsible material precariously together urged

That I should return it, But he, reading what I was about to do, turned

His watery eyes on me. They bore an uncanny resemblance to the

Dirty tape that held the collapsible material precariously together that

I reverently folded the note into my purse. The thinning paper gingerly

Sat amongst crisp, fat younger notes. The worn out rickshaw driver cycled

Away, and I felt he would tear apart, the tape being so precarious. .

Listening

NaPoWriMo Day#4 Prompt from http://www.napowrimo.net: Write a “loveless” love poem. Don’t use the word love! And avoid the flowers and rainbows.

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I tell you the most inane things:

i need to shampoo today, a mosquito kept me awake at night

I feel blank when people tell me goodbye and maybe never realize they’re gone

Night is my favourite part of the day.

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You listen in a way

That sometimes irritate me

Sometimes make me laugh sometimes make me angry

Sometimes make me feel your unknowing, still hands

Can hold just tight enough everything I want to forget,

In you.