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,
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.
Your brow vanished all that I held true,
Even you, Nara,
Your brow swallowed you whole.
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?
Everyone will be hiding something
Concealing so much reality
Underneath boredom and structure
And such words… Such glorious words.
That make no sense until you repeat them
Your own sense hides like a coward
Silent and waiting.
It is seeking paraphrases from other conversations
And finishing sentences for you.
‘You’re a perfectly nice person’
But only underneath asymmetrical breasts
And thinning hair
And uni-brows that you just won’t see.
‘You’re really intelligent’
But only if you could laugh a little while longer
And kiss a little bit nicer.
And if you sold out everyone who shares your blood,
Just to please me.
‘You’re an amazing friend’
Because you can’t fuck someone
Who is just half as smart as you.
And you can't kiss someone,
whose lips are raw and bloody.
When did I become a mangled mess of these words?
If someone had taught me
If I had taught myself well
To get caffeine fixes on lonely tables
And spill myself in hot blooded fervour
So much so
That everyone will take two steps back
Afraid that the frail woman licking cream off her pancakes
Crying over sugar cubes
Will ask for their help.
Or worse… their handkerchief.
But I only taught myself to speak in adulterated words
Stewed in anger and sweat
Frozen so that I don’t make anyone anxious
Because the last thing I want
Is to make everyone else uncomfortable.
So I only talk about why I don’t want to wake up in the morning,
And how, every morning
Getting my feet on the ground
Is the hardest thing
I’ve ever had to do.
But I never finish that sentence.
I have been licking the cream off
The nothing I was forced to cook from the book I bought.
I am Charles Bukowski waiting to rupture,
And tumble into forces of uncontrolled madness.
I dinge into fleeting, changing rooms
And become pages of yellowing, worm-books.
I write my own obituaries, each for a different
Person I have lived.
I make love twice every week,
And keep a count of how many times
He calls out someone else’s name.
I caution into keeping everything beautiful to myself.
I cup my hands and keep passion in my hidden chest,
And lock my doors with the only key there is.
I dine alone, I read in hushed whispers over single-serving thoughts.
And sleep where no one can put an arm around my waist,
And undulate the black-flavoured dreams I so carefully reared.
There is only one victory,
There is only one woman in the world.
It is I. It is I. It is I.