courage

i am always careful.
my caresses are gentle, my kisses soft,
even if I sometimes want to tear you apart to see if I am in your heart.
my hands press into your skin,
but my nails leave no marks.
my eyes drink in every drop of you,
as if to satisfy the thirst of the years we lost,
I breathe you in, because I was gasping for air,
drowning and trying to hold on,
before you taught me how to let go.
I am always careful,
I wash off my lipstick before I kiss you,
so it may not spread rumours about us.
I make sure your shirts are put up on hangers,
so that the wrinkles don't smell like me.
I am always careful.
the only ones who know about us
are the tissues you throw away, soaked in secrets,
or the tissues I throw away, soaked in tears.
I am careful not to let the words spill out of my mouth, 
even if they may choke me to death.
I am careful to never let you look at me,
the way I look at you.
I know how to turn love into laughs, and conversations into friendship,
and how to erase and delete and destroy any trace of us.
I am careful to never let them know,
that every minute we spend together,
is worth five you spend with them.
that every drop of rain that makes you think of me,
is worth more than every photograph they take.
I am careful to not let them see that I worship your smile,
Yes, the same one that they take for granted.
I am always careful.
I would never let another tongue near mine,
because I know that i would taste of you.
I am careful, I don't write down the things you say to me, 
because when they come looking,
they will find only me, not you.
They will only find me,
and if they knew what they were looking for,
they would see immediately
that you are in every part of me,
and they would bow their heads in acceptance,
knowing that they cannot unbind us.
I am always careful
to never let them see the bruises you gave me,
or even the ones I give myself.

let me tell you a little about myself

i am not who you thought i was,
i can surprise you everyday
i will disappoint you, and delight you 
and leave you exasperated.
you will declare that you never want to see me again,
and still yearn for me the next day.
i am not a good girlfriend, but i am the perfect wife.
i don't look perfect, i don't make heads turn.
my hair gets frizzy and wavy
about fifteen minutes after i blow dry it,
but my lips will leave you asking for more.
i have sexy, come hither eyes
that can cry at the slightest slight.
i don't always wear matching lingerie,
and i always forget to clean the curtains.
i know everyone's favourite song,
and your favourite food, and exactly how you like your drink.
i know why you prefer hidden by-lanes to highways.
i can name everything you don't like,
but i cannot remember the joke you told me last week.
i will wake up early to make your tea,
but i will not make dinner every night.
i go to bed every day wondering if you are thinking of me,
but i will not call until you do.
i will wear my favourite tshirt, even if it's torn in three places,
and save a valet ticket from our first date,
but i will not remember our anniversary. 
i will meet you for just fifteen minutes 
rather than go another fifteen minutes without you. 
i will pretend to like cocktails on the beach, though i prefer the mountains
but i will never lie to you.
i will drink until i forget you, 
and the next day, regret losing so much time. 

I will love you forever and ever,
but i will never hope that you do too. 

add to your wish list

i want to be the newspaper each morning
that you would read and despair of the state of the world.
i want to be the glass of scotch for your lonely evenings
drunk and forgotten the next day;
i would like to be the watch you wear on your hand
reminding you of being in the wrong place at the right time;
i want to be that song that you love
that always plays at the back of your mind;
the key that opens your doors
and allows you back in to the real world.
i want to be that one unfinished book
sitting patiently on your shelf;
i want to be your favourite movie, your everyday bag,
your gold-rimmed glasses that bring the words closer;
i want to be the pen, immensely treasured
yet lost somewhere in a moment of haste;
i want to be the idea that strikes you in the middle of a dream,
that no amount of cajoling will bring back;
i want to be the tears you spill at the death of a loved one,
precious, yet useless.
i want to be that joke you tell everyone;
that forgotten t-shirt at the back of your closet,
the familiar parking space, the habitual end-of-the-day cigarette;
i want to be the stamp that you lick,
before sending me off somewhere.

eastern lights

he is fragile.
easily scared, difficult to convince.
he takes a leap of faith every day;
he wakes up, ready for battle, 
ready for Valhalla to witness his soul.
but he scares easy.
he smiles, but doesn't let that bother his darkness.
sometimes,
he lets go. 
he closes his eyes, and believes in the blue of the sky;
he blinds his worries for a few moments,
for it only takes a few minutes for roaming hands to find their treasures.
he puts his world aside, and steps, ever so slightly, into mine.
he tests the waters; 
it's not the cold that bothers him, it's the ripples. 
he wants to be invisible.
i would trade in my wings for it, he says.
sometimes, he forgets
where he is, what he does, what he wants, and what he doesn't need.
he forgets to be polite, he forgets to hold back.
he is easily scared, but his laughter escapes him;
only for an instant.
and when he sees the world erupt in a blaze of love in her eyes,
he suddenly remembers to close the curtains of his soul.
as if an intruder had walked through your house,
disturbing nothing, and yet,
the air has been moved, and it's uncomfortable. 
he commands his eyes to look away from her,
he begs his hands to stop, he implores his heart to breathe slowly.
and then he disappears. 

he waits, patiently reminding himself to be wary.
he keeps careful vigil; he watches over her,
even though she has asked him not to. 
she waits, her skin warmed in the sun of his universe,
knowing it will take three days 
for him to resurrect. 

difficult

That's it
Right there baby
Go ahead
Don't be shy
A little more
Harder
Oh no
Yes
Slowly, take your time
That's beautiful
Oh darling
I can't take this anymore

We made love,
Even when we were fighting.

It is true

my eyes hurt, exhausted by your caresses
my shoulders are heavy,
from the weight of your dream.
my fingers are tortured, from the feel of your skin
my hips are in agony, from the thrill of your lips.
my thighs ache from the burden of your look.
my mind cries, from the cut of your smile.
my heart burns,
from the fire of your love.

21.

i'll tell you why poets are always awake at five o'clock.
it is because some words just won't let go.
a thought has seeped in, but it does not complete itself.
and so they travel through the universe,
trying to find the verses and piece them together,
but some words are elusive, and some thoughts are shy.
and so,
the poets stay awake. past midnight, so they may finish and forget.
it could take many moons, and many waves of the ocean
until they find just the right rhymes;
but by then, the thought is all grown up

i'll tell you why poets are awake at five o clock.
it is because they do not find unattractive
the pursuit of words;
even if the thoughts have left them, and the lovers gone.
and the heart has been broken,
again;
or even if the entire universe were to spin upon its head,
for the poet, it shall still be an upside down world,
where spines tingle and the eyes mist when happy
and laughter erupts when you get utterly lonely.

i'll tell you why poets are always awake at five o clock
it is because of love that doesn't let them go.
the love of the words for the poet himself, as they spill out of his pen.
a love that can never be relinquished; a love that is choosy;
some words discarded without hesitation, and some loved for eternity.

i'll tell you why poets are always awake at five o clock
it is punishment.
for the gift of the gab, to be rewarded with everything they could never have had.
it is a necessary evil; a feat they must accomplish, a curse they must bear,
to be the bearer of words.

i'll tell you poets are always awake at five o clock
because they have seen the beauty of the world, when everyone is asleep.
and have known a love so deep; it is because they are hopeful.

i'll tell you why I am always awake at five o clock
it is to energise the flowers, colour up the trees,
shine up the sun and retire the moon.
it is to stir the birds, and command the bees
to gather the honey before mine wakes up.

let me tell you why i am always awake at five o'clock.
it is to awaken the universe to witness
the glory of your smile.


Why

i tried to set you on fire today.
i struck a match to the heap of memories,
forgotten moments from long ago,
mixed with your last kiss, still lingering in my skin,
piled together, awaiting the sacrifice.
i watched how they came alive in an instant,
the flames scorching through my laughter,
the heat tasting all your kisses,
tearing through thoughts of you.
it took a long time, i was exhausted.
smoke rising slowly, sending signals.
i waited until the wind arrived,
claimed its part of the story, and scattered the ashes as a final duty.
i turned around, believing i was free.

i looked up to the sky,
and
the rain lashed down,
as if there were no more mercy left in the world,
i was soaked to the bone, in minutes,
and every minute we've ever spent together,
and apart,
rushed right back through me,
into my blood, into my heart, till the tips of my fingers.

that's where he belongs, said the rain.
and don't try returning it again.

mine

I love you
with an honesty beyond belief.
A faith that not even the trees can break.
Like an old man, born before the present times
climbs to the very top of the auditorium steps
straining his old knees, pleading with his heart,
to return to his assigned seat,
even though all the seats around him are empty.
For him, it may have been
a matter of life and death.
For me,
Only of love.
One that is so complete, it needs no name.
So true, it needs no dreams.
Like a child who knows not yet how to read,
writes poetry in the air.
So beautiful, that it needs only laughter.
So vain that it needs no promises.
A poetry so kind that it needs no moon.
Know this, beloved,
I am not the one you love,
merely the one who loves you.

resignation

yesterday i wrote
the most difficult poem
i ever wrote.
it was about giving you up,
and walking into the unknown
and never coming back.
the blank sheet of paper
transformed
into a last will,
a testament
to the love we've shared
and now lost to us forever.
four lines at the most,
and yet, the paper loomed over me
like a sermon, a verdict
from a jury who we knew
would never forgive.
and when you asked me if i had
any last words,
i rummaged through the drawers
of our love
to find something worthy.
and all i could come up with
was
goodbye.

foretold

it's not the best, but it will do. meanwhile, high up in the snow-capped mountains, there is a burial ground for books. not just any book though, only the best. only the ones worth burying. because we shall return to the earth what we took from it. and yet, you still believe in the fantasy. the crazy miraculous day dream that you survived a plane crash. you were the only one, and you come out with only a broken heart. reality, and i pray it never touches you, is you come out with only parts of yourself. the other halves desecrated into thin air. and you sit down, with difficulty, trying to find the words that may one day, be buried in the mountain. again, another fantasy. the words don't come. how can you write about something you only imagined? the pages remain blank, and the list of things that have to be done become longer. some day. 

suit yourself

"is this how two adults, who care for each other, move on?" 
"as far as i'm concerned, two adults who care for each other, don't move on." 

do you know why the phoenix rises from the ashes? because it is in love with the fire, no matter how it hurts. and you'll see the love in its eyes, shining brighter than the fire when its wings start to burn. and when it is consumed, there comes a moment of complete silence, with even the sun holding its breath. and then the ash starts to twirl, twinkling through the darkness, rising slowly as each feather comes to life in a glorious flame of love. each time the phoenix dies for love, it is born again out of love. you've seen me burn. now, watch me rise. i promise, you won't be able to tear your eyes away. i promise, your won't be able to blink. i promise, you will want to burn in the same fire.


before you go

just tell me
how
to stop
thinking
of you.

i can fight everything else. 

where's the parrot?

here it is.
because the joke's on me.

18

"haath jiya pe mal mal"

imagine me writing this,
lipstick smeared all over my lips,
disheveled hair, teary eyed
mascara wiped aside by your hands,
buttons torn apart, bra down on one side.

Nothing,
not all the distance on the planet,
not the stars spewing venom,
or the sick curses of the universe,

not even all the hate in the world
can keep us apart.