I Stand Nearer to You

I stand nearer to you. Not you.
The you that I adore.
Will give my life to-
To you- To you-
Not you.

My love will shine like the blinding drops of summer, will parch us;
and will overcome us like rain.
Frizzy strands of memories would put salt on our wounds.
In the bitter rain I will cling to you, to you, to you. Not you.
You will be there when I am dry.

It is in this indecision I live my life, my darling.

Separating you.
You, whom I both hate and love.

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Our Burning Lady

Charlemagne, the Holy Roman Emperor watched the cathedral burning. The Crown of Thorns had turned into ashes, and the old relics were gone.

The brave Emperor thought what more could be done now? As his horse, his vassals and he himself were legless- a bronze piece of fiction.

While the wind around him gushed terribly, thick with smoke and embers, stiflingly warm.

The old Emperor grunted, turned around in disgust, and asked a horrified tourist to carry him to the Rue de la Bûcherie.


Whims, Live

My whims, my whims, live-

You are paid- you are paid with my time,

A time that’s paved with blocks of lightness,

Live, so that you and I align.


My sky, my sky, spread-

Metered with clouds, fickle, a rain-

Wash my inner streets, my inside-

Lissome wet, come to me again.


My bitter, my bitter, stay-

We are naive, we are pure, who?

In a love feral, blood soaked and infinite-

I am dog-tired, if you only knew.


2025

A man who had known me for a long time said encouragingly once, “At fifty, if you keep fit, a few women will surely be attracted to you.”

He was driving. I don’t drive. I waited, uncomfortably, beside him, pretending glee. While my eyes were on the windscreen watching a cow licking a wounded bull on the road. Who knew who she belonged to.

The man shifted the soliloquy to self-driving cars. Two thousand twenty five was not so far away. Robots would take our jobs. AI would write our poems. Money would be hummed out of a million servers.

Feminists would destroy our families. The sisters would take our children away and make them eat kale breakfast, why? Because, they can! Men would not know their place. Love would be disastrous for personal ego, et cetera.

Only cows, he said,

Only cows, if free, if they so would desire, would unflinchingly adore the bulls in the small hum of sweltering asphalt roads. And that would be a sight of hope.


Happiness Girls

Happiness girls are standing on the tarmac of a red plane- bare teeth, pulsing; their breasts are proud like upper class- their leggings plump boast like hope.

In the dream of a dream of the edgy runway lights. The turn from here is a stroll. A norm-bound, debt-bound a port that devours and despises a man who’s drunk one too many on the flight, cheap and on the red eye. Now leering.

There.

From the nose to the tail of the plane- fluttering and fleet like flames- ebullient nymphs, women who know no bitterness. A sea of plain and contrite men who have lusted but not made a claim- burlesque!- the girls are giggling and raising my hope.

Not to stop now, not to stray from the path, and not to forget the rules of a monogamous love; and to go on without the hope of a lay with the happiness girls is for the best, I know.

But, heavens, I am so sad.


Marriage

Marriage

is not an honesty contest.
The time value of truth

wanes so fast that
at the silver jubilee

either truth would survive
or the man.

Or both would be at the bar.

The woman gulping down truth.
The truth, gobbling the man.


Love as per My Mother

I breathed when your father breathed.
That’s how I learned to inhale long and deep
and exhale quick.
On a bed for forty years, one small bed, we one.

I could have chosen (Could I not?) to follow another man
Or lived like a fairy, sans
a man-
But, God, it surely felt good to make him mine.

Not in a quest to find love. No, no-
As it happens in dark halls, pages, in glitter rains-
I, with him; freed and tussled in a crammy bed,
Shredded each other for pleasure and pain.