Our lives were always tangent:
A tango of touch and go
With photograph moments
That never seem to fade.
Forward in time,
Down thin jumpers
And loose shirts.
Greedy hands stretch
From the back of my mind,
Rewind cassette tapes back years and years
To whispers exchanged
Across three sided cells,
To eyes wandering past the present,
To eyes watching vague gallops of the future,
Oblivious to their empty pages,
Oblivious to today’s bliss.
You and I
Patched up holes in each others armour
Made by careless words
Yelled from rooftops
By knights and maidens
Too small for the platforms they occupy.
You and I
Lay across intersections
At 3 AM,
Pretend the headlights were comets
And we were spaceships
Lightyear-speed-catapulting through space.
But the next season took you away,
Asteroid-stole you from my core,
And you explored your side of space
Unaware of the patch of grass I’d saved
In the event you’d land back down beside me,
Feel the breeze in your hair again,
Tell me how much larger Orion was from up there.
But we became parallel lines,
Weary from straining,
Forgetting how to pronounce familiar greetings,
Losing each other in shadows of memory,
From where the years have filled us up
With new holes
We’ve learned to patch up
With hollow hands
Meant for holding,
Used for hiding.
For twirling telephone lines,
For hesitating over keypad letters,
For the backspace.
For the backspace:
Days of carefree laughter
And nonexistent ‘apart’s,
When we dreamt of free roads
And bare feet.
Days when hands were used
In the late stages of fetal programming,
We grew wings instead of arms.
And they called us strange,
Put us up on a golden stage
For others to wonder
How science went wrong.
They dreamt of the sky
And the way the clouds felt against raw red cheeks.
With burned faces
And guns in their chests,
Seeking vengeance against invisible causes.
Their bullets meet chest holes
Of hollow dummies,
And the sparks
fuel lava in their chests.
So they turn their nozzles at us instead,
Aiming at our wings,
Forgetting we can fly.
To empty forests
And distant shores.
We weave silken webs with our fingers,
Spin fibred thread between the trees
In place of treehouses.
You said we’d lay here forever,
Watch the stars prove their existence in the horizon,
Forget the way their presence serves as a mere memory
The same way we forgot
The location of our webs
When the guns found our beds,
When we’d left
Always assuming we’d known the way back.
The same way we forgot
Until silken strings grew heavy with dust
And dreams we’d left behind were laden with rot.
Evening arrives the way it always does,
Shoves the door open
Amidst suspended apartment dust,
Drifts through my bedroom window
With news of comets
Transporting space messages
From eons away.
I hear the neighbours yell and argue,
And pretend they’re croaking toads
Professing love to potential mates
Instead of animosity,
Or variants of hate.
The hum of the traffic below
Transforms into cricket lullabies,
Evaporates from concrete swamps
That rarely run dry.
I try not to dream
Of babbling brooks
And rolling hills.
I try to stay present,
Shove the pangs of discontent from my chest,
Lie to make today more bearable,
Lie to get closer to tomorrow
Where perhaps I’ll travel
To seasides and coasts,
Envelope myself in their salty wind embraces.
With my arms buried in wool,
And my heart fortified with stone
To firefly coves
Far away from city lights
To make me believe
In all I’ve lost
Before I slip
Back into compact homes
Boasting more gold than fire,
Allow the sleepless night below
To sing me to sleep.