The girl who cried Woolf

Fill your pockets with stone, each pebble
Measuring the exact weight your lungs
Are accustomed to carrying, for
Every breath is an exercise in recycling
ashes of your own internal entropy

Your mother and father’s fractured shadows
Your brother’s calloused hands on your thighs
Murky forms are the only clarity in amorphous
Hours, when you succumb to bitter convolutions
That harden as quivering multitudinous words

Like paroxysms of love that follow their absence.
They catch your breath when all you want is to
Prepare a dinner for your doting husband, but
When you’ve internalised all this external trauma
Even the certainty of his goodness cannot save you.

Virginia learned the hard way
If she cried woolf too many times
Her own mind stops believing. Then
The only one she trusts to carry her weight
Are waters that drown her with applause

So she would not be caught perpetually Between the Acts.

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Lost Words

A jar of lost words — biochemical hazards
Rolling in my dusty memory
Collected from the chinks in our sanity
After each futile larynx competition

I weaved a web between our nocturnal encounters
To trap these shavings of our decency
Like dandruff and dead skin; lost words
Clog up the soul when left to sediment

The glass reverberated with the humming
Of a thousand lost words carving their
Vendetta and venom on the jar, longing
To secrete abstract poison into physical organs

I was careless last night.
I tilted my head too far off the bed and
The jar rolled out of my memory
All the lost words escaped, gleeful,

burrowing deep into our lexical gap
widening it to an irreparable chasm

You are long gone, shoved into my
‘failed love experiment’ drawer
But when the wine glass grows heavy
I still find some lost words

Behind my ears

Beneath my pillow

Between my fingernails

I roll them on my tongue, but
Having a mind of their own they
Sting my tastebuds to escape, or
Travel into the recesses of my grey matter to

Eat me from the inside out.

Chewing the cud

Poets are cows
Scattered on fields of language

Morning to evening they
Tear up juicy stalks of words

Worn molars chewing out chlorophyll
Defining, refining, agonizing

They need four compartments to
Ferment, ruminate, regurgitate

Language is imbued in their flesh
So we cut them open for our consumption

Today my words were stuck in my throat
A stubborn piece of steak, refusing to fall or rise

Many tried the Heimlich, but
I only succeeded in choking harder

Maybe by ingesting other poets I