What we want from lovers
is their stories, all the details
that make up the person we yearn for
We want to know the first time
you scalded your knee, the first
girl you fell in love with,
even that distance you keep with
your father, and were you loved?
We want to know
how you appeared in my life
and changed everything even by
the most mundane of encounters.
We want to know the feel of your skin,
already our hands lying in proximity on the table
before us seem to shoot electric currents,
we want to know how it feels like
to sink into your world and then swim up again,
we want so much all at once,
it's as though we set ourselves
up for disappointment,
Sometimes we think the whole damn world
is contained in a person,
in lovers who aren't yet lovers,
What we want is as incoherent as this
poem, full of fits and starts,
of restless waiting and longing,
the whole world suspended in the wake of
the whirlwind of whatever-this-insanity-is.
And what I wouldn't give to be beside you again,
on the road to somewhere, nowhere,
leaning against you, listening to
the humming of your heart.
Grief is intimate in a way
joy can never be,
It chokes you out of breath,
It carves rivulets of hollow-nothings
in the cavity of your chest
By now you know one can
grieve for oneself, selfishly, childishly.
Grief lurks in waits for you
when you are hanging onto\a mugful
of tea one uneventful afternoon
to take possession of you,
to make you realise the gravity
of your loss.
Even that rage you carried
with you all of last year,
it dissipated like everything else,
lost, irretrievably lost,
shedding parts of you
that you thought you couldn't
possibly live without.
It's as though the world has finally
opened its gates for you
and you are hurtling
in a pace and direction
you can't quite control.
And those mental images that
you still hold on to somehow,
Childhood relics that haunt you,
asking you if you really found
the great adventure you were looking for?
What remains of us?
Not the unaccounted-for-love,
Not the devastating fights
Just plain wonder
at how it had overwhelmed us,
Struck us like a disease in the beginning
and left us so drained in the end.
I am no longer searching for you
in other people
and that is something.
What remains of us;
a worn-out pair of shoes,
a few drops of perfume,
and something that could pass for kindness.