Absence

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Unfinished Poems

1

A child was born with death, a poppy birthmark
tattooed cutely on its tender skin adding art to flesh.

Pulling long carrot roots from the soft mulch
one weary evening, the boy saw sleepy time,
inveterate as an old hoary smoker, drowse across the valley
like a lucent birthmark floating free of skin.

2

What’s the body to the earth?
It reaches for and slips down to the floor
when breath begins migrating
and the blood slows down to a thick stop.

The accordion, singing voices, loud laughters and cries
and brisk and elaborate movements of dance
have made it a warm winter in the suburb pub.
The cold of the floor creeps up his cheeks
in exchange for the warm flow from
the cooling hole in his heart—
he is drowning in his own life.
A dancing girl takes a break, sits down
at a stool by the counter and tosses a swig
of red-blood hot life into her life-sucker.
Crimson seeps through the cotton clouds
slowly revealing the sky bleeds—
crimson drops trickling down the cold earth.

3

Death is quite different when you’ve survived
Several suicides and several other deaths—
Death is so useless; life—you’ve nowhere to go!

I died there in that city, in that small, dark, boring room
In those monotonous restaurants
Those parks, those benches, those thorns
Those hospital beds, corridors and clinic rooms
Those same boring streets, same boring traffic
Day in, day out. Year in, year out!
I lived there, across the city, digging a grave across it
I died there, across that city, in that grave
Buried my dead body there, in that grave, across that city
With the body of my dead love—
Love, nowhere to live, nowhere to die.

A piece of me still moving—a sure sign of life,
Like a dead actor in an olden movie.
Something doesn’t quite let it alone—life, death,
And I love it and I hate it—it just confuses me.
No name! My heart just pumps it, and it flows
Through my veins and capillaries all over my body!

Quiet like a dark mountain at night.

Used Boots and Crumbs of Memories

He sleeps like a man dead with his eyes half open
Who does not seem dead on a baroque couch.
What he has seen, a lot–accreted on those eyes
Like a civilization–don’t let the snow-laden eyelids close fully.
A headful of life to sleep away, and a few crumbs
Of new memories to pick up from under life’s table,
Under meaty munches and hearty laughs
Among fidgetting fashion boots and colorful stilettoes.

When you’re broken and can’t fix it at all
You want to throw away life like used boots.
But you ain’t that hard, are you? Your life becomes
A town you built, brick by brick, one after another,
A town you hate now, but one you can’t ever leave.