Dirty

We both sweat
like weeping candles
lit and left forgotten for hours

Our flames burn high and bright
our pores sob
in the strange tongue of desire that our mouths are too busy to speak

“You’re so dirty,” he says
his breath hot and wet at the back of my neck
his palms rough and greedy at the curve of my hip

His words drift in the thick air around us
hovering
until they reach me

I hear his voice
it echoes in the movement of my blood
settles in my bones

I want to scream

I loved him with everything I knew and everything I didn’t
love leaked out of my pores
and onto the clothes I would soon shed for him.

Because I wanted him close
close enough to feel it cracking my bones and shattering the paradigm of my thoughts cataclysmically
the way it always did

But there he stood
embracing me
while he made love to a notion fed to him by an ecclesiastical spoon known for ladling deceit

Take me from behind
take me in the earth
WHY TAKE ME AT ALL
if I’m dirty?

I loved him with abandon
almost to a fault
so despite myself
I let him paint on me his filth
make me dirty

[Featured image via: Cesar Biojo]

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Tea

Thunderstorms, he said,
should be endured at home,
with a cup of tea.

Perhaps a crisp chamomile,
or a cool mint,
or an arduous green.

He smoothed his tie,
the shade of passing autumn,
as he said this.

His breath heavy with decay,
the decay of marrow and being,
his words hot and hovering, like steam.

I brewed several,
teas strong and muddy and sweet,
poured into little cups of ivory.

When they cracked,
the tea would bleed,
like the spill of desperate words on a parchment.

The scent assailing, unforgiving, and penetrating,
mixing with his breath on my skin,
punishing me.

I watched the benign liquid shapes,
as they imploded against the window,
trying to reach their kin leaking slowly down my broken cheek.

Thunderstorms, he said,
should be endured at home,
with a cup of tea.

Surfer Rosa Lover

Her sunglasses were heart-shaped and she had a heart-shaped tattoo. She often used it as a tool, an incentive for those she coveted. Not that they needed an incentive of any sort.

She was lovely. In every way fathomable. My opinion may be biased because I coveted her so. Hot, bothered and heavy with anxiety every time the lace trim of her sleeve teased my elbow.

‘What are you talking about?’ She envelopes her tongue around the piece of gum she placed on the edge of her mouth, making the mundane, meaningless, malarkey gesture seem charming. ‘Broken Face? And need I even mention Where Is My Mind? You on dope, boy? Surfer Rosa is a brilliant embodiment of the deteriorating, hedonistic society we love and hate.’

I loved this. Sometimes I think I contradicted her only to listen to her garrulousness. And garrulousness it was, I knew so even then. It wasn’t the bone-crushing, breath-stealing, brittle and blood-soaked love I much later experienced. It was an all-consuming want. It was an affliction. I knew this.

But I also knew the shape of the side of her waist where her heart-shaped tattoo played hide and seek. The hitch in her breath every now and then, the curling of hair at the back of her neck, the bead of sweat between her breasts. I knew this.

And, unabashed, unrepentant and left with unobscured memories of her breath on my lips, head on my chest, words in head, I knew that some day today, I’d call her with a payphone at the end of the street and we’d collide on the sheets like the first night we did.

She’d know I wouldn’t love her the way I loved my bone-crushing, breath-stealing, brittle and blood-soaked love and in my selfish, sun-soaked, sublime want I’d call her my lover’s name.

So, you see, it really didn’t matter whether she thought Surfer Rosa was a brilliant embodiment of the deteriorating, hedonistic society we love and hate, it didn’t matter if I knew her name, it didn’t matter if she was lovely, it didn’t matter if her sunglasses were heart-shaped and she had a heart-shaped tattoo. It didn’t matter that I was her bone-crushing, breath-stealing, brittle and blood-soaked love.

The Antiquity Of A Simple Homage

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Plunge, scrub and drizzle.
Plunge, scrub and drizzle.

She thought about how brazen The Grey made her feel. Maybe it was the color it washed over everything, making the simple chicken slaughter stall seem enigmatic and foreboding and the hushed strokes of the sweepers on the street almost poetic and melancholy.

Or perhaps it was the wash itself. A great torrent of despair and dissolved tears.

But it did bring relief. It blessed her with this puddle she now used to wash her needs.

Plunge, scrub and drizzle.
Plunge, scrub and drizzle.

She looked up at the sky and it struck her again, the dreadful beauty of it. All of it. The Grey made people dull and grey and lazy. It was wonderful. It was The Grey that made her believe that anything ever existed that was larger than the life they all craved to relentlessly better here.

She wished she could marvel about it, sing songs and serve its mighty splendour – somehow. Aayi wouldn’t have to threaten to chop her hair off then, if she didn’t work, because she would. She’d do it with joy and hopefully some grace.

But people here didn’t appreciate  soliloquy. Or anything for that matter. You needn’t speak unless it was to provide or profane.

She would wish herself out of here if she didn’t fear everywhere had become like here. The Carfolk and the pedestrians alike. They never stopped to soliloquise, they never marveled. They badgered and grunted and shuddered and scolded and complained.

And oftimes, they never stopped at all.

Plunge, scrub and drizzle.
Plunge, scrub and drizzle.

Aayi told her the Oldfolk would marvel. They were like people made of The Grey, in their grey-cast photographs and monochrome personalities. They marveled and lazed and contemplated.

She didn’t like that it was old and uninteresting and unconsidered to want to dedicate a part of an hour, a day and yourself to pay homage to the beautiful and magestic and something so so big as The Grey.

She wished the time would come again.

To Lolita – That Thing We Call Lonliness

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Dear Lolita,

You’re the very personification of quintessential naivety. Right?

We see a girl who was led astray, abused, broken and put back together so hastily that it left many cracks, scars, if you will.

The slippery substance that makes up our souls seeping out of the cracks faster than sand through fingers in a hot summer breeze.

Leaving behind blind nothings and empty beliefs. Isn’t that what we call loneliness?

That burning of ribs that cage decaying feces? The black hole that sucks the life out of our pupils, reflecting in them like a warning sign: DON’T COME NEAR ME.

So this is what I mean. I think, know and believe. I say you were naive, Lolita. You were scared, broken, naïve. And lonely.

We’re like two planets orbiting around each other. Breathing the same non-air, looking into each other’s eyes, we never meet.

But,
Do know.
You’re not alone in your loneliness. Such is our poignant serendipity.

So let’s be lonely together, shall we?

Love and virtual company,
Anupama

Congruency

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‘Walk a straight line to me.’ She said. Yeah, okay. I agreed. A post box might stub my toes or a streetlight split my soul. But say the word, and I’ll walk a straight line right to the shore.

The water washing over my feet the way fear ripples over grief.

‘You see that light at the end? I do too. What are the chances?’ She dances.

We don’t speak after that. I don’t ask her what’s on her mind. She doesn’t ask, ‘Where is your mind?’

I tend to stray, don’t I? Do you mind?

We don’t speak. Together we breathe. Like ghosts, whispers of a symphony.

Until she looks up at me. ‘We won’t speak of love or of lost forevers. Because we don’t do that. You and me,  we are congruent beings. We don’t believe, we make believe.

‘So I’ll say this. Say it like it is. To your eyes and those wrinkles on your forehead you despise. I see you. And I’m grateful you see me.’

And then we melt into the ground like wet sand. We don’t speak. Together, we breathe. Like ghosts, whispers of something extraordinary.

To Murakami – Kafka Belongs To Me

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Hey,

I want to speak to you like a friend. I’m nefarious enough to take that liberty. Callous enough to use words like I do my own fingers. Naïve enough to trust myself with ideas I believe I comprehend.

Dear Mr. Murakami,

Your words belong to me.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not stupid or trying to act stupidly smart to garner any form of attention.

In the crude expanse of lonely minds turning to books for comfort, words for escape, yours enveloped me like the warmest touch. Seriously, I was so lost I wanted to cry. That’s how I knew your words had branded me as theirs. Pouring into my own bloodstream, orchestrating the very pounding of my heart.

And in return, I embraced your words as mine. Breathing them in greedily. “Like a wanton crack whore.” (Is it narcissistic to quote myself?)

When I read Kafka On The Shore, I made it my own. As every now then, a simple sentence reached out and grazed my ribcage, I left that sensation between the pages like a mundane but essential bookmark.

I can’t even begin to gauge how it must feel to be the inadvertent puppeteer of so many minds, emotions, skipped-heartbeats. I hope it feels incredible. Because your words definitely make me feel incredible.

I hope every happy feeling connects back to you the way your words connect to us. Like an elaborate labyrinth of energies.A gargantuan web of sensations. One that beats loneliness.

Maybe it exists, and that’s why books give us comfort, and words escape.

Yours truly,
Anupama

Listen

‘Listen.’

I tuck in my chin. I sit in sin. Gliding though the crowd, warmed by the scarlet on my cheek. Walking on the bad roads, they look like hastily stitched up skin.

I look at my friend. The unforgiving minx. Past, they call her. I call her a fucking inconvenience.

Why? I ask. Why did I break? Others bend under rejection, I break.
‘Break?’ Yes, break. ‘Oh, give me a break.’

Why is he here now? What’s left to hear now? No, not hear, listen. Here and now.

There’s noise everywhere I can’t even hear the sound of my feet in my worn out black flats.

How will they know if I’m stomping away or shuffling to safety?

I wallow in sin, stomping and shuffling in the noisy bay. And then I hear him. Hear him take a breath as the air around him wavers and he says again.

‘Listen.’

So I do. Of course I do. I listen.

To Marilyn Monroe – Girl

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Dear Marilyn,

The camera does strange things to you. Makes your lips quiver and your eyes twitch.

By you I mean me.

I work in a place where they need actors for free sometimes, even actors that aren’t actors will do. They dress me up like a girl, do up my hair, decorate my skin with peach paste and flair.

I don’t mind really. I don’t enjoy it either. But later when I look back, the nothingness I feel will be etched with fondness brought by nostalgia, fondness there never was to begin with.

Sorry, I tend to stray from the point. Point being, let’s return to the point of retreat.

For a moment there, a moment held in time, clasped in its palm like a miniscule gem, I was a girl. A girl as we know girls to be.

Pretty, thoughtless, sharp and melancholy.

A girl like you. A girl unlike me.

Time made a girl out of you too. Changed your name, the fibres of your dress, the pores in your skin. The quintessence of your memory.

Were you a girl then, Marilyn?

A female, a princess, a maiden, a fucking damsel in distress?

Pretty, thoughtless, sharp and melancholy.

Here we stop, because here we get to the point. Here we zip-lock our premeditations and wayward emotions. Here we rephrase.

Girl is a mountain, a giant.

She is invincible.

Pretty, thoughtless, sharp and melancholy.

Bold, broken, reckless and spectacular.

That’s the girl we are, aren’t we? That’s the girl we see.

I’m not sexist/feminist/anarchist or anything fancy like that.
I’m a Girl.

A girl who is confused, bewildered, contradicted and exhausted by everything having to be labelled and put up on the metaphorical bulletin board. I DON’T WANT TO BE pretty, thoughtless, sharp and melancholy.

What if I want to be the nothingness I feel? What if I want to exist metaphysically? This time, not metaphorically.

I’m tired of defining every little thing. ESPECIALLY. Especially, the girl I want to be.

Aren’t you?

That’s all.

Love,
Girl

Magic

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Let me set the scene:

It’s loud. Loud enough that you can’t hear the clinking of ice cubes as they’re plunk plunk plunked into the glasses, bathing in the whiskey/vodka/vodka and cranberry.

And it’s crowded. Crowded enough to feel like your thoughts are being interrupted by another’s, the traffic of drunken/rushed/excited thoughts is as thick as the impenetrable queue at the bar.

There is chalk on the table. On every table. They must doodle with it during afternoon brunches, with the summer air and the corny flair of sundresses. They sit ignored now, the pieces of chalk, some are stepped upon, like discarded cigarette butts.

But,

I see them. I see some things, not everything, some things that I bet you don’t.

I say some things, that you bet I should not.

And I listen. I listen to the tap tap of your foot, the squeak of the chalk against the wood, the words that float in and out of your head– unsaid and misunderstood.

I’m a girl. Just one girl. I don’t want to wind you up and bring you down and turn your head around. I’m not that song, the song with those words.

I’m your reflection. I make you smile and make you want to be good.

There are creases on the cuffs of your shirt and chalk dust on your fingers as I take them in my hand.

The noise goes away. The chalks, the voices, the plunk plunk plunk of ice cubes into the glasses, bathing in whiskey/vodka/vodka and cranberry.

 

I smile. Smile in a way, in a voice I know you hear:

‘You say chemistry, I say magic.
Let’s not allow semantics to destroy this moment.’