Friday, April 18, 2014

We Once Strangled Words

I remember a boy,
Afraid of shadows,
Tucked in my sari,
Sleeping to my lullabies.

I remember a boy,
Who deemed roti worthy,
To be eaten only if,
Fed by my fingers.

I remember a boy,
Holding the hand of a girl.

I remember a man,
Guiding me across the,
Threshold strewn with,
Flowers that would wilt.

I remember a man,
Who slept with a bottle,
That kidnapped the man,
Who’d once smiled shyly.

I remember a man,
Sneering at the crumpled,
Notes I had hidden,
And the welts I caressed.

I remember them,
The man and the boy,
Trading looks of scorn,
At the shiny TV girls.

I remember them,
The boy and the man,
Shouting at me, shouting at me,
But I’d stopped listening.

I remember them,
Veiling their surprise,
Behind pitiful faces,
On the other side of the car window.

We remember the stories,
Sung by wrinkled lips,
Hidden under whiskers,
That doomed us to cages.

We remember the smiles,
On the faces of the demons,
As they stole our dreams,
And replaced them with screams.

We remember the words,
That we once strangled,
But when they fought back,
We let them breathe.

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