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Winter is coming

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It always feels strange when October comes.
I sometimes sit observing the fireflies trapped
in the ritual of light, their wings vacillating like
drowned speech before an abrupt ending. I try
to shield meaning from the silences that greet me
with sharp derision. Outside a thin girl pretends
to feed her neighbour’s cat, stealing casual glances
at my bedroom window. Like a strained afterthought,
her subversion crafts an island in the air
amidst the Hindustani classical that wades in with the
shrill whistle of the pressure-cooker from the kitchen.
Mother walks in, the wholeness of her face buried
within the trace of a batik shawl, closes the window
with allegorical sweetness and says,
“Winter is coming.”

 

Leaving

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Tonight I leave behind a silent city
whose memories run like blood in my bones.
Abandoned faces will never ask questions,
only the quiet remains of the night receded like laughter
when you let a lonely caress run through my fingers.
Like a trapeze artist, I always had an awareness of falling,
fearing the dilemma of choice.
I pretended to be not paying attention when
you talked about love in the most roundabout way.
What can I leave you with but the anxious strain
of denial without justification, a few unfinished
poems, and the uncertain mist of soft October nights?
There will be no goodbyes,
affection did not come easy to you and
formalities were never my choice.

 

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