‘Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains.’ (Jean-Jacques Rousseau)

Daylight leaks in through the door-gaps,
And from my secret cell I spy
The world without—

On a weatherbeaten park bench
A tangle: her slender hand on his hips,
His careful grasp gently clasps
The slope of her petite shoulders
Holding her like the roses
On a wedding bouquet.

Two bodies drawn together
Lock and key—they let no light through
Unlike these confounding cracks:
Faultlines sprawling unseen
A fractured
Labyrinthine self.

Sometimes behind these whitewashed walls,
I knock, but there is no answer.
In this unvisited room, the pictures hang
Unframed, unhinged. Faces of
Unsung first loves, tentative glances:
Yes, no, if, maybe. On these walls love itself
Becomes hypothesis.

When they do fling open these doors and peer in
Searchingly, looking for something they say I have
Lost—they find nothing, just as they should.
The light that floods in drowns me

It is nearly night now, and I am finally
Faultless again.

Sorrow’s (In)voice

There is a certain sense of sorrow

That takes you away.
It is not like carrying a basket of fruits
From grocery aisles to waiting cashiers
Where dues are paid to the
Ka-ching of cash registers,
Then the burden of owing is
Nor is it like how something
Takes your breath away and
Rollercoaster adrenaline fills those
Gasping spaces.
It is a sort of wearing thin—
An erosion: The salted sea-sickle
In its unyielding harvest ritual
Cleaves the shore,
And returns carrying
The loose grain
To leave the banks
A few sands