Good Openings #5

Priya pretended to inhale the smoke and blew on her father’s face. At that moment he decided what he will do with her. Now, twenty-five years later, sitting in the 2:15pm train to Pune on a summer day, she looked...

Good Openings #4

Two days before she hung herself in the college dorm room, Dori visited her mother’s grave.  At the graveyard she stood near the tree, watching the headstone from a distance. She stood there for two hours...

Good Openings #3

For anyone to be honored with the task of caring of the flock, you would have to distinguish war from music, love from jealousy, and details from prayers. Pastor John possessed none of these qualities. An occasional...

Good Openings #2

“Can we go out the backway?” That’s how it started. This time the boy knew, from instinct and from habit, his father’s next move. But the first time? The first time it happened, the boy...

Good Openings #1

She was in such a state of agitation. She read the letter a hundredth time, her eyes glued to that one paragraph.  “What possessed him to ask me for a thing like that? ” she muttered while reading and re...

Women in My Poems

Come in, come in,
Look down into the abyss of my inkwell
See for yourself what you did

Her Legend

A few of us came into this world
Ate, judged others, acquired indifference

Remembering My Death

Early morning, rain lashing at the window. A body sleeping on the bed. A dream entered that body. An old woman in the dream.

Homework

October already
I wish I could see you
So that you will see
That I am not this dramatic

Fragment of an End

Sunday afternoon I am quiet, with aspiration. I haven’t spoken for nearly forty hours. Through the glass windows, I hear the top of the trees rustling. I think the leaves are getting ready to mourn me. Soon the...

All Legs, Still in Her Black Audi

There she is again, walking by, Head buried in her phone. All legs. I tried to forget them, And instead to think of her face, And of her thoughts, Of her nature, of her interests, her likes, Her dislikes, and of all the...

Reshma and Taipei

Why can't this beautiful girl be reason enough for me to live...?

Like Well-cooked Mushrooms

Then we drenched in rain. Then I said good bye. Then I drenched even more. Walking in Beijing never felt more earthy.

To: SHA

Heavy heart. Price one pays for not having two bodies.

Tehachapi Pass Blues

I unpack my bags
Clean my dishes, wash my clothes
And write poetry
Pedantic as me,
Not fantastic as you

Dear India, Dear Friend

How sweet it is, to feel your love
In your patronizing wishes
To find me a purpose
In your all-knowing maharshi

At the Speed of Dwarak

Thus I crawl from one doorstep to another.
Waiting for the Death,
Hoping it will show up when I sleep.

Prison Break

So with lowered head,
I give to you,
My last missive:
The best that I wish for you and me,
Is to be a stranger to one another.

B, Imagining You With Your B.

He asks me, "Do you remember?"
"The Peet's Coffee place?"
"The bell we heard at the train tracks?"
Almost reaching to hold my hand

My Jalapeno

Now it feels the mist is clear
And you, who were in my arms...

When you are upset

See see see, I am here, right here you see First you turned me on Turned me like a marble From words of garble Round and round In your fingers Round and round In your head Only a first draft You said, Wait till the...

Amma, You and Us

The day after Amma left. Sometime past midnight. Knowing that in the morning we are to carry her away. Did I write this then, or a few days after, I can’t say. It seemed a whole world kept washing away in my...

Talking self (that keeps talking)

When you can’t get even a measly word of reply out of her, no matter how you try, keep this in mind. REASON: When you hear the morning sparrow chirp, Remember it is she, making vows never to talk to you. LONGING:...

Our six year-old

“Did you notice?” You said once. “How I don’t address you by name?” “Did you wonder why?” Then we smiled At each other … We then leaned Toward each other “Did you...

Why?

You said it’s a miracle we met. I said I felt the same way. I said I was looking for you. I said I want to be your friend. Then there was a crash and a burn. I am still looking for reasons. Still counting the...

To B: When you go home

It is four in the morning. Endless hours of flying, Brought me from sunshine to sunshine. Brain on autopilot. Disconnected. Still. Experiencing, The newness of the old. Opened the door. House woke up to the sound, As if...

She starts with S

HE: I am logging off, Signing off, Booting off, Turning off, Starting off, Going off, And zooming off… All these offs Just to land in your heart…sigh! SHE: You, my friend, Need to listen to my advice And get...

Are you happy now?

We were blind once. We didn’t speak once. We didn’t know once. Then. Then…? We spoke a lot, First to ourselves, Saying “Is this real?” Then to each other, In whispers. I said I am nothing...

A Better Day

On a bright day like this
With your warm smile like today’s
I saw you walk by my eyes
Stranger in me
Feeling home
Less of me
Feeling more
One of me
Feeling for
One of you

My Hum for Your Bee

Sunday morning. A vague sense of myself, And a clear vision of you. You in the kitchen, I on the speakerphone. One image. One view. Your face, your private smile. One feeling. One longing. For that you I first saw. And...

Broken begins with a B

Suddenly awake, head flooded with A painful “thud” that made me cringe in pain. Stupid alarm radio. Always does that. It began its song already, ignoring me. Sleep. It never comes to me free of images. Now...

Wish I were your Talat Mahmood

“So, have you called that someone yet?” You asked, dressing me down Hiding your laughter Amma, this is for you I listen to this song, Remembering your laughter Remembering how your body shook As you stood...

Macrolove – N

First cold hands, then warm you Soon sheets of macrolove Enveloped me and you Like a front that’s come in “You silly,” you said “It doesn’t die,” you said And now, fat raindrops Fall...

Lifecycle on Slack, Across the Timezones

A: So, tell me. B: It goes like this. See, see, see? The green light came on The “Active” light came on My gypsy came on Rational doesn’t know she is cross with me Reason doesn’t know she is fed...

Gypsy Magic

“I have a new shirt,” said the gypsy. She drew me closer, within reach of her pair of sure hands “White with Green accents in the collar and cuffs,” she smiled. I saw only her neck, her ear and...

How do I know I love her

Saw her today climb into a car, someone else’s
May such moments of pain bring me
A clearer understanding
Bequeath her the rest of my years
Unlived, untainted, closer to God
This is how I know I love her.

Weight Off My Heart

For tomorrow I must lose this weight off my heart Pry it out of your vise grip of silence Somebody holds the key to this living, and its not me When nanna died, I cried at the mere sight of the birds When amma died, I...

In This Thrall of Attachment

Unforgiving, this attachment to you is. My heart believes it is a place without lies. And calls out for your heart, thinking foolishly, prematurely, and without any proof that some look, some smile, some touch from you...