a thousand different skies

Almost a billion pupils,

flickering like a faulty switch,

looked up,

And collided with the vast vastness.

 

The doctor saw cotton,

large ,clean, unused cotton swabs,

strewn across an azure floor.

 

The student decided it was like the swirling sea was lit up,

from a curved orange point,

Like the  hurricane lamp she used at night.

It sent dissipating ripples of lavender, navy, sea-green to far off places.

Like sentries,

to study the earth as she studied her books.

 

The soldier, as he lay dying,

thought it seemed like varying degrees of an untreated bruise.

With a concentrated yellow pus,

draining away into the horizon.

 

The artist could barely trace the bleary outline,

on the sheer minimalist painting.

A calming mix of dreamy blues and milky whites.

And when the rain threatened,

it seemed an eternal child up above,

had been commissioned,

to color into the whites carefully,

an angry grey.

 

The villager was certain it was a death,

Perhaps, a personage of sorts,

A politician or a businessman.

For he was domiciled in smoke,

Properly enclosed by the formless ceiling,

surely sent by funereal embers.

If not here,

somewhere.

 

 

 Photo by Donald Tong

like a seahorse

I want to wake to a blue morning, like a seahorse.

And sit at my vanity of coral,

Before my watery mirror, and do my make-up.

I want to slip on my pearl studs, the ones I keep under the seabed.

I want to apply my sandy foundation,

To match my look with the beach’s face,

for when we’ll kiss at the shoreline.

After the high-tide has escorted me to her.

I want to use sponges on my scaly skin and even out my complexion.

I want to tame the waves in my hair by letting the teeth of cowries bite into it,

pinning it.

I want to wear my seashell brassiere and jellyfish skirt,

And twirl in my ballooning outfit.

Showing off my pectoral muscles that will look even better,

Because I am holding my breath.

I just want to wake to a blue morning, like a seahorse.

 

 

 

 

Slaughtered.

The Christmas I turned 12, my uncles slaughtered a cow,

At the back of the house, where I was not allowed to go.

I peered through a nook in the kitchen, and through one eye watched fixedly,

unblinkingly.

I morbidly wanted to touch the squirted blood, to feel its pulse.

I was not allowed any closer.

Because women are afraid of blood and pain.

My younger brother was there.

You need to understand the butcher’s role when the time comes.

He shuddered, frightened by the dying beast.

Writhing in agony,

Exhaling life, Inhaling death.

I watched intently, unflinchingly.

Entranced by the rapidity and violence of death.

But it was only till i went to the toilet that I realized why.

I too was being slaughtered

tell me again…

Goodbye,
Salud,
See you later,
Ciao,
Au revoir,
Aaya,
Inshallah.
That is how we say goodbye,
bid each other on hopes that we’ll meet again,
see ourselves again.
So as i stand here,
on the precipice of the tower,
the cusp of the bridge,
at the foot of my bed.
Tell me again how to say goodbye,
how to bid the moon on its way,
how to hope i’ll see the sun again later,
how to wish the waves safe travels,
Tell me again how to say,
Goodbye,
Salud,
See you later,
Ciao,
Au revoir,
Aaya,
Inshallah.
Show me again and i will,
fare you thee well,
dear reflection.

fire & smoke

She was the fire in my chest,
the volcano in thine breast.
Albeit my ice heart,
she burned bright and she burned blue.
She made my glacier part,
And my soul flew.

Mine own lungs’ oxygen kindled her,
as well as the brazier she lodged in my ribs.
Now she burns no more,
She left my core sore.
All that’s left is to vomit ash.

Sometimes at dawn if I am lucky,
I find my soul’s dew,
ruined waters of my spirit.
Even rarer i find a heavy fog,
or a light mist.
As though she burnt bright,
Even if only for a night.
On those days i am a kite.

And she is both the fire and the smoke,
devouring me, lifting me or choking me.

by another name

Hell isn’t at all what I thought,
There is no fire,
And my bed isn’t a pyre.
Not even the slightest ash.
The air is clean,
skies so blue.
Glitter grows on trees,
Money glimmering in the seas.
A heaven without you.
It is a place where even the idea of you,
Could never be.
A hellish heaven so to say,
But some have gone so far as to stay.
I dare say,
Hell is hell even without the flame,
Heaven sans you is hell,
Hell by another name.

birth

I see fire,
A swollen belly filled with flame,
a burning tree inside,
a volcano lined with red,
it will spew to fill the chasm,
where a chunk of crown awaits it,
the fire comes tonight.
We shall bathe in its light,
our charred hearts shall rejoice,
with the blue kiss.