Waking up at unholy hours

3 AM. A jolt from a weird dream
that I couldn’t even remember.
Instead, I am reminded of
messages- morsels of myself-
waiting to be returned
to my inbox.
Today’s just Sunday.

Yet my body is more impatient,
than how it usually is during a regular work week.
This is not the first time i woke up
at such unholy hours,
disregarding the laws of biology
manufactured by xanax.
I should have been sleeping
uninterrupted.

4 AM. My friend stirs beside me,
her soft body, a driftwood i cling onto
in these moments when my mind
resigns itself to a hurricane.
Her breath becomes a metronome
as I try to lull myself back between
fragments of memories and dreams:

When i asked my mom what love is,
she told me it was divine intervention.
Like Mary hearing about the future
from a cosmic force
she couldn’t really say no to.
Were you overjoyed? I asked.
She shook her head, and told me no.
Loving your father took a lot of time.
But it paid well in the end.
You just have to hold on
to the word promised to you.

5 AM. My friend shifts into another dream,
Her sleep talk both precious and incomprehensible.
I realized how frightening words are-
They are meaningful and empty.
A tangible collateral that can mean nothing.

My father once told me that the fear
of my mother’s absence
prompted him to fulfill his vows.
Love, he said, is when you realized
you have lost someone
and you couldn’t be the same again
until that person comes back.
When the side of your bed becomes
a vast desert,
you begin searching for water.

All this tossing and turning has made me thirsty.

6 AM. Maybe it was just a mirage,
but I certainly heard the church choir
as the town begins the day
with its series of masses.
I uttered a short prayer
before checking my feed for signs.
A short drizzle starts pattering on the rooftop,
but I didn’t mind.

It was time to sleep, my body says.
Go. Return to the world you are deprived of.
Today’s just Sunday.
No one gives a damn

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Bodies

You told me that this house is too small for us to live in. So I built us
a mansion: this funhouse of mirrors.
Now we live on opposite ends of this vast space, comfortable at the edges of our own loneliness,
merely acknowledging the presence of the other
as a next door neighbour
when there are thousands of uninhabited rooms between us,
waiting to be opened,
broken down and passed through.

I long to breach the distance that traps us in an endless hallway of what-ifs–
possibilities that could have materialised
should one of us break this truce
and step on the shards of existences we have shed behind.

I have left a number of broken beer bottles
at my passing. They carelessly scar on
the thin carpet of my skin, warning you
of every landmine I have set up at my defense.
I don’t know how to undo them
so I just pretend they never happened
but from here, I can still hear the sound of the ocean in your room,
the rattle of prayer beads that barbed your front door–
your lifesaver
from the continuous cry of the phone receiver
you left hanging in god knows where.
I know you are still there- breathing
sometimes floating, sometimes drowning
like I do here at the other side-

Oh how we have baptized ourselves over and under
in salt or in liquor
waiting for the sweetness to come
maybe in some guise of an intruder
who’s insane enough to ignore
all the caution tape we have weaved on our fences.
-I guess we are both insane to still believe onto each other
so we wait for one of us to come willing
to lose her place in the process of finding.
It has become quite a game
we are both patient enough to play.

Maybe on particularly good days
when we are almost sober to feel
the dust on our fingertips, we would be able
to grasp the door handles and turn open
each other’s knobs.
Discovering that we are just in adjacent rooms
with a secret door in between.

When that time comes, I will greet you
with a kiss of thousand words unsaid.
Years of longing and loneliness
cleansed away by this very second.
Tears on our cheeks,
hands in your hair, lips on my ear,
flesh pressing on flesh,
nails scraping skin,
mouth drinking from the wells of another–
We will make mad love to each other
tearing these rooms, screaming
through these swelling walls that made us apart.

Until then, this house becomes intact.
A shell for the winter that brews from within.
A body of fragmented personas

Shamhat

From the beginning of time, the goddess reveals herself

through this earth. She comes and strips naked

before the eyes of those she has chosen. She purses her lips,

invites spectators to kiss. Their own fate

she unravels with her skilful tongue:

a tale of eternal sojourns.
 

This you must know, pilgrim.

There is no quench to your needs,

simply an acknowledgement of it.

Coming to this temple is not the end to your wanderings.

Merely a beginning of infinite pathways

Unfolded through my body

Welcome, touch.

But you must not make a home here.
 

Instead, I invite you to walk.

Tread with your arms, wrestle with your legs.

Plow, cultivate vegetation into this flesh

trying to swallow you whole

panting, stretching, growling
 

And when your back has already been clawed raw,

when you have devoured every fruit that grows,

when you have drunk water from every crevice,

when you have released your last seed into this ground,

cast your eyes at the expanse-

at awe in all things around you.

This land renews itself. Opens pathways

for her new stranger.
 

Let everything behind and before you

pass your view. Go.

Reasons Why I Should Quit Coffee

  1. The moment I started smelling roasted Arabica beans from your hands, I knew I should have quit. It seeps through your skin and inevitably to mine whenever you run your fingers through my hair. I spend countless sleepless nights in my bedroom, inhaling that intoxicating scent of coffee from my pillow. All I could think about are your hands.

  2. Followed that burning smell as if I’m a lost child walking into a caramel house. But I’m not lost, I told myself. I know where I’m going. I know what I want, and I shall have it.

  3. I made you make me a latte. Extra milk, nonfat. All I want is that extra foam on top, but not the extra baggage.

  4. My mouth still burns whenever I taste that Double-shot Americano you had from your tongue. We could all benefit from putting in a bit of milk and sugar, but you prefer yours black and watered. I couldn’t reconcile how a calm, easy-going person such as you would want something that’s devoid of any sweetness at all. Nevertheless, my taste buds still entertained the irony.

  5. I started ordering your brew whenever you are not around. Just to see how far I can go with that strange preference of yours.

  6. After finishing 2 cups, I realize what made you crazy over it. I still don’t know if I’m crazy over it as well.

  7. Indecisiveness is ordering the same damn drink over and over again because I’m afraid that I wouldn’t get my money’s worth from the other blends. Maybe if I order it continuously, I’d get tired of its taste and switch to another – just as I got tired with my extra milk latte.

  8. Indecisiveness is standing in line for the shop to open, just to mull whether I really like my coffee black.

  9. Indecisiveness is watching you do other people’s coffee, but not saying that what I really want is for you to be here sitting across me. Meanwhile, black coffee swirls in my tongue, and I am itching to tell you what made you like it. I am itching to tell you what made me like it.

  10. I am drinking my nth cup as I watch you fix macchiatos for these group of girls. Your hands stain those pristine white cups from the leftover shots of espresso that you’ve added. I guess, I wouldn’t be sitting here alone- they’d be sharing my space. After all, you wouldn’t want anything else in your coffee. And I don’t think I want any other as well.