The Old And The Wristless

Cutting, painful? Only for the tentative millisecond when the razor befriends the epidermis. Much like dipping one’s toes into a hot bath (much like sex) — once the warmth of the flowing river engulfs your naked flesh, you feel a tingling of bliss, followed by a wave of nothingness.

We are born immersed in blood, so is it not natural that our comfort lies in soaking it up, like the smell of naphthalene on an old comforter?

Cutting, birthing, getting high on naphthalene…such is the privilege of youth. The rest of us on the precipice of senility, rub cocoa butter on the zigzags of yesterday and do the most dastardly acts of all — we live.

Swim Lessons

Standing on the confluence of bravery and cowardice, I remind myself to breathe before the inevitable current drags me to my next demise.

You thought I’d be a better swimmer by now. You thought I’d doggy-crawl my way to the shore.

You should’ve known better than to expect anything but disappointment from me. And if I meet that expectation, I have failed to disappoint you. Either way, the cat dies.

A Place On Earth

This place I call home is paradise city, muse of impressionists, and darling of honeymooners. I know now the irrelevance of Heaven.

For as much as I long for my every breath to cease, I yearn not to return to this heaven.

A mirror of lake is disturbed by the swan that lets out a fart in A minor. Tchaikovsky giggles in his grave. 

Histamines battle to capture my breath. If only wars were so easy.



Of Upma and Matzah



The words had spilled out too quickly. Like roasted semolina dumped into a boiling pot, they had morphed into a sticky, glutinous mess. Ok fine, let us divorce.

Sandhya didn’t really mean to say those words. Not out loud anyway. Or did she? It was the asphyxiation of decision, not very different from staring at the noise on a restaurant menu. Ok fine, I’ll have the pink lemonade.

The momentary relief as the noose loosened was followed by a familiar nausea of regret and dread.

Can we not go back?
Can we not
Go back
To snuggling
Under separate blankets
Where our bodies cannot remember
Who we used to be?

Can we not
Go back
To gazing
Into our cellphones
Where our eyes cannot converse
Louder than our yelling?

Can we not
Go back
To bickering
Over salt
And pretend
That tempering
Is the only thing


title credit

My Pot Of Gold


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Mama, I remember
Your favorite part
Of the day.


It’s when the sky changes
Purple, Orange, Pink —
All sorts of colors.

Abuse is not always
Black and Blue
To be sure
It turns
Burgundy to Rust
And Yellowish-Greens
And sometimes it’s just
A heavy Gray
But mostly
It is
Like ghosts.

Mama, you remember
Your favorite day
As a child?

No. What is


Really. Why?

Because you did not
Shout. My favorite
Days are when
(( shouts ))
At me.

How do you believe
The sun will rise
Tomorrow my child
You are almost
{ S e v e n }
Like rainbows.

Surface Tension


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I notice it while applying a fresh coat of self-pity seated in the corner by the bathtub. The viscosity filling my eyes lends a Monetesque quality to the tiles, but the formation is unmistakable. Yes. A puddle of pee collecting beneath the toilet bowl in a spherical configuration reminiscent of physics lessons on surface tension. It is amazing what prolonged inhalation of commercial cleaning supplies can do to eliminate tension.

“How do you wipe the evolutionary remnants of savage that are embedded so deeply within these creatures?”, I wonder, as I prop said specimens in front of a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles playlist. No, I am not staging irony by attempting to correct violent behavior while subjecting them to violent media. That laugh is for another day. But I may have just mentioned violence.

Are pee trickles on toilet seats, dirty socks under coffee tables and half-eaten plates drying on tables artifacts of violence? Or subjective interior design choices? It is violence if I choose to play victim, but how far is the stick up my arse before I make that choice? Have not they who know it all, from The Beatles whispering Let It Be to Elsa yelling Let It Go, been hinting at the obvious all along?

Except, it is not that obvious. I mean “it” is not that obvious. What is “it” that I need to let go of? Stick up butt-hole, pride, parenting opportunities, Facebook time or the skin around my fingers? Listening closely to the lyrics of the songs, besides the chorus, might provide more insight. All of our wisdom must be hidden in song, for I have nothing left to say.



Clap Your Hands


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It’s been not ten minutes since my shower and seven and a half steps into the morning and my antiperspirant is already losing its battle. A mustache of sweat feeds sunscreen to my lips and shades topple from my asymmetrical nose-bridge. I’ve forgotten a hat to cover up the frizz.

My calves resist all attempts to accelerate and make way for grandmas on bicycles pedaling a summer’s breeze. I’m the itsy bitsy spider minus half the limbs to climb up the concrete hills. A missing thigh gap forces a burning friction against my jeans; could’ve worn shorts if I’d shaved all the fuzz.

I’m twelve minutes late to preschool drop-off. My face looks more fruit than human. My spot at the cafe is decorated with crumbs. My cafe doesn’t believe in air-conditioning. Everything is just as it always is, except me.

It’s not as simple as I don’t give a fuck — it’s that I didn’t really think about giving a fuck, you know? No? Ok, let’s try this again.

You see, there’s a peach galette before me, in a buttery glaze browned to perfection, ready to marry a steamy cappuccino. But I won’t choke with sadness and delight as it disappears down my throat. My left arm is throbbing like an old guitar, but I’m not checking to see if it completes a cardiac circuit. A cacophony of ceramics crash in the kitchen but I’m not thinking of jumping out of the building. I’m not thinking of dying. I’m not thinking of meaning. I’m not thinking.

What if this absence of thought, this annulment of emotions I’ve often labeled apathy, is actually happiness? Happiness has got to be more than a fleeting experience, unlike ecstasy or joy. It must be a steady state, like holding one’s head up the proverbial water, despite the whirlpool and great whites. Sure, you take in a few gulps or can’t feel from neck to toe, but mostly, you’re floating. Happiness must be a weighted average of mostly-s.

That conclusion itself might have driven me to declare happiness as a concept depressing. But my current “ness” is not privy to such dramatic expression. Happiness is anti-climatic and often, like anything wrapped in expectations, disappointing. As I walk away from the edge, I won’t be so outrageous as to claim I’m coming back to life, but (dear Floyd) I do see a distant ship smoke on the horizon.