You appear like a hundred ants in my stale, forgotten tea cup. They are everywhere – between books, in my clothes, inside the lining of my helmet, placidly swimming in the leftover water in the kettle. Nothing explains their coming. For the sake of this poem let them be that peculiar ache huddled in the folds of a remembering heart.
Initially only the black ones came. Placid. Harmless. But last night, a sharp stinging woke me, as if the very dream in which I was untangling shiny papers from your hair, had turned rogue. Longing changed to rust. Later, you left sad, red craters on my arm. In my dream these ached worse than love bites or scar wounds, worse even than my shoulder that dislocated in the swimming pool last year. Do you know what happens when a limb dislodges from its socket? In water? It floats freely, still part of the body, though one can’t move it. When my arm was and wasn’t part of me, I knew what loving you meant.
The pain comes later.
I plug the kettle and switch it on. The water comes to boil. I shut the lid. They are dancing, floating dots now.
I know they will return tomorrow, walk like marching armies ready to conquer, again.
SATURDAY NIGHT DALLIANCE
We wake with a feeling of been bitten
by a beast we buried with silver trinkets, love’s souvenirs, moist bubble gum wrappers – in the rubble of an empty warehouse behind the quay;
walking back, the sky punctures into leaf-shaped holes of gulmohar and Coralwood. Memory emerges like a thin layer of oil on water – there, but insentient to touch, it rises like an old Curio Shop we visited last summer. Did we really get lost in its labyrinth of wooden Buddhas, rusted Shiv-lingas, those impossible dreams in brass? Did we,
once again resemble gulls circling the far-side of the quay – the blood and bone of a poem –
that should have been written, plagiarised from a certain wordlessness we felt, had we understood the emptiness, more or less resembling a kiss, we enacted