for oliver.

to the only oliver i ever knew,

On a Sunday early morning when I know I have nothing to do, I run through my wardrobe to put things exactly how i want them. Sheet by sheet, books by books, and a pile of clothes folded one at a time. It isn’t much but it keeps me occupied. Almost dismisses a perennial nostalgia for the year before this one and the one before that and all the ones before that.

In the background, somewhere around this time the church gets very crowded for the weekly mass, and if you listen carefully you can hear every word. but paying attention is not anywhere on my CV. So it is easy for me to ignore the checklist i found last week. It read in no particular order, a bookhouse, some films, an empty park, shopping.

In truth, it’s a small bucket-list from 2 years ago that i didn’t know i still had with me. i clutch to it, assuring it’s still mine, before leaving it where it was. Like a toy to a child, it tells me i can come back to this feeling when I want. I am allowed.

10 years from today, I will no longer know why the letter has a tinge of orange scented perfume but today i remember, and shayad(perhaps) it is still your favorite.

It is still only the beginning of the day. noon and sunset aren’t capable of this emotion. it asks me if it can stay, so i tuck it slowly under my pillow.
“here you’re safe.
here you can live.
with me again. in parts.”

I do not know what else to say, so I instantly dial home, tell mother what i ate for breakfast. and how the Bangalore weather makes it impossible for people to take cold showers. Your entire body would freeze.

Like the emotions. Lust at their core.



what i forget.


In some part of my dream
he tells me,
I forget the most important things,
he writes:

A paper insignia.
To change every day.

Books in Hindi.
To always remember what ‘jan’ means,
both the life and the lover.

A tablecloth.
To lay when he comes
and cling on to, in moments of desperate intimacy.

Pictures of him.
For warmth.

artwork by Alfonso Casas

at the sea.

A visit to the beach
can be a messy affair.
Sand in your super tight swim shorts
and men staring at your half naked body.
In some distance, a gigantic crab
wrestles some rocks
emerging slowly, little by little. that
I have proof of.
Wary of where I step
with the familiar in falling,
I spot a round stone
that feels soft in its core.
The oddest is the sea
half sure, half unsure
testing the land with tides
like a young little child.
takes a hundred steps back
for a single step forward.

Moving on.

In your absence
the y(why?) becomes a question
of an adventure, i am not
quite sure about taking.
Mother once told me that i never
quite learnt the opposite of
urgency. Why i must wait
and not pluck raw fruits off
their branches?
You tell me that i can find comfort
in forgetting things. Even slowly.
Here out in the open, I smile
because I can pretend to be calm.
Trying to tell you how urgency
can be a being.
Hoping you’d learn the need
to teach me
the process of healing. and how to hold it
in my palm, and let it grow
taking its time to sweeten
like ripe fruits.
But before that, halt.
Teach me the meaning of full stops.
And most importantly
teach me all the reasons
you left.

Not poetry #6

In English, one of my favorite words for intimacy is kissing. The present tense of making love, it carries a double ‘S’. As if a need to be kissed(in future tense) immediately, there and then. It reminds of me of multitudes of queerness. There when I am standing, the most quiet I have ever been, hoping you’d kiss me again, hoping I have the courage to kiss you myself, knowing neither will happen. All at the same time.
In English, I am most vulnerable with the word, Oblivion. It means to be forgotten(in future tense). So I write things down minute by minute, it isn’t subtle but it makes things harder to forget. Like the first time I got kissed and felt the need to be kissed again and again and how it reminds me of the word oblivion today.
You’d think I’d have a better way to explain this
but i don’t. trek any closer
and you’d see me disappear
like you wouldn’t believe.