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On the other table
I see you, with a new boy
not half as decent as I.
who sips his coffee
with a tender demeanour
only common on first dates.
 
He is young, his skin burns
in the heat, the fire
your eyes are.
This, and you are all i see.
 
My eyes are all I have brought today
My senses, the rest, are still in bed.
 
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Saturday.

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like sunflowers belong to the sun
I wish my name carried words
from yours. I hunt here on the bed.
Where your scent still lies on my favourite
bed-sheet.

That i must wash today
before mother arrives and asks
what i did for the weekend
as i sit imagining you, your lips
and how your hands carried me last
Saturday.

Now, I wait. Patiently for mother
with my carefully constructed lies
i watch the front door, wishing, imagining:
you walk through the door, with
Saturday in your arms and on your lips,
Me.

Exile.

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In exile,
my desire mimics the space
it occupied in my small garden
under the tree where it whittles your name
and whistles like the wind
as it did a year or two ago
was it summer? or the rain?
no one remembers.
 
In exile, my desire mimics
everything but you, weeps
and slowly whispers:
 
I have overstayed
my welcome
but do not let go.
 
 
 
 
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In the shadow of a large looming tree
an old waitress serves you coffee.
With a side of ripe plums.
Her lips move with an odd ring.
Prunes is the term for plums,
her favorite fruit
in her language, tastes tart too.
Her voice sounds like an epiphany,
The plums she served today
were too ripe for the cake.
That sits in the oven
for her favorite customer:
 
an old man in his 40s
who speaks little French.
She weaves us in her dream.
We follow, We watch
her serve plums to the old man
talking softy, with patience.
We are in her head, or heart
listening
learning
to love
and to bake
plum cakes
from perfect plums
 
artwork from “Gainsboro” Series, Transferware Collectors Club.

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.

ap.