A Gasp for Air
tragedy served on a cold platter, conflict commercialized, broadcasted -
our mind’s tongue hangs out obediently, thirsting for dramatized lies.
they parade death like a showpiece, crematoriums are the stage -
subtlety and fame are water and oil, spotlight demands spilled blood.
my overripe conscience sniffs for a whiff of guilt when
fingers and tongues are pointed in other directions. hope and
love have seen better days to show their faces. in this tsunami
of fire - hush or mute are the choices. there is a way to keep
the hands from feeling bound-lifeless - quilt quilts and polish paddles -
lend them to your home - you might dance with the shadows or write
a lonely verse to hold up your sane behind closed doors, while wondering
whether words are useful in a world where there is a price on breath.
We sit on opposite sides of one bench.
We are kind souls
here to participate in altercations.
would demand softening iron)
is a glop of crimson decay
carrying centuries of mold and molding.
They say, we could be the stepping stones For each other -
in a one square centimeter cage that cannot change shape,
two minds in tight packaging step on each other’s toes And feet.
An elbow in motion pokes the other under the armpit,
a bile volcano erupts-
an 8-inch crowbar is needed
to stuff it back down the length of your esophagus,
the lava venoms your pool of peace if it reaches your lips of sting
flinging its fangs beyond dead seas
freezing hearts to silence
burning paper, fraying, ashing
as the hole in the center expands
and history proves itself.
So, it is a cold war for the same county
it warms up, then chills.
even small pins need to be banned
dormancy - eruption - guilt
is just a cycle.
braided hair meeting at the nape
she sat like she had been taught-
hands on her thighs
her eyes were hollow
tongue carved out
she remained set in stone over centuries
gaining proficiency in kneeling.
Love lurks/ around until fed/ dwells in the path
between truth and disillusionment/ neither place is
pleasant, it is only the trip that’s laced with scents.
How is the unconditional reduced to fodder for a
vomit of words/ and a warning signpost
on your neurons when you go that way again.
Namratha Varadharajan stumbled into the magical rabbit hole of writing when she paused her career in engineering to indulge in motherhood. Her poems and short stories are published in ‘The Kali Project’, ‘Tea with a Drop of Honey’, ‘#Love’. She writes at http://namysaysso.com.