Pain is like alcohol.

I do not know how many shots gets you tipsy,

But the first time life served me shots of pain,

I staggered home, entered into a poem & passed out.

At dawn, mother dispelled the hangover with these words:

“Daughter, pain & rejection are the blades of the shears

Which life uses to trim us into beautiful shapes.”

But how do people bear the sight- of termites

Burrowing into their names & eating it into nothingness?

Of great dreams dying, after all efforts at resuscitating them?

Of friendly demons opening the door to gloom & returning

With a first aid box to nurse the wounds gloom inflicts?

Someday your fingers will find the power button of life,

Click it & watch for the options:


“Do I want to close all the tabs in my life?”

I have straddled curiosity & ridden miles for answers,

But every answer I find is an inverse of the same question.


While you are wondering if sleep will

Reduce the weight of the air in your nostrils,

Like an owl, insomnia makes you fly all night,

Perching momentarily on the branches of deep thoughts,

To collect twigs for homeless birds in your poems,

Which nurse broken wings & teaches birds the value of each feather

But no one is careful to see that, like a roadside mechanic,

You fix other people’s cars, then you trek home to

The things you hate to remember but cannot forget


You curl into yourself. You glorify solitude.

And you hang the creative ideas it brings as medals

You become familiar with all the dimensions of silence

You move out of home, into your head,

Other perspire, you drip wits.

In there, is so airtight. You are choking,

But they are cheering

Shut down

Battery low. You need to charge.

So you try to hold God & He becomes vapor.

You step outside your body to take fresh air,

Then you go on a hike with death.

But is death a visa to paradise?

First published by Kalahari Review

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