acetylene poems

lately i wake up with stale acetylene in my throat,
out of breath and everything else too.
i can’t speak- so i make the wordless vessels talk;
bloody poems need my curriculum vitae of not breathing
to start speaking, else they stitch their lips:
a clenched jaw stiff with guilt.
sticking post it notes on them about where it hurts-
inside the wardrobe, under the drawer,
between the shackles of the sliding window frames;
i cut off the strings in this poem,
in vacuum i watch the words tether like forget-me-nots
tied up into a bracelet for the dead man’s neck.
wood, glass, iron and the sky and the stars,
all tired of mounting my retrograde on their faces.
i sit on the broken asphalt roads,
the tar on the roads hurts my eyes
i string asphalt on my wrists wrists like handcuffs,
tied up with metaphors i don’t remember;
as if bad memory is anything more than a fire escape.
i find a way to superimpose my scars on the sky
paint the arc of your lips drooping with all the lies hanging.
when the stars fall out of line, we nod in unison-
greased up windows watch words latch on to the moss
on wall murals: my poems throw themselves off
like apologies you can’t fit in your palms.
still complaining about the weather.
darling, don’t you know i’m a plaster saint for gloom
ocean is an open wound,
the moon has a habit of poking it;
it dutifully delivers corpses,
almost like payback;
hope is an hourglass filled with quicksand;
a four lettered blister I trace on my chest.
i’ll label the street lights huge.
my bed sheet is the ghost.
dreams that i never had hang from its crevices,
loose skin flaps softened by the ocean tides.
i keep talking to the walls they don’t cave in anymore;
stinking of sea clam, standing like the blunt northern range,
wiping off my unarmed screams with an unsettling ease;
like blood soaked cobwebs.
so i go back to complaining
about how the sunflowers are sad and the sun hurts.
i whine hurriedly, as if i’ll run out of things to point at-
watch his face,
still; just there.
there’s no phony metaphor dangling around,
to make it look presentable.
poems, they never look presentable


meenal jhajharia

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