laundry day loneliness

a crisp day neatly hangs
between summer dresses you don’t wear.
the angels in yellow
frown at your flaxen shear.
bland cereal starts staring back
at your flat gorge shaped eyes,
half a fist of sorrow
passes through your ribs.
you carry the blueprint
of a day you don’t remember.
unwrapping the day,
like a love letter to the dead;
there’s too much dead skin around here
for sprawling houseplants to breathe;
the floor whimpers itself white,
crawling out of the ripples
you stick on its face;
tiled- “silver and exact”,
less plath and more pungent.
your air fresheners taste like chlorine,
air crawls out of your skin with brine,
soak your white shirts in blood,
watch patient loneliness hang by the antique hook,
crawling on the white shirt
unmoved by the crushed fall leaves
under tanned beige shoes plodding through.
the morning clumsily purrs at the doormat,
newspapers falls on the sun’s face-
dumb cars keep the city lights heaving,
slowly but ceaselessly- it’s 7pm,
tiny dots in buildings turn up one after another like a tired tune
falling off a bland pianist. i lend my loneliness
to little things i hold; like sincere borrowers
they crawl to return it. i keep thinking about
burning them down, or up;
as if it makes a difference.
a wedding gown or a shroud,
it’s always white.
earthly concerns look like fancy dresses in funerals.
how alone do you need to be to be lonely?
loneliness is a tyrant- it sits on ruined air, a four faced god;
how many times a day should i remind myself
to forget being
lonely. where do people put away their loneliness –
my parents wrap it in envelopes sealed with weary sighs.
you, what about you? my dear, do you hang it around your neck-
an albatross’s locket.
or do you wear it like a “CLOSED” sign from your chest;
do you take it off at night,
when you clutch your sheets.
do you put a lonely flower on the vase,
on your dinner table-
for your date to know that you’d die in your tux.

meenal jhajharia

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