The first time we went out
for ice cream, that summer night,
with only a 50rs note in my pocket
and my heart out on my sleeve,
I faked a sore throat because the shopkeeper refused to take
feelings as payment.
When you held me in your arms
the first time, that following winter,
the hair on my back gave me a
standing ovation, my heart
did a 360deg cartwheel and my brain
sat back in amazement,
whispering you finally did it.
All this time I have prayed with empty
hands, for us and hoped that you ask nothing of me
-except this body
My body is a home with a leaky roof, where mother cooked hot paranthas on the stove with only one working burner.
You might never be full;
but you never went to bed hungry.
-except these arms
Embrace me and cry out a river.
You could overflow in my arms.
And while you do so, I'll be rejuvenated under your rose petal skin.
My flesh singing your name.
-except my lips,
humming your favourite song
in the subway and the memory
of the distance between them being traversed by your lips; like finding a matching coloured thread to
sew the hole in your lucky shirt,
that you wanted to wear,
to the first day of work.
The first time you wondered about us,
I climbed out my window and weaved you a blanket, out of the eyelash that rested on my cheek, the one I wished on so desperately, to find you. You held it tight and wrapped it around your skin
and let the warmth seep in, turning
your doubts into assurances.
The first time we lay in bed, tangled in each others arms, we were like two alphabets of my mother tongue,
Their rough tongues cannot
pronounce us. Dare they try to
speak us, we'll get lost in the
cruelty of this world.
The first time we fought, I felt
so empty, I floated like a
weightless doll amidst the
blue of your sky. I drank the sun for breakfast and kissed you to
melt the icy wall around your heart.
I cried so hard I made it rain
over your hometown so that
you don't have to worry about
watering your plants. So that your parents can dance in the rain
even in the midst of September.
I have nothing to offer you
-except my heart,
like a rose plucked
from its home, only to be discarded
by the side of the road.
Until you placed it within the pages of your bible and now it sing hymns
about your hair and how it falls
perfectly into curls.
-except these poems,
about the shape of your eyes,
the curve of your nose
and how your hand fits into mine.
So I offer myself to you,
on a plate with paranthas,
and a dash of bad poetry
as we embark on another year.
Let's go back to that ice cream vendor
I heard that he's selling hearts.