wet cement.

The room is a pool of light, the shade of peanut butter, and you want more vessels – to hold your pencils and your hysteria.  

‘Do you feel I am slowing you down? That I am wasting your time?’

Sips of black coffee taste like commas through a day, nudging you onward. You are putting the kettle on for the eleventh time today. 

‘You need to catch up. Get your shit together. Gotta do what you gotta do.’

You had started buying chart paper to doodle over cracks. 

Washi tapes to make the struggle to hold shit together feel pretty. Notebooks, thick-skinned, to contain you at times you could not.

You had started carrying a pocket dictionary. 

‘I think, sometimes certain people around you can make you push boundaries you never dared touch before.’

There’s a poem in every day, you read that on the masthead of a blog once. You look everywhere. Under potted plants, in the cupboard, in the fridge as if it were chilling with your yogurt.

Occasionally you find one curled up against a cozy fold on page 3 of the fifth book from the left corner on the shelf. But where’s the fun in that!

‘ I think, you are that person.’

You hadn’t known it yourself until you had said it. Like taking a sudden liking to a stranger font.

You are tossing out tiny extinguished tins of chocolate tea-lights like one tosses away empty pistachio shells on a lazy afternoon.

It isn’t new. You usually spend your resources superfluously.

Toilet paper. Mouthwash. Even time.

What if words were currencies, and GDP was measured in words, then which country would top the list?

Would it be sacrilege if the word top appeared at the bottom of a page? Would one still believe what it says it means? Like, don’t actions speak louder than words?

If I were to go on a dinner date with a bookmark, would I be leaving a message, venue: page 121, Oxford English Mini Dictionary, menu: c food, corporeal -> cosset?

You could spend more. 

But you are beginning to feel bitter off late. Like that time when you accidentally swayed a Nordic-style sculpted unicorn diffuser off its tail in a kitsch aisle and then had to take it home with you. Notwithstanding the violation of choice.

I want to do the work of my choosing. 

You put potted plants on the balcony to root for you. You tape a map to your bedroom door to regularly remind you that there are worlds at your doorstep you haven’t yet sought to greet. 

You start lighting up your mornings – like some sacred ritual – with incense and cigarettes. 

There’s light peeling off the sun like orange zest.

Today is a brand new day to write yet another shitty piece.

You pick up the lighter off the desk. You miss the dining table soaked in sandalwood. You notice the skin on your wrist turning to pulp from all the handwashing. 

Whatever happens‘, mother says, ‘will be alright‘. You both share this uncanny ability to be restless, and resilient in the face of restlessness. ‘Everything is wet cement. Make something concrete out of it.’ You rummage around for twenty minutes and decide on Maggi. The pastel Ikea forks are a catnip to your fingers. You hover over the steam. Noodles turning slick in the disappearing water look like little waves gulping down their own shore.

March was sneaky. 

It brought on more emotions that you had parentheses for. 

R became (fa)mine. You turned a tome of memories. You want to plunder your own archives, look into legible eyes for once. You think you’ll never again be able to date a guy who takes his salad seriously. 

Old Monk to Magnum to Old Monk. You pin your nights to a high. Fixtures of your evenings have only changed so much over the years. 

You can always swipe right but ‘It’s a Match!’ doesn’t always translate into a matching frequency. Maybe you just do not get the lexicon of all this. Is there a template to do this right?

You want to be a Penrose tile. ‘Infinite variations in a highly ordered environment’. A mess with an order.

‘Experience is not just how many years you have worked, experience comes from knowing yourself.’

…he had said.

this one-of-a-kind 1 a.m.

in the office backyard

 

how beautiful it is

to share a moment, a memory, a pizza, a smile,

how the sentences sound more coherent than they are

how the words feel more intoxicating than the joint

how the faces blur 

like they haven’t seen any clearer

how impossible it feels now

to forget that we forgot everything for a second

and broke down laughing

how contagious the giggle, how delicate, how piercing,

how eager i am

to gamble it all this moment

and break down that exact way all over again

and again

we look at one another

as if we’ve got a forever together 

and how it doesn’t matter if we’ve not

how the night rolls so much light into itself despite the darkness

how it knows the magic trick

how i get up from the stairs, 

lookup at the moon, wink a smile

how he knows everything

how i wish you knew too.

 

‘used to’?

i heard him call me endless

and i almost immediately believed it

as if i were the water                                            

that was roaring at our feet

back then believing used to feel easier

the person telling me, there’s no end to me, hadn’t ended seeing me yet

it’s an art, at my workplace, they say

being able to compress three hours of some encyclopedic content

into a thirty-second video that keeps you hooked

i learned it up close, from him

he distills 30 hours of his life into a 30-second phone call and offers it all neatly wrapped with a bow of cold disappointment to me 

‘it’s alright’ 

‘everything’s alright’

don’t i wish it were!

like that night when it was, it really was

the sea was loud

but our conversations were louder

and the air tasted of invincibility

and my curls were just the shade of the horizon in my eye

eyes that shone like the flimsy silver anklet on my feet

and i almost slipped on a rock

looking for crevices to burrow into

to be able to sit beside the sea and him

to be able to sit beside the sea in him

still rumbling like a storm

back then, how i used to look for the simplest of things in life

and be able to find them at the oddest places in the world

back then, how i used to find the oddest places themselves

and be able to call them home.