When I look into the mirror this evening, 

I see laugh crinkles and smile lines. 

A couple hairs greying,

the stubble that’s not too bad,

brown irises that stare back and inside them, 

just a tingle of happiness that rocks my feet. 

I see goodness that overcame trials;

Hours spent at the graveyard I built in my mind for people who left,

Broken memories that stink like cigars and whiskey, playing like a scratched CD, 

Days spent on the couch in my underwear with chips and reality shows,

Taking my time to heal, to breathe a little more freely when I walked with an invisible burden, 

and not to sigh every night when I laid my broken body on the welcoming sheets,

repeating little miracles like mantras in my head, 

counting them on fingers bitten and rebitten. 

trying to climb out of bed every morning, to appreciate the sun, to put another piece of me that I lost back in its place. 

My eyes are more than brown. They’ve been to places everyone goes to in their own personal ways and when they returned to the reflection in front of me, 

they were brighter and happy being brown. Just brown. 

So when I look in the mirror, I see the leftovers of a fight; a damn hard one; a good one. 

And there are no more traces of You. 

The long sleeves hide my battle scars but You, 

You are long gone. 


sculpting kisses

there is a place where I remain, 

tethered at the edge

of something sensational

and satisfying

like the pauses,

the still in the air

before you leaned in

to kiss me. 
now you’ve gone 

as one with the wind 

chasing monuments

and gales of laughter 

tucked within the lines 

of your favorite books

and you’ve left me behind

in this timeless pause, 

always to await your lips
darling, the dust you sitrred

when you slammed the door

four rotten months ago 

has settled

and yet my heart 

jumps from a half slumber

every time it remembers 

the sculpted curves

of your smile. 


My calloused palms 

have bled 

over the years, darling, 

easing into 

the beginnings 

I paved for myself

using your laughter

as my carving knife,

to battle the demons 

that danced 

in the creases 

of your forehead 

and the tensions 

of your shoulder blades, 

driving wedges

the size of universes 

between us, 

leaving us

tethering at cliff’s edge. 

My hands bled 

when I held you first, 

a tiny vessel holding 

all my joy in this world;

And they bled when

you danced with me

in the rain, darling, 

my blood flowing

happily along with 

the rivulets of rain. 

My calloused hands

bled when you laughed, 

when you sobbed. 

My calloused hands 

bled through the ages

and dried one final day, 

when they cupped your face

and whispered love

before they stopped 

bleeding forever. 

Pretti-fied Stories

Of all the boasts I make of being a writer, I must confess that I am struck speechless when I’m asked to tell a story. It isn’t easy stringing words together to make sense and is difficult still to make them appear . . . . . .  Pretty. Because let’s be honest, we all want pretty words. And pretty words only. We want them to give our minds something just as pretty to imagine; for they are either grieving or causing grief. And we need to feed them with hope, that one day, it would be different, that we would have new purposes. 

We need it all, we say; Pretty romcoms, pretty suicides, pretty deaths, pretty crimereports. Pretty words to dilute our reality checks, to make us perceive the miserable loop of reality as an endless roller coaster of happiness. But nobody ever attempts, do they? To make pretty words? 

No. Nobody has time for that. We can only designate these pretty words to pretty people. The art of making them pretty and stringing them together is worthless. Words are our key to survival but we still won’t indulge in that art. And to be given the job of welding them together to give hope, though false, to countless minds yearning to smile without having a worry in the world, now that’s a tough task. 

So excuse me if I can’t give you a story right away. Excuse me if I took a moment; many moments in fact, to collect all the pretty words possible to tell you a story that you want to hear. Excuse me for taking time to string together the reality that you live in which you refuse to look at with contentment. 

I’m sorry. I am a story teller with words and it takes time to figure out which of them are pretty enough for you. 

it’s reigning men

there was a chain you wore around your neck,

clashing with your t-shirt, dangling a million pieces

of a million broken hearts, each holding a million stories of a million lifetimes,

that you stole like the wallets from their bedsides

in the wisps of an early dawn,

after a night of whispered scandals

spent within the confines of a bedsheet,

in which you indulged to urge those secret lifetimes to be shared 

along with the oxygen in the cramped space, that could have fit universes, 

between your lips,

that traced down their million bodies, speaking a million lies,

leaving a trail of a million kisses that disappeared at the touch of sunlight,

leaving behind only the faint fragrance of a seductress’ perfume 

and the melancholic broken heart that asked for more and couldn’t stop 

like a crack addict attached to the high from which there is no escape

for they are puppets and they operate according to the will of your word 

that controls the strings attached to their breakable minds and breakable hearts 

that dangle from the chain around your neck,

clashing with your t-shirt but matching your eyes that smirk at me 

and before I know it, it is morning and only a trace of your scent remains on my fingertips,

and i’ve lost my wallet and you’ve gained a heart on your chain. 

Starlight Symphonies 

Stars sing strange songs, darling. 

They are the bearers 

of history; 

the witnesses 

who live to tell the tale

aeons later;

Don’t pay mind 

to your textbooks, darling;

listen to the songs of the stars, 

for the truth 

is held in the folds 

of their light, 

and their patterns 

across the blue canvas 

of the sky. 

They are the 

rightful occupants 

of the witness boxes, 

the evidence of Human Crime

and of Human Goodness;

For contrary to popular belief, 

the truth needn’t

always be ugly, darling;

It has been penned 

across their surfaces, 

the deeds of makind, 

their good hearts 

with a dangerous twist

and their brave ambitions

at the threshold of foolery. 

So when you look

to the skies tonight, darling, 

remember, that your story 

is being watched 

and documented,

that your misery 

and tears 

have not gone unnoticed;

Your name is made a legend,

like every other name; 

each a unique story 

with a precious person. 

And the watcher 

who comes after you, 

a few thousand years later, 

he will know it too;

that his story 

is a legendary one, 

and will live forever

in the songs of the stars,

that will resonate

with his name. 

The Reading Life

You know the manner in which we read a sentence in a foreign tongue? Every letter, every accent, every space; they all matter. After every single word, we gain a new meaning. And as we make our way slowly across, our mouths articulate the words while our minds string together one meaning after another like the beads of a chain. The meaning builds up. And at the end of a sentence, we run out of beads but the chain is complete. And every single bead in it makes absolute sense. Just like the sentence.
Sometimes, I picture a miniature version of myself at the start of a sentence. What I see ahead of me is a path filled with big images that I cannot understand at once. I walk slow and move only after I have comprehend the word. Halfway through the sentence, I start playing guess about the other half; of where the path would end. 
But my guesses aren’t all right. I am surprised by a preposition here and a new verb there. I almost give up when I am three letters down an eight lettered mouthful. And I cannot move my feet forward to the next word because I fell in love with the previous word and it’s beauty and elegance has knocked the wind out of me. 
But I make it.
I make it to the final word. After a never ending trail of pronunciation mistakes and constant visits to the guiding dictionary, I tread across the last word. As my feet reach the last letter, I turn around. And for the first time, I see clearly. I see the long words and the short ones, the ones that made me cry and the ones that told me a funny tale. I see the commas that functioned as speed breakers and the accents that draped a letter with elegance. I see their purpose and I see their connection. 

The meaning is intact like the bead chain. 
And finally, I see someone else at the beginning of the sentence. I hope she has half the good time that I had. 

Reading. And Living.