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Chennai by Sahana Mira

today, I am the last passenger that’s stranded at an empty railway station, I am the plucked heart resembled that of a pretty hibiscus from a neighbourhood recklessly thrown away while getting back home, I am the mailbox that’s never opened, I am a cluster of words that’s abandoned, maybe marked “unread” after quietly reading. I am the tray of cupcakes with wrath and fury and teaspoon of tears and aches. All the old lovers- the ones that called me by pet names, the ones that told bestfriends till eternity, the ones that I baked a cake for, the ones that sent me playlists only occasionally smile today, wave or never, “maybe, I should leave to distant places” I whisper woefully to the corners of the old madras but this city has only tried to befriend me. Is this half an ode or an apology or an off key anthem to the city that offers me warmth when knots of forlorn cloud seep through my throat and settles in my abdomen, convincing that it knows me? The old comfort is still looking beige and not stale at the high stacks of the iconic bookstores at Mount road, in the stairs of the Egmore museum and good ol’ Rivett, in quaint little garden cafes scribbling the aftermath of sudden cloudbursts and reeking rosemallows, letting me reside in its places, in its shade in its warmth— the echoes of the flute music played by hawkers at the Elliot’s beach and its calm tides, finding solace in filter coffee and hues of amber-gold sunsets while passing through the long-stretched east coast road. to this city: you’ve heard the tales that my tongue longed to whisper but it’s aching to call you an old lover because they only know to leave me like a last passenger stranded at an empty railway station.

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