somewhere, a little girl appearing for
her math exam smashes our faces,
and believes she will score the highest;
a man temporarily glues our little fingers
with our backs to the sun and says his
salah during ramadan before sunset, and a seventy nine year old braids us together, begging, so that his mathematics professor for a daughter visits him on his birthday.
this universe we were conceived in believes in the intimacy of praying. i hold you in my arms and the world finds the safest place to transfer the load of faith from her bent back between the creases and scars of our love.
every morning, i grasp my fingers around the blue-green toothbrush as you lather colgate over it and then turn on the faucet. for you and i to dance under, it rains every morning at six.
you and i are so good together that we can put bonnie and clyde to shame, because teamwork makes the dream work, baby; and there definitely were eggs in the infamous dream from last night. so i turn on the stove and you pass me the eggs i crack over the pan you placed, then throw the shells in the trash. you loosen the salt shaker as i hold on to it and proceed to add saline power to our proteins. i chop us some melon, as you bear hug me out of caution; i wear the sun to breakfast.
at half past eight, i place myself at 2 and you do at 10; we drive past our differences and fall in love again.
i want to apologise to you for all the times you had to fold yourself around androids, facing the boredom of clear or blue phone covers while i scrolled miles long enough to take us to paris with my thumb on a six inch globe and beyond; and for all the times you wanted to feel the warmth of brownies and the slippery fingers that come with eating rice with lentils. i can see it in the way you hold pens while passing them to me and closing their caps that you want to press them against a piece of paper yourself and later feel ink all over and inside yourself.
last night, when you and i were holding ghalib’s love sonnets between us like a secret promise, i wonder whether or not you felt me slyly inching towards you, and resting my fingers over the valley of your knuckles, so full of longing and light. you remind me of royalty with the crowns you wear on top of your nails. the partitions on your fingers are borders that are burning with a rage i do not know how to write about.
i trace the desert-coloured lines on the pink of your palms that reminds of the sandstones handpicked for hawa mahal and all the budhiya ke baal the first through sixth graders are begging for their parents to buy them. this pink, it is the bouquet of roses that a man forgets to buy for his pregnant wife on their third anniversary who eats salmon on their lunch date but craves a glass of rosé. that pink, it is the kindness served in a glass of chabeel that is being distributed outside the gurudwara that you and i hold like we hold the head of a newborn baby.
the lines on your palms are running parallel to years and just half a decade from now, i find the address to the galaxy you and i could share if you choose to hold me for as long as the universe does not betray us. i can now see the ochre address morphing itself into the lyrics of ‘la vie en rose’ in morse code; i wonder if it means you choose me to have and to hold you from one day forward, and not leave like the ones who have already left.
so, baby, what i want you to know is that i will wait for you as long as you ask me to because wedding vows are eloping nowhere without us riding on their backs, and no matter what happens, you will always be the one who is right for me, and that, i swear.