The never-bending silence
I called him twice/too many times,
Silence. Birds singing from trees,
Responding to each other. But
From him, only nothing.
His taste on my mouth, dried
Like scum on the surface of a blessed
Pond, the one teeming with life inside
And out where the storks soar - silence.
I find him in my dreams
And then we have sweet arguments,
Words thrashing against words
Not fists, no punches but such music.
Sweet luxury of being in battle
With someone who can match you
Line by line, you both write the story,
The one fiery enough to burn fields.
From the ashes, grow new weeds of discontent,
More problems to reap and nowhere to go
But our own slaving bodies, slathered
With our sweat and heaving under the sun.
Touch, the feeling of arms embracing arms,
Faces meeting in holy symphony,
What absurd ritual is this of mashing lips
And grinding a poultice of euphoria?
We are slimy beings of solitary joys,
Pleasure seeking and wandering
Nervous and bumbling like tumbleweed
Scattered to the winds, pinwheeling.
I wrote letters to you, spiralling,
Out of control and messed up
But you reserved your words,
You were saving them for someone else.
My days are only for myself.
Preserved, corralled and fished out
From freezing water and then immersed
Into the frying pan of the universe.
I stuffed my head with lies
Roaming free in the ruins
Hunter’s sinuous thighs
The prey’s drawn breath
Endless game of clicking tongues
Shame and glory side by side
Mothers of our conscience
Blessed by the changing winds
Jade eggs in a wicker basket
Hours stolen from our choices
Laid in stray and bits of cotton
A lion’s repose before a long night
Crusts forming and oceans filling up
Apologies brimming to the top
But lips veiled firmly shut
Pride lurking in the corridors.
Things may never go back to normal
And sometimes it hurts to smile
Feet carry where the heart crosses
The rush of the evening tide.
About the Poet: Virender Singh documents fragments of the socio-cultural reality within marginalized communities from the South Asian diaspora. They have produced visual poetry, served copy for youth-forward magazines, collaborated with queer-led creative studios, and played the role of casting director for genre-defying awareness campaigns in India.