I am motionless in motion, not in control of every sway, every wobble. My hips hurt with every movement of the waltz. 1…2…3…Slam! 1…2…3…Ouch! I don’t think there is getting used to the rhythm, the prompting.
The metal screeches, and the whistle hoots. The train lurches and the humans grunt.
I face myself in the dusty window and catch a distorted sense of myself, with the shadow of the metal bars messing up with my head, dissecting my image into sections – quadrants upon quadrants upon quadrants. My own infiniteness captured in little bordered squares.
The shadows, my reflection, the bars, the humans, my own body – we are all swaying, dancing to the painful tune of commute.
for everyone and no one in particular
I pulled the plug.
I got impatient. Things were running slow, and I couldn’t wait for the shutdown to take place on its own. I pushed my luck too far in clicking and re-clicking buttons and everything just stopped. Loading, I think. I hate lagging. I hate seeing the screen at a standstill. I hate the waiting most of all.
I had too much going on. Too many tabs were opened. Too many articles waiting to be read. Too many thoughts needing to be sorted out, and I just can’t deal with the waiting much longer. I needed everything cleared, my screen, my browser, my mind. So I just pulled the plug. Without the battery, the laptop just went blank. A sigh of relief escaped me. Finally, nothing!
Then i clicked the on button again, and the screen lights up. I am back to logging in, signing up, opening tabs, queuing articles, writing about you.
i panicked when you were nowhere in sight
not before me, nor behind me.
i searched for you in my room,
but you were not in my boxes,
nor in my keepsakes.
i opened well-loved pages of poetry,
and all i found were decomposing petals
of long-lost reminiscence.
i searched and rummaged,
and all i found of you were
bits and traces of a presence
not yet even pieced together.
who you are for me
cannot be contained
by a box, a page of verses,
a tumbler, or a photograph,
but those were all i have of you.
how can someone of such gravity
be for me so limited in presence?
for a moment,
i had to fight the urge to believe
i only made you up.
the voice that lulled me to sleep
one starry night –
could it possibly be a dream?
were those big hands
that never failed to grasp mine
those eyes, that smile,
are they but a compound
of so many other eyes and smiles?
oh how easily i forget,
you exist apart from my memories!
your voice, your hands
are not dependent on my ability to feel nor hear.
my verses cannot summon you,
nor can their absence limit who you are.
i do not need to remember you
for you to be there.
neither should my heart beat
for you to be loved.
you are your own,
capable of storing your own keepsakes
and pressed petals.
should you choose to,
those big hands can take hold
of any other hand.
you can choose to gift anyone
with the beauty of your smile
or of your song.
and i need not be the object
of your affection
for your own heart to beat wildly
against your chest.
even if we’re not.
apart from you.
you will always be you
even if i was not in the equation,
and I will always be me
even if you are not the object
of my metaphors.