Sitting next to you, you tell me how you feel,
and I don’t respond, I often think if you think
I’m hard, but I let doubt dissipate slowly,
because I’ve seen a depth,
uncanny, unyielding, unfettered that few
women like you possess, I know you
know that if I replied nonchalantly, then we’d
be twenty-two again, trapped in
a prison maze of a pharisaic liberal romance,
endlessly texting each other, feigning,
a picture perfect shattered mirror,
always expecting a reflection,
but receiving nothing, but I also know that if
I stayed silent, we would feel
older than we are, caught in a lotharic
conservative passion, mute, hidden
in a room, feeding off each other
like vultures, sure, we wound each other
by saying things, but then as guilt turns
my compass south, and I smoke, I see
you looking at me, not with pity, or
disgust, and I snub out my cigarette and
you walk up to me, and when you’re sick of
yourself, and stand on the terrace,
braving the downpour, letting it sink
through clothing and flesh, I don’t address
a star anymore, or personify the
golden tang, no, I feel the cold and
throw myself into your arms, I often
let thought turn into memory, or
memory into thought, and you don’t
console then, but put it bluntly, and
when I’m too steeped in my mistakes,
you let the cold floor remind me where
I am, and that’s why I let you
lean against that hard wall too,
sure I read those who
elevate love, and I admire them,
but a distance stays between me and the page,
the same distance between what we have
and what we get, and I don’t read those
who take a birds-eye view of things
anymore, combining atoms into molecules,
I now know that what’s always said is eventually
undone, and what’s too often done
lacks substance, but what’s sometimes done
with depth spells much more than allusion,
or metaphor, and I think you damn well know
by now that I love you, and you me.

© Nitin Lalit Murali (2017)

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