I think I’ll often love her

I often think of her, the orange tank top and jean,
chock-full of ideas, as she flips through the men
in her life, like the pages of a fashion magazine,
the bass throbs, and she dances
to the rhythm of rebellion with the
men who’d do anything for her, she crushes
hearts like plastic cups, letting essences
spill like soda without fizz on gravelly floors

I often hate her, the shallow acquiescence when
she returns home, the father an archetypal relic
of one-dimensional reasoning, the giving in
to passive control, chasing a will-o’-the wisp,
listening to a voice of ‘reasoning’ talking
about the broadened roads and the parks
with statues of heroes of culture, forgetting
the blood of voices unheard, asking me to look
her in the eye and admit that ions of
hypocrisy create my brown
skin and brownish black hair

I often like her, the sense of distancing herself
from silence that screams
and the pauses between speech that tears
by getting out there and finding her own
while pin-pricks of my self-loathing now
turn into cudgels, breaking me
over and again, synapses
dry, and the false euphoria of caffeine
and cigarettes doesn’t stimulate

But as I walked today, into the
old college that is now a university,
years after I dropped out,
the students with eclectic tastes
and points of view like different shades of jazz,
I found myself slowly tearing the nutshell
of chaos that I let myself be trapped in,
and whether I succeed in doing what I must
or not, I think I’ll often love her.

© Nitin Lalit Murali (2018)

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