Emma

I visited mother yesterday, my eyes like backgammon pieces,
just as sharp as the black keys on that old piano
with its chipped corner that she still keeps,
I wonder why, I guess some miasma of sentiment rises from it
and clouds her vision of now, maybe it saves, I don’t know,
she’s frailer with wispy grey hair and a semblance of a smile
gives her integrity and keeps the clock ticking, I guess,
she asked about you. “How’s Emma?” and I said, “I don’t know,”
nonchalantly, I drank a cup of coffee and left with
a half-hearted hug, I wonder why mother remembers you,
only you, always you, I didn’t tell her about last year
when I visited the ashen cul-de-sacs and crevices of the internet
looking for your poetry, I didn’t tell her about how it
only made sense two years ago, when I found myself
in that white hall of hell, where demons masquerading
as angels in pristine gowns with spotless teeth sedated me,
I didn’t tell her about how my father fake-wept
like a statued cherub after sending me straight to
white chintz perdition because I foolishly wanted closure,
I didn’t tell her about the absent-spirit
that seeps through bone and bleaches marrow
these days, but worst of all, I didn’t tell her about
reading your verse and laughing after I left you in college,
you knew these broken truths of life well before I did,
I suppressed things, but you dealt with them using art,
I looked for you using that phone that now looks like
plastic, but couldn’t find anything except chalky screens
with monochrome search results, I guess I took fate’s gambit
when I naïvely thought I’d mastered
the game and now the queen of black judgment, and the
rook of dark circumstance pushes this dethroned
monarch into hopelessness, a double checkmate, and
I’ll just have to let myself be knocked off the board
after saying that I fucking love you.

© Nitin Lalit Murali (2018)

11 responses

    • Dear G,

      Your comments are always so beautiful and brighten my day. I’m humbled by your responses to my pieces. I give it my all when I write, and sometimes I fall short and sometimes I succeed. I still have a long way to go. It’s a journey isn’t it? And enjoying it is key to keep carrying on. There are times when I wonder why I write and if I must but then knowing that very talented poets like yourself like what I do encourages me to keep at it. Thank you for all the support over the months.

      Nitin

      • You are welcome. It’s alway a pleasure to read your writings.
        There are times when I wonder why I write too. There are times when I don’t.
        One thing I am sure of. I know when someone has talent.
        You have plenty of it, Nitin.
        Your writings are passionate; your writings come from your soul. That is something that nobody can take away from you.
        Looking forward to reading your future posts.
        Enjoy your day!
        G

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