She dances in darkness
Shrouds her dreams
in tales of night
Learns she is queen
of dusk and dawn
She is layered in skins
of nights long gone
Layered in histories of loss,
laced with hopes of the future
she is the song of freedom
that rang true across
the lips of downtrodden
She is daughter of the dust
that glitters in moonlight
she has stars for eyes
and she breathes power
She is defined by her melanin
as much as she learns to define it


Rooftop Nights

She sits on the rooftop
with stars in her eyes
and gazes unbirdled
at soft moonlit skies

She paints on night canvas
the stories of lives
dancing on darkness
with sun’s sad demise

Poem – Trumping

He stands on the beach trying to
rinse the shores of foreign blood
but he cries foul from sands made
of compacted blood and dust from
foreign seas that called his land their
home, and all the while he forgets
that the fields he now reaps fed his
hungry ancestors when they were
fresh off the boat; forgets that his
throne is painted whiter than the bones
that built it; forgets that the mother of his
children made her home away from home
under the hem of Lady Liberty’s skirts;
but this too shall pass, and some day,
he too will join these shores, dust to dust,
as the waves of freedom crash over the
shores, the same as they have always done.

Poem – Dissect

I donate to science my body,
so they might dissect me and
identify the signs that label me
Here they write “female, Indian,
middle-class, educated, unemployed
in neat little letters that exist 
strictly within their lines.
They sharpen their knives and cut
into the skin which, they note, tears
just as easily as anyone else’s.
They add “fragile” to the list, and
categorically, shelve it under “human
Blood oozes out of the wound, and they
note it is the same sticky red 
that flows from blue-blooded bodies,
neither paled nor darkened by travel, 
it oozes awkwardly,
with neither the grace of civility
nor the passion of savagery;
the genes of this body are far
more dispersed than the miles
travelled by the wearer’s body,
they dissect till we are all but gone,
and one by one, they discard all the
bodies, a wild mess of blood and guts
and skin and bones, till their neat little
box of “other” is but an empty hole, all
its former inhabitants at once too
haphazardly similar to be

They must continue their search
Elsewhere..                    (26/01/2017)

Poem – Commonwealth Notes on Brexit

There was something odd
about unpacking my bags
in an England defined by Brexit;
using her banks and her books,
and speaking bits of a language
that she stamped on my homeland.
How odd, then, to feel unwelcome
at her doorstep years after she
danced awkwardly at mine;
how unsettling to realise that
I have never truly felt “at home”
with either the coloniser or the
colonised, but rather somewhere
in the page between,
lost in translation forever..;

The End…

There was nothing special about the specific day she picked the book up on.  She’d spent all day lounging in bed in a fit of laziness and procrastination, and had finally managed to work her way into a nice hot shower. An hour ago she’d been crying about this movie she watched where a man’s pain at the loss of his daughter led him to write angry letters to Love, Death and Time. There was something about that film – the haunting beauty in his pain, that moved her to tears and made her re-evaluate her own wasted gifts…

She cleaned up quickly; never underestimate the power of a good warm shower. She set her work desk in order and walked to the bookshelf to fetch her notes. Out of the corner of her eye she noticed its spine beckoning her quietly like it always did.

Read me

She sighed and picked it up for once. Gently, she turned it over in her hands, caressing the well-worn paper covers. She lightly brushed off the thin film of dust that had settled into the browned pages and traced her finger tips over the title. It wasn’t a spectacular book, The Night Circus, but it was a special one to her. A gift from her love when they’d only just started dreaming.

She flipped through the book quietly as she perched on the edge of her bed, and her hand stopped hesitantly at a large block of handwritten text towards the front of the book. Smiling softly, she read the words out loud for the first time in months, and the tears flowed freely again. They weren’t sad words at all. Rather, they were a testament to youth and love. Words of love, words of gratitude and words of hope, that had born her through the turbulent seas of stress and life. But then again, she always had been the kind of person who cried easily.

She flipped through to the end of the book… She never finished reading it, despite the fact that it was a very gripping, well-penned story. No, there was an entirely different reason for not finishing it. She didn’t…want to. You see, she was the kind of person who skipped to the end of the book before even starting the story, so she’d seen what he wrote at the end. They were kind words once more, and of course, dear reader, private ones that I can’t share with you in their entirety. But I can share a part of it with you….the ones that really stopped her from finishing the book.

So many clichés about love hitting you when you least expect it… I fell right into it… while I am writing this in a very emotional state, I hope our love has not lost its intensity when you reach the end.”

The End…so much finality  about those two words and yet so much left unsaid. Her eyes glazed over with tears as they lingered on those two words as she thought about how time had rolled on since. They’d broken up three times since, fought with their respective families, and cried countless tears. And yet no matter what, despite all the differences in religion, nationality, belief etc. separating them, no matter what… the intensity of their love never dipped. They were dreamers and were learning to believe whole heartedly in clichés so it’s okay for me to tell you that they loved each other a little more every day.

And so she didn’t want to finish the book. If she never finished reading, maybe…just maybe their love would never lose its intensity. Even though logically life didn’t work like that. Despite that. She just didn’t want to reach… the end. But some day, maybe just some day, she’ll read the book with her kids. It’ll be their bed time story, and she and her love will take turns to read it to them, and when they get to the end, they’ll read it together, and she’ll quietly smile down at her kids and her husband and laugh at all of this. Because by then, she’ll have her happy ending no matter what.

So reader, I’m sorry to tell you, that she dried her tears, and put the book right back in its neat little spot on her bookshelf, where it will collect dust once more, until she picks it up again years later, to finally finish reading.

Poem – On Hating

I didn’t truly understand the
meaning of hate till I
started hating myself
Biology never was my strong suit…
Something about this body
didn’t tick quite right
But one thing I learnt
was the language of power
Biology showed me the
veins of forgiveness hidden
under sinews of acceptance
under harsh daylight
Stripped down to mere human
Nakedness, I began to discover the
linguistics of love, life and body

Poem – The Art of Dressing

She dresses scars and wounds
With silk dresses and lace underwear
And while you marvel at her petite
waist and toned legs peeping out
under her red dress you fail to see
she’s a mastermind at disguise
She’s perfected the art of dressing
learnt that pieces of lace delicately
cover invisible holes and that
silk smoothes away even the
roughest of patches
She’s modelling brands of sorrow
you’ll never hear of, but know
that sometimes the perfection outside
is extra on-point to hide the insides