lately i wake up with stale acetylene in my throat,
out of breath and everything else too.
i make wordless vessels mumble my curriculum vitae
of not breathing. stitched lips,
draped in a jaw, clenched and stiff with guilt.

my room has post it notes about where it hurts-
inside the wardrobe, under the drawer,
between the shackles of the sliding window frames.
unhinged, untethered; I watch this poem go down
the drain like forget-me-nots when they dry,
a dead man’s wreath- a widow’s rosary.
things, things are tired of me
sticking my retrograde on their faces.
the tar on the roads hurts my eyes, I string
asphalt bracelets like clinkering handcuffs.
all tied together with metaphors i don’t remember,
as if bad memory is anything more than a fire escape.
I find a way to superimpose my scars on the sky,
the arc on my lips is drooping with all the hanging lies.
greasy windows watch my words latch on to wall murals,
my poems throw themselves off buildings like apologies
that can’t fit in your palms.
still complaining about the weather;
darling, don’t you know i’m a plaster saint for gloom
I’ll label the street lights huge, my bed sheet is the ghost.
dreams that i never had hang from its crevices,
loose skin flaps softened by the ocean tides.
the ocean is an open wound, the moon has a habit of poking it.
it dutifully delivers corpses, almost like payback;
hope is an hourglass filled with quicksand;
a four lettered blister I etched on my chest.

meenal jhajharia