a crisp day neatly hangs
between summer dresses you don’t wear.
the angels in yellow
frown at your flaxen shear.
bland cereal starts staring back at your flat eyes
half a fist of sorrow passes through your ribs.

you carry the blueprint of a day you don’t remember.
unwrapping the day, like a love letter to the dead;
there’s too much dead skin around here
for sprawling houseplants to breathe;
the floor whimpers itself white,
crawling out of the ripples
you stick on its face; tiled- “silver and exact”,
less plath and more pungent.
your air fresheners taste like chlorine,
air crawls out of your skin with brine;

soak your whites in blood, watch patient loneliness
hang by the antique hook, crawling on the shirt,
your favorite one, the one you’re too scared to put on.
unmoved by the crushed fall leaves
under tanned beige shoes plodding through.
the morning clumsily purrs at the doormat,
newspapers falls on the sun’s face-
it’s 7pm, tiny dots in buildings
turn up one after another like a tired tune
falling off a bland pianist.

i lend my loneliness
to little things i hold; sincere borrowers -
they crawl to return it. i keep thinking about burning
it down, or up; as if it makes a difference.
a wedding gown or a shroud, it’s always white.
earthly concerns look like fancy dresses in funerals.

how alone do you need to be to be lonely?
loneliness is a tyrant- it sits on ruined air,
a four faced god; how many times a day
should i remind myself to forget being
lonely. where do people put away their loneliness –
my parents wrap it in envelopes sealed with weary sighs.

you, what about you? my dear, do you hang it around
your neck- an albatross’s locket. or do you wear it like
a “CLOSED” sign from your chest; do you
take it off at night, when you clutch your sheets.
do you put a lonely flower on the vase,
for your date to know that you’d die in your tux.

meenal jhajharia