In black and white

 

She’d open up lives on canvas :

the infant’s inked footprints in black

and the marbled tombstone in white,

the mushroom cloud of the nuclear bomb

all painted in black and white

while they conveyed ideas

dominated by shades of grey.

The picture of her chest snapped by the machine

baking her tissues with a beam of rays

was in black and white, too.

When my white-sleeved hand

held it up against the glowing screen,

I saw cannonballs* piercing her lungs.

The back of my mind wished

it was just another picture

painted by her.

Truth is not always what we wish for.

 

*Multiple pulmonary nodules on chest x-ray are known commonly as cannon ball secondaries. Cannon balls indicate poor prognosis.

SMS (Save My Soul)

This poem won the S.Challenge Memorial Poetry Prize, 2012. The award ceremony will happen in Trivandrum Press Club on 12th May 2013. If you would like to attend the function, please leave a comment or mail me directly so that I can send you a copy of the invitation card.
I wrote this poem in one stretch after reading about the Abu Ghraib prison torture.

My uncle Sam is a hefty man.

He has a golden tooth.

You now know why he smiles a little wider.

When I quit the slave’s job

at his firm that buys oil in exchange for food

he held a pistol at my temple

and told me that I have two choices in life-to be killed in a war,

or to kill in an anti-war.

Since both of them involved exploding my brains,

I escaped through the window.

He sued me, for leaving through the wrong exit.

Dad can’t pay a million for the bail,

in dollars, with interest compounded.

My peers at jail were charged for nailing bombs

to non-existent walls, for wearing skull caps,

for stealing bread. Even the deputy’s dog torture us here.

 

Reader, if u r stil human,

plz tell da policeman

dat i did no crime.

 



noitulovE

Imagine Him pressing
32X on his system.
The heat-dead molecules-
virulently mobilized, realign
into suns and planets.
Tiny space capsules emerge from them
and move earthward.
We leap up from our graves.
Lizards creep into seas.
The primordial soup unchurns
to split proteins into amino acids.
Galaxies condense to a
single point mass, waiting
for an impulse to explode
and create life
again.

Reconciliation

Last night, from the next room of this hotel,
I heard the sound of shattering glass
in the middle of nowhere, followed by
the loud voice of a man and the stifled scream
of a woman. When I placed my ear close to the wall
I could hear curses, masked by the humming of a radio.
I wished the wall separating us didn’t exist
so that they would stop quarreling at the sight of a stranger.

Today, from the next table of this restaurant
I saw her smile at the joke he just said.
As the soft music played, she held his hands in hers
while he loosened the grip around the wine glass.
After what seemed like an eternity,
they moved around the table a little closer.
She held a mysterious smile at the corner of her lips
and he hid tears behind his eyelashes.

The hotel was empty except for me and the couple.
I wish I had their children by my side to witness the scene.