Note: Inspired by a brilliant artwork by the supremely talented author of The Dove’s Lament, zen-doodling artist, the US. Presidential medal winner, social activist, Founder of Red Elephant Foundation, Kirthi Jayakumar.
We do not lie when we swoop
From one store to the next, greedily
Savoring aromatic blends to hide that we stink.
We do not lie when seated at posh restaurants,
Lost in the shameless serenading of culinary raagas and soft music strumming,
We fumble for words,
Knowing each one, when uttered,
Can act as a dart thrown, an arrow
Ripping out our hearts, so we choose to be mum.
We do not lie when our car races
Like a mad hound dog, in the blistering summer heat, and we continue to gulp
the anguish, the helter-skelter dance of cantankerous words.
We cannot lie when the streets smell of old smoke and charred meat,
swooshing past our burning eyes,
Sentinels to our daily conundrum.
We have lied and bought home more lies,
When we have kissed and made love
And roamed, hand in hand in an imagined pristine light,
When we have danced, draped ourselves in silken drapes,
hiding the shadows of our own ruins.
Today, some of them I have stared at,
A man and a woman each, happy flames
Flickering in their eyes, swallowing the
mirth of their arms, entwined.
My stare might have been an imperious nuisance,
Even as I walked past them, knowing
Their eyes glinting, even as they chew the lies.
We do not lie when our unspoken wounds fester in cluttered, unlit rooms.
We only panic that our famished selves
Will pirouette in the open, like impure dirt, forbidden, threadbare.