Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Maps for Lost Lovers

was a series
of street corners
and intersections,
ordered, marked,
and known
in familiar ways;
that moved
in comforting rhythms –
an easy to read map
of people and places.

Until I met you.

You gave me
street-lit mementos
of a stolen night;
changing what my landmarks meant –
late night ice-cream indulgences,
tea-time musing by the beach,
dosa breakfast at the corner cafĂ© –
as we exchanged stories
on tree-lined avenues;
and a lifetime of my memories
mingled with a lifetime of yours.
And I was left
with nothing
but a what-if?,
with the past,
the present,
and the heavy weight
of possibility.

You took the contours
of my city,
and redrew them
using your own legend,
leaving me lost in a city
that was once,
familiar to me. 

Monday, September 11, 2017


I am
The dregs in your tea cup;
Those old sole-less sneakers,
Worn in familiars ways

I am
The dust that settles
Around your memories;
The coffee cup stains
On the table;
The tinny silences
Of a phone
That doesn’t ring.

I am
Your loose change -
Forgotten in the cracks,
Amongst the cushions,
Beneath the bolsters
Of our love. 

Tuesday, June 27, 2017


two cartons, contents -
one hundred and sixty four books,
three posters, two paintings,
and one ceramic owl;
three suitcases of clothes,
a lifetime of jewellery;
one pressure cooker
(with two weights, just-in-case),
three pots, one pan and a spatula –
all non-stick, of course.

four flights of demanding stairs,
(“it’s actually only three and a half”
the broker had promised).
Past the genial uncle with trembling keys,
and a door that wouldn’t cooperate
with his old hands;
around children,
who weave through her legs,
caught in a tense game of ‘cho-pohleec’.

the two-bed-two-bath-hall-kitchen. 

Her laboured breath mingles with the heat
that radiates
from the walls, the floor, the ceiling.
The sunlight throws a mango tinted spotlight
on the dust
that dances in on the back of the hot summer breeze,
and she knows,
She is home.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Excess Baggage

“You’re a really nervous flyer!”
You exclaim.
Barely concealing amusement,
as you watch me
fiddle with my passport,
stare at my visa,
check my watch,
walk in circles,
practice my answers –
name, address, university.

“No way!” I say.
 Immediately defensive.
But then,
I realise
You’re watching,
But you’re not really seeing.

You’re not seeing
My navy passport
That puts me in a different line,
The guard that sits up sharper
As I walk towards him,
The mothers that reach for their children
As I roll past with a suitcase,
The extra time I schedule
For a “random search” and safety scan
Or for questions at Border Control.

You’re not seeing
The effort it takes to pronounce
All my vowels
And keep a smile on my face,
Pretending not to notice,
The girl across the aisle
Who wants a new seat,
Because I make her nervous. 

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Long Distance

Accept this picture –
Of these cupcakes I’m baking
This beer that I’m drinking,
Those geese in my courtyard –
In exchange for a hug,
 Or a smile stolen,
 Across a crowded room.

For the house to go quiet
So that we can talk
Across five thousand and ninety four miles
 of silence.
Skype. Gtalk. Facebook Gmail.

I know your schedule –
And you know mine:
Of each other’s lives.
But we struggle
To make sense of our thoughts,
Feelings and aches
In each other’s absence.

I talk
To strangers in a bar.
To strangers from your past.
“Seeing someone?”
They ask
We smile.

Goodnight. Good morning.
 Good morning. Good night.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014


My breath catches
As you unveil,
Inch by little inch –
Mint green, Gold,
Parchment thin
Silken skin
Falls away –
You crumple
And crease
At will.

I trace ridges, valleys, peaks –
Brown, proud
Waiting to be devoured.
Melting at my touch
Promises unfurl
Against my

Your taste lingers
Dark, bitter-sweet
Fetched from corners,
Peeled apart in layers
– pleasures
Hidden within you.

I sit back
And as I close my eyes
I can feel you
Deep in the warmth
Of my belly,
Against my skin
In the raw warmth
Of my mouth


Saturday, December 7, 2013


Let go of your maps
And walk with me
Down this road
Whose name I do not know,
And smile
At the laughter that pours out
Of glowing windows.
Stand still,
Here in the middle of the city square,
And watch as people
Go to and fro,
At the puffs of smoke
That emerge
As you breathe –
You’re alive!

Take a train to a stop,
With an intriguing name
To the lady
On the seat next to yours.
To make sense
Of syllables
As garbled as your thoughts.
At a stranger
And duck into alleys
That look like
they belong in the movies.
Feel the cobblestones
Under your feet

Take you where
He may

Come with me,
As I explore this city –
And I will show you
What it means,
To be free