This Hour and What Is Alive

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Walking from one room to another—

Almost crying in each one,

 

Opening and closing the doors,

Leaving memories adrift in the stale air,

 

Days pass and I wait,

Drinking the last dregs of watery coffee,

 

Inside the shabby, threadbare hovel

With cracked floors, the lumpy undulations,

 

With holes as big as my fist puncturing every wall,

Exposing my life to the brawl and bitterness outside,

 

Below the reed matting of the roof,

Sagging—almost touching my head,

 

In front of the single-burner gas stove,

Broken cups, ceramic plates, a knife, a fork, a spoon,

 

In front of water stored in a plastic bucket—

A thin film of moss floating above,

 

In front of a table, a chair, and a wooden stool

With cracks visible from every angle—

 

The blotches of coffee stains gawking,

The repairs made with wire and string, mocking—

 

In front of the oil painting of a girl,

Gifted by my long-lost lover,

 

Her arms are folded, a long-lashed

Lingering grief hangs from her face.

 

With an ironic half-smile turning up

The corners of my mouth,

 

I want to lean in and

Kiss her cold lips.

 

 

Twitter @bibek_writes

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