Study Leave

There is one tubelight in the hall
and the windows, whose glasses
are either broken or sold off,
give away more than they should.
I am studying the adjective clause
but can’t find one to describe my father.
What is it that he will blame my mother for tonight
before thrashing her against the wall?
I taper through the scissors of possibilities.
A private fear frosts my mind.
The cheerful poetry in the English textbook
against the bhendchods in the bedroom.
The god on one-half of the clock unsells himself.
Injustice rotates on my face with the minute hand.
Under the squeaky sound of the Usha fan
death promises to be a safer house.
The door clicks and wobbles my pause.
I miss a comma in the adjective clause.


(with a last line by Ingeborg Bachmann)

I have scored more points than both
of them combined. But wisdom is
knowing how little it means to win
a general knowledge game in Dapoli.
The night wrestles the summer away
from the singularity of a Surmai Fry.
We chuckle at the possibility of murder
and robbery by the sea’s lonesome wheezing.
Interesting are the stories that you don’t become.
Ameya probes me about general geography
and the capital of Estonia. I speak
about a Finnish friend who spends
his weekends in Tallin to party cheap.
We’re such slaves of anecdotes.
All memory is co-creation.
Serena and I haven’t reduced
to the pragmatism of sexual attraction.
Every time she laughs,
some Newtonian ether fills the room.
There’s no greater bond than humour
in the soporific joke of life.
The sea sets the rules we break
driving drunk through the velvety dark,
past the houses folded in light.
Mindful bickering of a mindless species.
Where we are, there is night.

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