A YELLOW CHAMBER

The little sour-yellow chamber
in the park
is appropriately lit,
a shade from the flayed,
intensely private,
guarded secrets
of someone like me.
Keep me under your aegis
because I am not disgruntled
by there being two memorials
in the same direction
facing it.
This is a capacious park
which is why I don’t come here
to sit or mind the thin green
of its contents
or to longingly walk around it.
I take one or two strolls
around
and it helps
to not tell anyone
that I come here.

There’s nothing secretive
about its wariness
from a kind of beauty
that’s disposable
when the rains
get too grey
and too occupied
with making
the mud
particularly sink so deep
in my sandals
that it gets carried home,
coralled like a memory
of this imperfect place
that is just a little distance
from the river,
a little far from everybody’s
gazes,
thirty minutes from home
on foot.
A little too open
for the ambush of
hurtful contexts
and hands with corns
or the smacking of tongues
and wet lips.
I’ve seen them
a little too much.
The skin is not
tantalized
by such sights
or sensations.

****

Bless this little vestibule
living in the heart of the
city’s most beautiful stretch.
I smell in it
an earthy
oblivion.
I see in it
the track of sorrows
dispersed like seeds
in such a forbidden whisper
that its walls
and leftover bamboo scaffolds
too can’t resolve its sacred secrecy.
We don’t need to hush
or bury our grief anymore
under the crunch of gravel
and an unfinished epilogue.

Perhaps this is the one corner
I don’t need to come to
each day.
It’s resigned like that.
Older beyond its years
of standing here
with a quivering spine
and supine
as if everything around it
was built for its distinct
shadows.

I come here.
Not to remember
the crusty bougainvilleas
of May.
But to just be.

The yellow chamber
and this park
are perpetual guards
minding my slow, nimble
steps.
We don’t clasp each other tightly.
We just know
we’ll not forget this
new acquaintance selfishly.
It’s a comfort we can share
throughout winter.

***











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