ABOUT A NOTHING SOMETHING

I have nothing from the old place.
I took a handful of clothes,
half a suitcase of books, some beads,
but the music had long died, the piano
figuratively smashed into pulp
after every visiting child had banged its
fist remorselessly on the keys, the ivory
turned irretrievably into cement.

I have nothing from the old place.
I have even forgotten how the insects
fly there, strangled by the screen doors,
how the candles woke up the dead
during power outages, how the trees
tore their own hair when the monsoon
screamed and wailed, how the moon
revealed rat trails in the open drains.

I will not take you to the old place,
where I left the old syllabary and verses,
where my poems in the forgotten tongue
were incinerated in an evening of rage,
the papers silenced because they cried
too noisily and forgot to be discreet.
I have forgotten the colour of the paint
on the high walls of the verandah.

There is nothing left of me there.

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