Terrible sexts for lonely nights #3.

​We walk along roads wet with the rain

which turns the sidewalks into sand, 

we walk along the bistros and the café 

where young lovers don’t feel the need 

to become each other’s umbrellas, we 

walk across a backdrop of walls painted

with ‘immigrant whores fuck off’ and street

signs which lead one into no particular direction or cause, we walk like strangers

pretending not to know each other tonight
But like all pretense, this’ll last only till we 

reach your apartment, till our clothes come

off before we’ve made up our mind whether

I’ll take you in your bed or the couch facing

the street

This pretense lasts till you stand naked in 

front of me like a proud fluttering flag, and

I shiver like a newcomer, standing at your 

threshold

you hold my face and guide 

my lips across your naked landscape, gasping 

as my teeth bite on to your land, and my 

tongue leaves glistening trail like streams 

flowing through deserts
When the pretense is lost, and I’ve become

a part of you, you’ll take me in your mouth,

warm and wet, and welcoming of sin

and I’d feel myself become a street sign that 

always points west, and throbs and sways,

entangled in your tongue

 

your arms wrap around my waist, and you pull

me deeper till you gag 

and I, worried of my

intrusion, pull away

but you hold me just as close 

and your head moves like a magic trick 

appearing and disappearing that

part of me, engulfing me whole
soon, your mouth takes me in faster, 

and my hands hold on to your hair, 

in the frenzy of

approaching floods, 

your fingers push inside 

you- two at a time- and as I flow

for the first time, in your mouth
I wonder if it is possible, to distinguish 

my desires, from your welcome

your ocean, from my shores

your land, from my tenancy 

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Terrible sexts for lonely nights #2.

​Getting drunk does things to you, you

said, it makes you want to fly, and 

in the urgency for flight, you hold 

my hand,  as if holding onto you

will make me sprout wings too, 

I don’t protest, feeling your

cold fingers around my wrist
you whisper into my ears

it was your words on mine, 

it could just as easily have been, 

your slippery tongue on mine

it could just as easily 

have been, 

you on me
you arch your back in a gorgeous 

curve, it helps with the 

aerodynamics of flight, you say

it could just as easily have been 

your thighs muffling 

my ears, till the only

sounds I heard was the blood 

rushing through my head, 

and the feral moans my tongue 

extracted from your throat

as I probe inside your body,

and you throw back your head

and arch your back, offering me

more of you to lick into ecstasy
your nails digs into my wrist, only 

to make sure I don’t let go, you say

it could just as easily have 

been, your  nails on my thighs

grabbing on 

while your hips 

buckle and press 

down harder 

around my face

it could have been the shuddering

of a river that breaks off from glaciers,

flowing down, to the delta of a lover’s 

hungry mouth, 

leaving dissolving salinity

as an aftertaste

on my lips

 

getting drunk does things to you,

you say, it could just as easily have been

me, doing those things to you

while you moan- gasp- bite your lips sore- shiver all over with spasms, into a hangover 

that leaves you spent, like the day

that leaves you explored, like sin

Terrible sexts for lonely nights #1

​Some men choose to 

gaze into the abyss, 

and when the abyss

gazes into them, that 

gaze turns people mad, 

they say it turns them 

into perverts, such that

they turn to seeking 

solace in the summer rain 

between warm thighs
Instead, I gaze into you while you sit 

on the counter beside the sink, feet 

dangling two feet from the slippery

floor of the bathroom we took refuge 

in, and you gaze back  into me, your 

eyes heavy with want, and your fingers 

twiddling where my tongue wished to

seek solace, your fingers, wet and

glistening, with the afterglow of a whiskey bottle left open for too long, 

and I almost rushed 

to please you, the 

way I knew best

and you said, stay

and I knew my place
Your fingers twiddled, and when your legs 

opened wider, it swallowed them whole

and you said, now show me what that 

does to you, show me

how it makes you mad

it was as if, I had been waiting for this, 

the way kids wait to be rebuked 

by their favourite teacher, in a moment

I was the cloud waiting to break

and my moans were the thunder

which kept getting louder, the fiercer

my hands stroked, the closer I came 

to breaking into rain, and flowing into you
You just sat, as if a light year away from me

watching with satisfaction, how your

gaze, could make me want to break myself

and when I couldn’t take it anymore, 

your eyes softened
You took me in your hands, and I 

screamed out your name, loud enough

for the neighbors to create rumors,

about men who shout into an abyss

and you said, yes, 

break- come – show me how you flow

and like the abyss it echoes in my ears

and when I gushed, when your 

hands ran full, with froth 
we kissed, the way an abyss, calls to men

the way, men rush into the abyss,

seeking shelter from the sun

Terrible sexts for lonely nights #1.

​Getting drunk does things to you, you

said, it makes you want to fly, and 

in the urgency for flight, you hold 

my hand,  as if holding onto you

will make me sprout wings too, 

I don’t protest, feeling your

cold fingers around my wrist
you whisper into my ears

it was your words on mine, 

it could just as easily have been, 

your slippery tongue on mine

it could just as easily 

have been, 

you on me
you arch your back in a gorgeous 

curve, it helps with the 

aerodynamics of flight, you say

it could just as easily have been 

your thighs muffling 

my ears, till the only

sounds I heard was the blood 

rushing through my head, 

and the feral moans my tongue 

extracted from your throat

as I probe inside your body,

and you throw back your head

and arch your back, offering me

more of you to lick into ecstasy
your nails digs into my wrist, only 

to make sure I don’t let go, you say

it could just as easily have 

been, your  nails on my thighs

grabbing on 

while your hips 

buckle and press 

down harder 

around my face

it could have been the shuddering

of a river that breaks off from glaciers,

flowing down, to the delta of a lover’s 

hungry mouth, 

leaving dissolving salinity

as an aftertaste

on my lips

 

getting drunk does things to you,

you say, it could just as easily have been

me, doing those things to you

while you moan- gasp- bite your lips sore- shiver all over with spasms, into a hangover 

that leaves you spent, like the day

that leaves you explored, like sin

Mourning.

Every time a mother
dies, it rains,
every time a daughter,
cries- moans- wants
to hold the world in her hands,
every time death, becomes a word
set in stone,

every time a daughter
mourns her dead mother at twelve,
and wishes there were more things
she could tell her, wishing there
were lesser secrets
she had kept, and slowly the death
becomes callouses over deeper wounds
beneath, she is told pain, comes at the
price of womanhood,

every time a mother forgets
to check for lumps, every time she
forgoes a test, every time someone
tells her, women are made of suffering,
and childbirth becomes a bliss, and
menstrual cramps become a blessing,
and rupture on the first night
becomes a celebration, every time
blood and pain and suffering become
her only identity,

every time she
becomes the rain,
unnoticed
and forgotten,
a mother dies

(To the daughter who mourns her mother’s death tonight. And to the mother, upon whose death her family realised, there was so much more to take care of, so much more to hold close)

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Trigger Warning

What did you expect, when
you knocked on their doors,
gun in hand, trigger resting
on sprocket-coil-joint-waiting
for a moment’s notice
did you expect deliverance?
was there a dialogue?
did the dancing men try to
change your mind?
did they tell you, that some gods
are gay too, the way
some men and women are?
did they tell you some gods like resting
their divine heads, on another gods’
chests, such that their halo gets crumpled
along with the bedsheets?
did they tell you, god asks, to love others?
did they remind you, god made rainbows
so gay people could stand underneath, as
could straight or bisexual or transgender
one for each
each for one
colour of the heavenly arch?
because son, you’ve sinned
and in my eyes
they have held hands,
and they have kissed
and that is love,
which has always filled my heart
while hatred, has filled yours, to the brim

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It was my first time

It was my first time, being out
after 9, knowing mom would be
angrier than ever, but her smile
when I knock on the door, at
quarter to 10, and her denial
when asked if she worried, ‘of course
not, I knew you’d be back, soon’,
she’d say, would slowly fill the gaps
between our silent dinner together

It was my first time, at a party, I was
never much of a party person, so
many people, so loud, so momentary
it made me nervous
and how people became friends,
so easily, escaped me
but I knew parties, were just
places, where loneliness lost its name,
and became loneliness, without context

It was my first time, drinking, and
laughing, I almost forgot my worries,
and my sister threw back her hair, so
lightly, and she was so happy, I thought
she could cry
We drank from tiny glasses, three
fingers deep, the liquid was bitter and
warm, and three boys sat across from
the bar, looked at us and blushed,
and my sister said ‘the drinks are getting
warmer in our palms’, and I laughed too

It was my first waking up, mom’s voice,
swimming through the haze, wake up
honey, wake up, it’s almost afternoon
already, and I slowly strained my eyes open,
mom wasn’t there, only a nurse, in
starched white uniform, and a growing
patch of sweat, expanding
we thought we’d lost you for a minute, she said
can you remember anything that happened,
we need to examine you, can you
understand?
can you understand?
I nod

It was my first rape, and there can be no
more, for there isn’t
any more of me, to
assault, there isn’t
enough body, there isn’t
enough soul, later I hear, he had pushed
three fingers inside me,
that’s the same we use, to measure the
depth of tequila shots, he had kept going
he had kept assaulting
my battleground of
a body, he had kept going
only because I hadn’t stopped
breathing
yet

It was his first time too, he pleaded, a year later, in front of a jury,
it was his career, he said
she was drunk, he said,
not ‘sorry, it was my fault’, 
not ‘it was me, and I should be punished’,
but ‘she’
but ‘parties and alcohol’
but ‘career’
‘besides, she didn’t resist’, he adds,
as if an afterthought,
as if it was supposed to make
the jury sigh in relief
‘thank god, finally, we can say not guilty’

It’s always the first time for
someone, I wanted to say, and
raping someone while they were
unconscious, is like stabbing
someone while they slept, and no,
it’s all your fault,
and no, six months isn’t enough,
six months is how long it takes,
for summer to fade into winters,
six months is how
long it took for me,
to write this letter
and if you still think you’re innocent,
imagine how it’d feel, if it was
the first time you let your mother
be angry, thinking
over dinner, you’ll let your silences
dissolve the anger, and now,
silence dissolves itself everyday,
in how our
eyes meet, scared
but stubborn,
broken,
but breathing, yet

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The first time we did it

The first time we did it, was
like being back at the beach,
my hands trying to cover
your breasts, like waves
trying to reclaim, shore
You heave at my touch, become
the sea, drown me, in undeniable
ecstasy
my teeth mark,
red and blue,
your skin
like footprints on sand, and then my
tongue licks, where your skin feels
warm and bruised, where hickeys
look like tan, from bathing too long
under the summer sun
my kisses trail, further down, stubble
scraping on naked skin, in your eyes
brown as sin, I find my longing melt,
and when my mouth
sucks you down
there, there’s a taste as bitter as the salt,
as raw as foam, as
metallic,
as blood
I suck like a drowning man
struggles to breathe, underwater,
blind, with the smell of the ocean
lingering on my breath
I suck, you moan, the sea roars at
high tide, the water floods, dry
land, rising
up till, my tongue
is a lover’s bare ankle
getting drenched in the gushing flow
Then suddenly, the sea turns
wild, takes back into it’s throat, erect
banner of an oakwood boat, guzzles
spits
throbs
swirls, waves like her tongue
around the tip of the mast
and in a moment, lovers turn
to water
in each other’s arms
entering each other, with reckless abandon, till knees hurt at the bend
till rooms spin into a ferris wheel
and the spinning
keeps getting faster
and soon my skin knows how deep
your aches run, and your sweat
knows, how my moaning begs
completion
and as we come onto each other
as your salt  
                  breaks
                               in my mouth
as my waves turn
                  to froth,
                                in you,
I know we’d bleed
our bed together
with
want

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Mr. Tambourine Man.

You’re still getting older, and I’m
still worried, whether you carry
your umbrella when it rains
And I believed every time you
held out your thumb, you
could make auto rickshaws stop
before you
got in, and I thought it was pretty
heroic, how you could
sing with your arms closed
and wrap heartbreaks
in a voice, that
trembles, every time
you talk of her

You’re not getting any younger, and
I’m still listening to you sing
over and over again, at
that bar down in
Paris, and over the radio
station that only plays
classics

The bartenders around here
are better looking though, and
at midnight,
every song seems to urge you
to kiss, and every time
I open my lips to fit in
someone’s,
your name comes
floating in the
wind

(For Bob Dylan, and belated birthday wishes)
Photo: Ritu Nichani.

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