I

 

Anna Parkart

In order to be the one you love –
I have to remember another city
its empty streets – gnawing,
the impressions of a bra, etched across my back.
another route back home, a pack of Marlboros,
store-bought wine
our respective anxieties sitting in the sockets of our eyes.
I let your sadness rest inside me
I give it shape and roll it out into
palatable mounds of
pretty words and prettier glances.
You watch with a fire in your eyes and
I blink;
I’ll walk with my ass up, tits out,
and maybe you’ll learn to love me the way you love your mother.

Another land, another language,
pizza dough on your lips,
stench of raw meat on your breath – I tell you it doesn’t matter
When I think of you, I think of hugs wrapping themselves like
a grip around my wrist – impressions of hands that don’t quit.
I wrench it away;
I want to tell you that it isn’t enough.
Don’t make the same mistakes my parents did
My mother, with her herbal medicines and her spite
My father with his sullen silences and heavy machinery tools,

I can’t see too much, but I see
Enough.

We slip away quietly, no sound, not a whimper, not even a nod of acknowledgement.

Your eyes burn with fire but it isn’t enough.

I can’t be with you, you say –
I am not with me yet.

All image credit/copyright: Anna Parkart

On House Hunting In Bombay

WhatsApp Image 2019-09-06 at 2.31.15 PM

Sat pillion behind a man named Faiz

The name of my

First love.

“My girlfriend is Hindu,” he asserts

Narrow, hazel eyes and a kind disposition

I would say a kind heart but you never know

Around here.

I nod, my eyes fixed vacantly, my hands clutched aggressively

at the Angry sea – blurs of grey and mud, screaming at me to tell

him that my mother is Hindu too.

Us both, ignorant, unabashed

about wearing our bigotry on our sleeves.

“Look at me, my blood is mixed up of those who you hate – where do I fit in?”

Cut up the city in tiny boxes

Cut up its people, cram them into the boxes

Al Hilal, Al Qareem, Al Saba

Each house smells different – years of pain, age, wisdom, heartbreak, love, loss, death, bills, taxes, payments, cum spreading itself across is walls

“Where do I fit in?”

Close your eyes and imagine yourself within the four walls – talking to somebody you love,

Envisioning last night’s orgasm as you smoke a cigarette and watch the tea boil over.

“My boyfriend’s Brahmin,” does that help?

His blood looks the same as mine. He has strong arms and a lovely smile and he holds me when I keel over, my uterus exploding into a thousand prickly stars

and I imagine we can do this within the four walls of this house.

Hazel eyes replace the jade ones of the white colony cat who’ll take its pick of roti

irrespective of your name –

Sundar, Darshan, Ajanta, Kalpana

Look at the lot of us – waiting to be boxed in.

The angry sea, a moment’s respite, from the relentless holes I try and skip over

but fall flat, face down into;

Inhale the dust.

Brush it off, begin again.

Close your eyes – can you picture yourself within these four walls?

Image credit : Anurag Banerjee