somewhere, a little girl appearing for
her math exam smashes our faces,
and believes she will score the highest;
a man temporarily glues our little fingers
with our backs to the sun and says his
salah during ramadan before sunset,
and a seventy nine year old braids
us together, begging, so that
his mathematics professor for
a daughter visits him on his birthday.
this universe we were conceived in
believes in the intimacy of praying.
i hold you in my arms and the world
finds the safest place to transfer the load
of faith from her bent back between
the creases and scars of our love.
every morning, i grasp my fingers
around the blue-green toothbrush
as you lather colgate over it and
then turn on the faucet. for you and
i to dance under, it rains every
morning at six.
you and i are so good together
that we can put bonnie and clyde
to shame, because teamwork
makes the dream work, baby;
and there definitely were eggs
in the infamous dream from
last night. so i turn on the stove
and you pass me the eggs
i crack over the pan you placed,
then throw the shells in the trash.
you loosen the salt shaker as
i hold on to it and proceed to add saline
power to our proteins.
i chop us some melon,
as you bear hug me out of caution;
i wear the sun to breakfast.
at half past eight, i place
myself at 2 and you do at 10;
we drive past our differences
and fall in love again.
i want to apologise to you for
all the times you had to fold yourself
around androids, facing the boredom
of clear or blue phone covers while
i scrolled miles long enough
to take us to paris with my thumb
on a six inch globe and beyond;
and for all the times you wanted
to feel the warmth of brownies
and the slippery fingers that come
with eating rice with lentils.
i can see it in the way you hold pens
while passing them to me and closing
their caps that you want to press them
against a piece of paper yourself and
later feel ink all over and inside yourself.
last night, when you and i were
holding ghalib’s love sonnets
between us like a secret promise,
i wonder whether or not you felt
me slyly inching towards you, and resting
my fingers over the valley of your knuckles,
so full of longing and light.
you remind me of royalty with
the crowns you wear on top of your nails.
the partitions on your fingers are borders
that are burning with a rage
i do not know how to write about.
i trace the desert-coloured
lines on the pink of your palms
that reminds of the sandstones
handpicked for hawa mahal
and all the budhiya ke baal
the first through sixth graders
are begging for their parents
to buy them. this pink,
it is the bouquet
of roses that a man forgets
to buy for his pregnant wife
on their third anniversary who
eats salmon on their lunch date
but craves a glass of rosé.
that pink, it is the kindness
served in a glass of chabeel
that is being distributed outside
the gurudwara that you
and i hold like we hold
the head of a newborn baby.
the lines on your palms
are running parallel to years
and just half a decade from now,
i find the address to the galaxy
you and i could share if you choose
to hold me for as long as
the universe does not betray us.
i can now see the ochre address
morphing itself into the lyrics of
‘la vie en rose’ in morse code;
i wonder if it means you choose me
to have and to hold you from one day
forward, and not leave like the ones
who have already left.
what i want you to know
is that i will wait for you as long as you
ask me to because wedding vows
are eloping nowhere without
us riding on their backs,
and no matter what happens,
you will always be the one
who is right for me,
and that, i swear.
― a love letter written by my right hand for my left