Chennai by Sahana Mira

Poem On Chennai

today, I am the last passenger
that’s stranded at an empty railway station,
I am the plucked heart
resembled that of a pretty hibiscus from a neighbourhood recklessly thrown away
while getting back home,
I am the mailbox that’s never opened,
I am a cluster of words that’s abandoned,
maybe marked
“unread” after quietly reading.
I am the tray of cupcakes with
wrath and fury and teaspoon
of tears and aches.
All the old lovers- the ones that
called me by pet names,
the ones that told bestfriends till eternity,
the ones that I baked a cake for,
the ones that sent me playlists
only occasionally smile today,
wave or never,
“maybe, I should leave to distant places”
I whisper woefully to the
corners of the old madras
but this city has only tried to befriend me.
Is this half an ode or an apology
or an off key anthem to the city that
offers me warmth when knots of
forlorn cloud seep through my throat
and settles in my abdomen,
convincing that it knows me?
The old comfort is still looking
beige and not stale at
the high stacks of the iconic bookstores
at Mount road, in the stairs of the
Egmore museum and good ol’ Rivett,
in quaint little garden cafes scribbling the aftermath of
sudden cloudbursts and reeking rosemallows,
letting me reside in its places, in its shade
in its warmth— the echoes of the
flute music played by hawkers
at the Elliot’s beach and its calm tides,
finding solace in filter coffee and
hues of amber-gold sunsets
while passing through the
long-stretched east coast road.
to this city: you’ve heard the tales
that my tongue longed to whisper
but it’s aching to call you an old lover
because they only know to leave me
like a last passenger stranded at an
empty railway station.

Sahana Mira