The Astrolabe

Perfection is a story

Etched in my skin

Where the universe gets mapped

The moon the sun the North Star

My skin broken in parts

Blood inking the trenched loops

All nerve endings at war

Celebrating art in pain

My epic is perched perfectly

A fable in monochrome

Fate obscured in geometry

An unhinged song of symmetry

I am a lifeline in loop

Measuring exact moments of time

Where dreams were made true

Ambitions will be owned

Heaven rests perfect here

Destiny housed behind me

Creeping up from time to time only to say

Bitch you got this!

It’s got nothing on me

Your dream of my life

Your judgement of my choices

Brushed off crumbs – dust from the past

The true path is here

Protected yet untethered

Inside me

I hold the coordinates

I will go

Where I take me

My sun my moon my North Star

I’m my astrolabe

Notre Dame

She was raging yesterday

Her ruined glory in flames

The towering darkness that let the gypsies grow

Like weeds under weathered rocks

She saved Esmeralda from sins She couldn’t explain

Only to crush her heart under Her golden cross

Love found. Love lost. But love – nonetheless

Virgin white turning the top of her spire grey

She looks to me


While vengeful fires engulf Her

“Sanctuary!” She yells

I throw my pride and penile ego

So do other Monsieurs in the Rues

Dreaming of utter ruin

So I can throw up more privilege

She in her despair

Pines our love

Like the souls of other Esmeraldas before her

Hopeless, wreckless and beautiful


It rained last night

Quietly….while I slept in your arms

Slowly whispering words in my head

This is real

You are real

This is what happy feels like

The sunlight was sheepish in the morning

Shining my million blushes on to us

You – exhaling like a resounding drum

On a victory march

I – looking at you like a creepy stalker

Not allowing myself to believe

Love is the only dream that doesn’t feel real

Even when you live it

Trigger warning

Good days

The mirror tells me I’m beautiful today

I smile and stop and smile again

There are no words on my page

For peace and joy are so annoyingly free

They hate being stuck inside words

I search for synonyms and iambic meters

But this feeling

Of floating in silence

Of flying inside the confines of a room

Of smiling for no reason

Of dreams of pink balloons

Of dancing without a song

Doesn’t have enough words

Instead the clarity of it is like a veil

A filter for my unslept eyes

A yellow painted on canvas

Surrounded by blue Irises

The mirror tells me I’m beautiful today

I’m a fierce force of nature

A superhero saving my world

With grace softly perched on my breasts

And glory holstered on my hips

Today, the mirror says, I’m invincible

And today, I agree!

Bad days

The mirror is an abyss today

Inside it, my eyes aren’t my eyes

They’re hollow ghosts stuck in time

My body is a loaded garbage bag

Self loathing, Hate – reduced, reused, recycled.

I stand here naked but for my breath

Stale air engulfing my breasts with each exhale

Embalming me with funereal ease

Enraged fists break into my palms

Ears split with screams stuck inside my glass head

The dark room spreading its wings, I know.

I’m triggered today

A loaded gun inside a black mouth

A bomb waiting to blow

A woman on a ledge

A blind knife on a barbwired skin

A neck exposed – waiting to be eaten by a noose

The mirror is an abyss today

I can feel my breath turn to dust

I can hear the imaginary stones grinding my chest

The bed is a casket parked inside an open grave

Do all rooms in high rises feel this way?

Nearly dead humans subsisting in each square

Windows like tombstones that say

Insignificant and Unknown

(3rd Sep 1986 – Every fucking day)

The House

This house is a cave

Where silence like a monster


It has been fed for years

Pieces of children’s skin on their father’s cane

Sent its way like lambs out for slaughter

This house is an asylum of nightmares

Shadows lurk in every doorway

Waiting for the darkest edge of the night

They wait for the mother to implode

And the patriarch to explode

Until they swallow both of them whole

This house was a mistake

A dream destined to self destruct

Dreamt by a hopeless heart

Put to test by toddler souls

Running scared from one dark room to the next

Till one day they elope leaving their scars and heartbreak behind

It has a caustic system

That burns down joy in an incinerator

Every year

The ashes choke the inhabitants

Until their breath becomes shallow air

And love for years has been hiding inside dusty bookshelves

It has rage for bricks

Cemented together with insults

That hold the walls together

Everyday the mother hits the walls softly

Hoping to let the anger course through her veins

At least it’d keep her alive

The father he stares at the unforgiving walls

Searching for absolution

Praying his sins are worthy of redemption

This house is her.

This house is him.

But the one thing this house is not and never was

Is a home.

Dear diary

Ever had a day when you wish you could blurt words into the diary

The way you used to as a little girl?

A day where you want those words carved into your arms

But your mind has hidden all sharp objects in the room?

I wish my mind were a loaded gun

With words on point enough to kill.

Instead I scar myself

Branding my skin piece by piece

I tell them it was an accident

The doctor wonders aloud if I did it to myself

Or did someone hurt me

I tell her I need no one to love, to hold nor to burn

I don’t feel pain

I don’t allow for it

These walls are too thick

And pain just lashes on the outside uselessly

Instead I preserve my scars

Spread open my heart and let them breathe

While painkillers worm through my blood

Hospital ceilings make for good parchments

It must burn the doctor says

I tell her it hurts but not enough just yet

Perhaps there will come a day when the levees will break

And the pain will flow in these veins along with the killers she injected

Don’t get me wrong

This isn’t masochism nor some dark confession

This is me simply acknowledging the stormy seas in my mind

Listening to the thunder and the distant rumble and bracing

My demons are on my bed every night

Awaiting my implosion

Waiting for charred skin and wounded flesh like

Vultures waiting for death

But these walls hold strong every night

Held together by the same words

That in the morning rain like knives

On my parched skin

As the sun rises, there is this fleeting moment of quiet

Where the pain and the demons don’t exist

And my mouth morphs into a smile

And my scars? They aren’t scars anymore they are old friends

Of Monsoon, Mumbai and Love

Part 1

The word monsoon comes from the Arabic word mawsim

When the Arab sailors would come looking for riches in our lands

The winds of the east would change directions holding them back

Forcing their ships to wait – pining for Ihla Da Boa Vida (the Island of Good Life)

The Dutch would do the same after four months around Africa

Chasing stolen maps, they’d reach these shores only to find “moesson”

The trade winds of the east making them wait

For these clouds to change their hues

The British would time their deaths to it

Claim no one survives two monsoons in this godforsaken island

Yet they stayed – for death in Bom Bahiya – the Good Bay

Meant they were war heroes – in their battle for a British India


Do you ever think about me – your poet?

Everytime you look at the monsoon slashing at your windows

Do you stare at puddles in potholes

Imagining a different reflection of me with each ripple

I’m a lot like this island, you know

I’m not a part of the whole

I show my love the same way

By longing for you oceans away

You’ve tried reclaiming me from under the sea of solitude

Many times at your own expense

Yet you fail to claim me

I am and will forever be submerged in my silence

So – you wait out my monsoons

And descend with your ships of thoughts

When the clouds in my mind have cleared

You bask in the glory of sunshine

While my thoughts like stones drown me in my procrastination

Your love is a silver lining

And my love – the cloud

While you sigh at the smile on my lips

I just want to rain my words on your joy parade

Part 2

The brave they landed

The Parsis, the Jews, the Iranis – the Runaways

The British they were just a rubber stamp

This was and is an island of rejects

I often wonder how does the city not burst into flames

When every one in it is a firecracker?

Instead its lights from the sky,

Quietly guide our souls home every night


I like this, city keep my flames inside

Quietly burning from the inside out

While you – are always on fire

Forever warming my cold feet

You celebrate my empty rooms

Win my silence like a trophy

And I keep my longing for you packed in boxes

We will love like this forever I suppose