My Invisible Prison

Bound to the ground with chains of earthly scents

I feel like an outcast and I’ll never be let out again,

I saw the eagle soaring high above my head,

I wanted to get to it but it just fell down dead,

Why is it that whenever I’m alone, there is no one to be with me?

Why is it that wherever I go there is no one to come with me?

 

So let me go, just let me go,

I want to fly away like a bird,

I know I can’t but soon I would.

 

Fallen from my high perch in the clouds, I drift among the undead,

So I raise my hands in supplication but they cut off my wings instead,

 They want to make me their queen; they push me onto this throne of gold

I am shocked, I am scared and I have nowhere to go.

Why is it that whenever I’m afraid, there is no one to comfort me?

Why is it that when I feel so powerless, there is no one to fight for me?

 

So let me go, just let me go,

I want to sing a song like the thrush,

I part my lips but I’m silenced with a hush.

 

The creatures here are alien to me and  I am an alien to them,

They have never seen someone like me and eye me like a gem,

These are people with no god, no one to call their own,

These barbarians are feeding on each other’s flesh and bone.

Why is it that when I feel so lost, there is no one to show me the way?

Why is it that when I feel so overcrowded, there is no one to fly me away?

 

So let me go, just let me go,

I want to live my life as happily as a lark,

But here I am weeping, stumbling in the dark.

 

They see me crying and wonder what is wrong with me,

Any longer here and I will be questioning my sanity,

My heart aches and I’m homesick for the home is where the heart is,

I ponder over my imprisonment and wonder why I even exist.

Why is it that when I feel so isolated there is no one to give me company?

Why is it that when I’m bruised and injured no one has a remedy?

 

So let me go, just let me go,

I want to be as peaceful as a dove,

Not a cruel, heartless beast without love.

 

You wonder why I’m crying out from an unseen malady,

the reason being that I was a bird not that often seen,

the barbarians I speak of are the human to whom I was something new,

they captured me and tortured me till I was black and blue.

Why was it that when I cried out in despair, they called my cries a lovely song?

Why was it that I was made a prisoner in a cage for no fault of my own?

 

I no longer cry for my freedom for I have found it now,

have many questions unanswered for you to find out.

At this moment though, I chose not to dwell on my horrible past,

I do not wish to look at my mangled corpse that my spirit has sideways cast.

(Note: Published in the D.A. College official magazine ‘Sahil’ in 2006.)

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Almost like a child

Like a child he was

So innocent, so sweet

No person like him

Did I ever meet

But they spared him not

They took him away

So quickly they went,

Not a word he could say

All the hurt they caused him

Its scars were there

They wouldn’t leave him,

A never-ending nightmare

Like a child he howled

Writhing in pain

His blood showered on me

Falling like rain

Like a child he wept

As his shell fell apart

The capture of his freedom

Was a stake through my heart

Like a child he lay,

On my lap was his head

Like a child he cried

Fighting to come back

Like a child he grew

Afraid of death

As the angel of darkness

Silently swept

‘Go away!’ I cried,

‘To the farthest shore,

Go! Let my darling

Sleep some more.’

But his soul, black death,

Wrenched away from me

And his unseeing eyes

Lay for all to see…

There is no fault in her stars

She sat hunched in the cubicle, silent tears making their way down her pretty face, dripping from her chin on the bathroom floor. She could hear heels clicking on the tiles as girls made their way in and out of the ladies room, unaware of her misery in the corner stall. She tried to drown out the sounds, scrunching her eyes shut, rocking silently, hoping to ease the pain of disappointment, the slap of failure. This isn’t how she wanted to start her new life, scared of being left behind, thrown out of this life like a used tissue paper. This isn’t what she wanted but it certainly felt like the culmination of all her fears, condensed into this one moment and suddenly all she saw was darkness ahead of her.

How had it come to this? The teenage girl with the world at her feet was now a woman lost in the great big maze that is life, trying to find her footing. She had everything she ever wanted or needed, but a spate of unfortunate events had brought her to this point in her life where she did not know how or what to live for anymore. She was not weak; not when she lost her loved ones at an age where she needed them the most, not when she had to be the responsible adult taking care of the house when other girls were picking out prom dresses, not when she found herself surrounded by strangers away from everything she held near and dear. No, she had never been weak. But now she had reached the end of her tether and suddenly she wanted to let go, tired of holding on for so long she felt herself freefalling to her doom.

She didn’t know how much time had passed since she locked herself away in the bathroom stall. Not that anyone would notice, she thought. I am nothing; unimportant, unnecessary, irrelevant and a misfit. That is all I am to anybody who knows me, she rued as she choked on sobs that threatened to drown her. As weak as she had become, parched lips a sign of her dehydration, there was nothing left in her empty shell of a body to even squeeze out more tears. I wouldn’t be surprised to find my soul floating away aimlessly because the vessel that is my body has rejected it as well, she thought to herself.

She slowly got up and wiped her face with her hands, sniffling silently she rearranged her clothes and tiptoed out of her bathroom stall. Splashing cold water on her face she composed herself, smoothing out the creases of pain that were etched in her face a few moments ago. The office was deserted; nobody stayed in for lunch on Fridays especially when you had the food street across from work. She saw the two texts from her teammates, new recruits themselves, asking about lunch. Touching up on her makeup, she quickly checked her wallet for the crumpled note that would cover her small meal with her equally broke and nervous coworkers and headed for the elevator. After an awkward lunch of iced tea and stilted words of comfort offered to her for the boss’ early morning verbal thrashing, she headed back to her desk and hunched over the routine report she had been called too stupid to complete.

Despite her numbed senses she heard his voice, clear and confident, over the din of the bustling workplace. She was so attuned to his presence that it was hard to breathe every time he passed by her desk, enveloping her in his scent that evoked suppressed memories now too painful to recall. He was still the same person who had been the center of her universe, but someone else had become the center of his. She had been orbiting him, latching onto his warmth, but to him she was like Pluto, a small cute blip on his radar now no longer worthy of being even called a planet. She was his “good friend” who he cared about, but she was being “silly” that he hadn’t cared enough to want more. Why she had even allowed herself to become so attached when she had already been hurting from the rejection by one who she thought had been her soulmate. This short-lived office romance that had taken her mind off a failed relationship had only made old wounds bleed fresh again. Like everything else she touched, this part of her life too had turned to dust, and now she was being chased by the sandstorms of her own failures.