NS (14.02.1977 / Ernakulam, Kerela)

One Summer Night

In a drunken stagger
Here I am, lost, among my friend’s friends
Holding on to life’s frayed ends.
My sleeve soaked in perspiration
Tries to cleave to my body.
I am clutching a paper cup of vodka, tonic and ice—
It would be nice if I liked it better here.

Here I am, I have puked
In a toilet bowl, my knees on the floor mat plush;
I have been rebuked by life,
The toilet does not flush.
My head, the size of a cello,
Sways from end to end.
I look in the mirror;
I bend and wash my face in the basin.

Here I am, speaking,
“I am a good person, I am becoming everything I abhor.”
She rubs my back and nods her head,
This is condescension I am sure.
This is life and its pips,
We can’t be taken seriously, with semi-drivel on our lips.
I don’t like most of these people,
They seem strangely wired,
Grossly attired, as people wanting to be;
But they seem to have found,
What I seek to find... a place in the world.

Here I am, in a car park
Bidding thanks and adieu to those,
Who care for me I suppose;
This is the closing of the deal, we hug,
A gay guy cops a feel.
In a drunken stupor, I journey home
Leaning over the precipice, of what has been and what is
I have seen, I understand, I have always understood...
It is much more than this—
All literary ambition and life dies in the curse of growing old,
Of knowing, and wanting to be, something more.

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Maya Angelou

Caged Bird

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