Meghna Prakash

Last Christmas

What is home
without your elbows
on my palms
without your tongue
in my mouth
without your lips
pressed against my ears
our bodies twisting and turning
to each other's whims
lovers with their toes pressed
down towards the floorboard
their bodies creaking,
glistened with sweat
their mouths escaping
towards the light
softly glowing
their hips moving
in small, concentric circles
to larger, wilder circles
their bodies, a hula-hoop
that starts at one waist
and finishes by embracing the other

What is this home
that reeks of your absence
like a dying man's room
where he said his last words
to a ceiling fan
that kept spinning
round and round
and around
like a full stop hung on a cross
with blue ribbons
they always mean to visit
until they don't
and all these words they
meant to say but didn't
collect on their tongues
like pellets, weighing
down their mouths.

We let too much go
too easily, we haven't
learned yet to keep fighting
like our grandmothers used to
be it for love,
be it for the chance
to be someone they'd want
to spend a lifetime around

it's never easy for little girls
to love themselves or the
elder woman to leave that man
who hasn't hugged her once
in 13-years, and only thinks of her
if there are no eggs on his plate
that morning, she felt chained
to her bed, her limbs had melted
away to the floorboards, just like
the toes of the two lovers she used
to once know, who would look at her
and remember what her mouth tasted like
after they'd had a lot of Eggnogg, this
Christmas, she refused to wake up
and make his eggs, he didn't understand
why she just lay there with her eyes wide open
staring at the creaking fan.


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