after sunset

the single lamp glowers
like a stray dog caught in dishonour —

smoke rises from the lips of a cracked
sky, engines backfire, our staccato breaths
hold our words near, by each other’s side,

as we reflect over the absolute need
to be detached from people, from every-
thing, like the smile of a wicked flower
that is about to fall to pieces —

our tea turns colder by the minute,
our talks do not have the urgency of life,
we are sailing our friend-ship without
its anchor, uprooting planks and prod-
ding needs and exchanges, required
of us — the emotional labour doesn’t
have an eight-hour ending period
of a working (not for me) day,

so we slurp, &gulp down the remains of it
from our vessels — all the words strewn
between us like aimless ash of a charred sun.

.
© Anmol Arora

Day 25
(Inter)National Poetry Month

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metro delay

the air-conditioning keeps the temper in check,
when the refrain goes on —

“there will be a short delay to this service,
we apologize for the inconvenience.”

the convenience is not a matter of concern
for empty faces that only think of pocket-sized
dreams, the delay is but a pause to this pau-
city of time, the one so accommodating of high
-rises as well as the debris of urban dreams,

there is a silence in the noise, the quizzical
faces look at each other, to the wrists, to find
out a kernel of truth, a certain wonderment
at being out of place and time, disenfranchised
in intervals from lifelines, and the tepid train-
journeys. there is a marked departure from
routine and no one knows what to do with it.

it doesn’t require much charge of reverie or
luminescence of this compartment to diffuse,
before the doors close & everything moves on.

the city is ingrained deep inside all of us, as
we all jolt awake to the further announcement,

this time, of the next station and what it means.
life hangs like an unbalanced question-mark
before it dissipates and feet rush out like faith.

.
© Anmol Arora

Day 22
(Inter)National Poetry Month

day-breaking

delhi-smog-afp_650x400_71478106108

a blushful pride — the grey cloak lifting
gently, sweet dreams rising, treated with
sulfur and carbon all night long — PM 2.5
as the air emanates a deathly spell, ghostly-
white with specks of pink-red phlegm on
a boastful sky —

take a whiff of cold and dust, rubbing
irritable, sleep-deprived eyes, and find
the wind-passage to comforts of urban
pleasures and umbral treasures —

waiting, waiting for it to become a time-
turned reality — the morning of this hour,
the cajoling fear of the march —

a numb reckoning for another one to pass,
a chimney-reserved sigh to veil the dark.

.

© Anmol Arora

For Midweek Motif at PU
Image source (A cyclist rides along a street as smog envelops a monument — NDTV)