Nandi’s Ocean

Her thick lashes draped over her downcast eyes. He looked at her, trying to figure out what exactly was wrong.

Nandi’s lower lip quivered ever so slightly and she quickly caught it in between her teeth. Her shoulders seemed to droop even lower.  Nandi never cried. She always had it all together.

Not in front of him, anyway.

Denjei felt like wrapping his arms round her and holding her to his chest. But that would probably be awkward since he’d never as much as taken her hand even in a handshake. Not that he hadn’t wanted to. Several times. Especially when she wore that aqua blue dress with the lacey, plunging neckline. That seemed to be the only dress she had that wasn’t black, brown or grey. There was something about that shade of blue against her chocolatey brown skin that made him feel the air conditioning in the room had been shut down.

But, she was his boss. Thinking about her in this way was just…just…somehow.

Another awkward ten minutes passed before he spoke again.

“Maybe you should take the day off, ma’am. I’ll handle everything here and call you later to report….”

She raised her head and looked at him, her eyes wide with fear.

“He’s going to kill me.” No emotion and matter-of-factly.

What? Who? Where? Why? And half a dozen other questions tumbled over each other in his head, each one wanting to be the first to get out of his mouth.

“Who’s he?” It was more of an exclamation than a question.

I had no idea there was a ‘he’ in her life. She didn’t seem like a woman who needed anyone…any man. Heck, he was even scared of her most times.

In response to my question, she turned her back to me. I thought she was wringing her hands in front of her until with an almost imperceptible shrug; her black dress fell off her shoulders. I swallowed hard, anticipating seeing more of the skin that had been the object of my secret fantasies. I threw a quick glance at the office door, trying to remember if it was locked or not, hoping no one would come in and spoil the moment for me.

I turned back to look at her bare shoulders, totally unprepared for the sight that met me. Her back was riddled with long wounds in different stages of healing. One particularly long welt was still fresh, obviously administered the day before, judging from its redness.

A string of expletives left Denjei’s mouth in rapid succession.  She turned round to face him. The tears fell fast and free, disappearing the moment they landed on the front of her black dress.

“Take me home, Denjei.”

“I….I…I’m so sorry. I’ll call your driver immediately.”

“No!” She said firmly, grabbing his arm. “You drive. Take me to your house. Take me anywhere. Faraway from Sarema…and his father.

Daydreaming Again

“I heard an airplane passing overhead. I wished I was on it.”
Out here, up there, going anywhere,
As long as he was not on it.
Your head is up in the clouds, he said
That was the only page of my book, he’d read.
The rest, I’d locked up in a cage,
Lost keys.
Twas for my good or I’d be dead,
Or leashed.
Distant lands, calm seas and quiet villages,
And that dark-haired stranger at the bar in the inn.
Brown eyes, well-worn pages,
Slightly wrinkled at the edges.
Slender fingers ready,
To write volumes on my skin,
Of stories I’d left unwritten.

 

Postscript

The first two lines of this poem in quotation marks is a tweet at 12:28 on 02/01/2016 found on @PoemsPorn timeline. Good stuff on there. Please follow. That tweet inspired the rest of the poem.

HELLO…

I just sat there and stared. Blankly. There was a constant ringing in my ears. I wasn’t sure whether it was from the drone of the fat nuns in the choir singing a dirge or from the sweet smell of the burning incense from the altar that reminded me of something I needed so badly right now – a cigarette.
I had endured the past week without being able to smoke as freely as I would if I were back in my flat. No one in the family knew I smoked. Anyway, It would have been hard to detect through the layers of expensive perfumes I wore. My signature ruby-red lips kept my charred lips well hidden. I was hardly seen without make-up.
My nicotine craving was quickly forgotten as the rustle of clothing and creaking of pews made me realise people were getting up. I stood up with the rest of the family. The clergymen files past first, followed by the bearers of the hearse. The immediate family members followed, and I took the rear, as usual.
The buzz in my ears continued as we made our way outside to the church cemetery. There, the smell of freshly dug earth mixed with the scent of the incense, was his scent.
No, it wasn’t a figment of my imagination. It was his scent. No one else smelled that way. I looked up, and around, calmly telling myself if was the grief (or maybe the nicotine craving) that was playing on my senses.
And then. I saw him.
Same white kaftan he wore the last time I had seen him…..
He and I had had a fight. He had driven off in anger. I heard from his friend two years later that there had been an accident. No survivors. I had been too angry to grieve for him. He had hurt me so bad I actually told myself he deserved to die.
And now he was here, by my father’s graveside. The dead mourning the dead.
But, his gap-toothed smile looked too real to be unearthly. I moved closer, the priest’s funeral prayers were became white noise, muffled by the rush of blood to my ears. I moved towards him like a moth drawn to a flame.
He held out his hand, ready to take mine as I approached him. In that outstretched palm I saw hope, and a chance to love again. I had gone six years failing at every attempt to find love and now, love had found me. Just when I needed it most.
I got to where he was and his smile widened and all I could think of was whether his lips would still taste the same after all these years.
“H..hey.” My voice was barely a whisper.
“Hello…from the other side.”
His raspy voice sounded faraway, like a half-wail, drowned out by shouts and screams from all around me.
“She’s falling!” I heard someone’s shout, just before my cheek connected with the red earth at the bottom of my father’s grave.

Free

I packed my clothes in a box,
Not that I knew where to go.
But, I was sure, my feet would take me,
Take me there
Somehow, sometime, someday,but, now
All I needed was to go
Far, fast, forward, just go.
I had it all figured out
Written on a blackboard in my head
But sleep had wiped it clean
Or was it that horrible dream?
I looked at my lone chair
My companion for many nights,
Chair, where I’d fought many fights
And at the end of the game,
I always lost the ball.
My bare foot needed a shoe
This journey might have to be made on foot
My purse’s bowels were full
Of nothing but air.
I didn’t have a car
And even that wouldn’t take me far
For rest, I’d surely find a tree
Whose branches would welcome me
For free, to sleep, refresh, and keep
Going on my way.
I stepped over the crushed beer can,
It rattled against its brothers
Last night they had made love to my my mind, no, my mouth and belly,
Lulling me to sleep.
I took one last look in the mirror
As I lifted the cup to my lips
Weak coffee washed down my fears – about life,
Fear of sex just needed a condom
And the fear of death vanished at the thought of money.
I set the cup down on the table,
Turned the key in the lock and was gone
With all my world’s possessions –
An empty purse, a box of clothes and a condom.

Too Much

I loved and I lost
Not because it was lust
But because I loved too much.

Too many hugs, he said
What he didn’t know was, I was holding on
To my very last bit of hope.

Too many kisses, he said.
Vampirously, I couldn’t stop
It was my life source

You cry too much, he said
How does a broken vessel hold water?

You love too much, he said
Little did he know
I was only learning to love…

Again.

I Saw Batman Last Night.

I swear I saw Batman last night. And no, it wasn’t a dream.

And no it isn’t one of the tales from my “Cloudy Castle”. I’ve been clean for three days, you see. It was just another one of those nights, when I had Insomnia over for a sleepover. Hahaha. And they say I’m insane.

The moon was beautiful tonight. I lay on my back and watched her through the diamond shaped pattern of the iron bars on my window. She and some clouds were playing a game of hide-and-go-seek. But every once in a while, she’d stand out in the open, bathing my brown skin in silvery light, turning it a greyish brown hue.

And then, another cloud pulled her into its embrace, taking her out of my line of sight. I rolled out of bed and waddled to the window to see where he was taking her.

That’s when I saw him. Batman. Just below my window. Arms akimbo. Staring off into the distance. He saw me. I’m sure he did. I could tell from the way his head tilted up a little to the left. I wanted to cry out “Save me, Batman.” I sure as hell needed saving. From them. From myself.

But, it was past 2am in the morning. I blinked hard several times. Even a small cough from me would bring them to my door. The demons. The ones I have to fight outside my body. The ones in my body are pretty well behaved, especially when we’re all nice and cosy in my Cloudy Castle. I looked down again and he was gone. Silently melted into the night. That’s the way all superheroes go. I waddled back to bed, lay and watched a lone star struggle to shine.
Till I closed my eyes and waited for the dawn and my demons to awaken.

*******/////////********
This is the life!
He stood in the shadows, just in front of the low cut shrubbery. The light coming from the open door shone on his back. He had draped her night robe over his shoulders on his way out. Other than that, he was as naked as the day he was born. He stood, feet apart, arms akimbo, as he aimed and the steady stream of urine hit the exact spot he wanted. He finished his business and stood for a few more seconds, filling his lungs with the crisp night air. He caught a whiff of the jasmine flowers he had had the prisoners plant near the fence, a few months ago.

Tonight has been perfect. This new girl, whoa! She’s definitely a keeper. Well…till Alina comes back into town.

He looked at his shadow on the wall and saw the bunny ears on his head. Tonight, she had wanted role play. He was a bunny, she was dressed as a wolf. And a wolf indeed she had been!

Grrrr! How else could she have been going for almost an hour! Thank goodness she’s asleep now. I’m exhausted!

Just then out of the corner of his eye, he saw something move. He looked up slightly to the left. She was awake again. That nutcase. She never slept except when she was high on marijuana. He had cut off her supply for the last three days because she had behaved badly and bit another prisoner.

I better go in before she sees me naked.

He turned and headed indoors as fast as he could.