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What is there to lament

by Faaizah Ghazi
(New Delhi, India)

What is there to lament...

When we, wrapped in our rich gowns of chastity step into the gutters,

With Plastic smiles stretched on taut faces,
masks hiding our bare fleshes and raw souls.

With Painted eyes and Painted lips,
we love to play pretend. Pretending to pretend.

But stuttering and stuttering
Choking on these fake courtesies, those stifling stiff bows

(with our hands reaching those precious stones laid upon our bare delicate necks, every now and then, reassured,)

Each one striving to be a Helen, but harbouring revengeful Clytemnestras within.

And again, we loved to douse ourselves in noises, of drums and strings and beats.

Glorifying our losses, we shed these garbs of righteousness, those shackles of purity,

laying bare these hollow hearts, those parched souls

Then swimming in sweet poisons, stuck in illusions,

finally stumbling and reeking and stumbling late into our homes.

Ah! The home

Reduced to four walls, we rejoice in our imprisonment.

But no... We’re not so hopeless.
For four people sit together on grandmas couch,

Blank eyes gaping at shimmering screens, letting the coffee freeze

As the smoky air blur our visions and someone closing the doors of sense, the herbs doing their wonder, this

A family gathering.

And again our minds wander, mourning for dead mothers and sick fathers,

For long lost notes and once stolen kisses, forgotten.

And for the sweet books, the yellowed pages, that smelled of earth, their hushed voices calling us..

Calling.. to touch them, to ravish them.

But the cries are drowned and the pleas ignored.

By the clicking shutters

That monotonous click click click,

Trapping away our souls piece by piece, picture by picture.

Still the snake won’t let go, And the fruit too sweet
So we fall into those graves dug, dug by us.

And wrapping ourselves, we step into the gutters, those murky waters call us…

We cry and go mad, shouting, unheard. We laugh and go mad.

Then risking a glance, just a glance… an innocent glance,

Until we can turn no more, transfixed, deceived by Medusa,

We fall in love with the narcissist gazing into in the river.

So what is now there to lament…

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