There are objects
All over this room

Vases, awaiting
The visitor’s gaze

This bed, which reminds me
Of pregnancy
And fills me with fright,
Is the weapon my Master wields

Why can’t this stage mirror,
Playing host to my image,
Talk to me for a while?

The electric fan, though,
Is tricky enough to keep me
From fleeing this room
In search of a breeze

The windows
Bring in nothing
From the outside world
These days

When I rock the crib,
I recall
For no reason at all:

The honey I sipped
Through an odd flower’s stem

The almond fruit
I stole — just this one time —
From Chinnani’s garden

The time I ate a poisonous root
Mistaking it for a tamarind stalk

Taj — a child who peered too close
As I sharpened my pencil,
Got her face gashed and wept —
Supplies milk, and is now
A mother of three

The endless loneliness
Of the barren old woman
In a white sari

What refuge remains for a woman
Whose traces are wiped clean?

For whom will the morning sun
Dawn white on the low sky?

When those who are afraid,
And those who are ignorant,
Of Death, are dying still,
I have a strange dream:
There’s a newspaper story
On my being raped by some men
While walking alone on the road

This life — impossible to pursue,
With a myriad of lifeless objects
And one man —
Goes on regardless,
Inside the same room