Monday, 17 March 2014

That Probable New Low

You know the anticipation
A silent March night brings
When you’re upstairs, alone
Throwing stars at the black sky

And the nonchalant leaves –
Of the Neem tree that covers
A fourth of your terrace –
Dance in a festive mood.

You breathe in the musky scent
Probably it rained somewhere
But the sudden pain in the chest
The right side, specifically,
Alerts you

And brings you back to
Breathing again.
Diagnosing now
You stretch your arms
And bend backwards and forwards
Left, then right.


You weren’t imagining
That bastard of a pain.
It was
Just like last year

Before it had started getting worse.
A recurrence, is this?
Of that ugly, boring disease
Called tuberculosis?

Where you are neither pitied
Nor reprimanded
Where you are neither too weak
Nor too strong
Where you are that useless
Prick that earns nothing
And spends the fortune
Not on fun, but on medicines
That make him sweat like a pig.

Where you are to be away from
Anything harmful

For your immunity 
Is compromised.

There is the danger 
of that shameless bacterium,
That occupies a corner in your lung
And a piece of your dignity,
To invite more of his comrades.

Perhaps the rifampicin
And the isoniazid
Will mind being bothered 
For those drug-resistant retards.

Toodles to friends and hellos to cough
Fever, pills, pain, injections,
Odd looks, and stupid questions
Journals and depression.
Shortness of breath
And loss of appetite.


A second time in two years
Should officially
Proclaim you



D     e     a     d.
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