Ayon Banerjee

(05th July / India)

Stranger


The itching eye was but
just an excuse of sorts.
All I wanted
was to be out of bed,
mocking Mr. Insomnia.

Draped in streaks
of rays and greys
a queer thought hit me.
And gave me the creeps

Of the man in that mirror.

How’s he always around
whenever I seek him?
Doesn’t he take a mid-day break?
Crave for a 2 PM coffee,
or a 9 PM whisky?
Never have I knocked his window,
and found him missing.

I mean -
he could’ve been in the shower,
or just hanging out
with a bunch of friends,
and missed reporting back?

Or maybe he overslept,
and missed his alarm clock?

I wonder,
is he an insomniac too?
If so, what does he think
in those dark moments
fiddling with the night lamps
and cursing the air conditioner?

Does he think of lost paths?
Of people gone, and chances missed?
Does he fret on death,
or the lonely country to live in,
right after death?
Does he feel a hollow guilt
like imposters often do?

We stood facing each other.
The hour passed like a moment
of hurried grief.
He didn’t speak to me,
yet I heard him somehow.
He is my Siamese soul,
trapped in a glass prison
for this lifetime.
He is the ‘me’ in me,
who stays back home
while I go out and screw up.

He is the purity I let go,
as I don my cape.

I smile at him. He smiles back.
We strike a silent deal.
We will trade places next time.
Poor guy. He must be cramped,
standing there, all these years!

Outside, the night is bowing out.
I reach for the toothbrush.
And the mask.

The dawn yawns at me. I yawn back.

Submitted: Friday, June 21, 2013
Edited: Friday, June 21, 2013

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