Maya - Poem by Makarand Paranjape
The see-saw of our relationship tires me.
But neither of us seems to be able to get off.
We have nothing in common
And that's what keeps us together.
Neither friends nor lovers nor man and wife
What we are, I cannot tell.
It's true that I cannot understand you
But that's only the fruit of so many years of trying to.
With quiet relief I watch us drift apart,
But it is alarming how we always make up again.
Unhappiness is a way of life
Those who are used to it actually begin to like it.
Certainly, marriages are made in heaven
Where else would they have thought of uniting us?
This relationship wrings virtue from my rage
Because I find I always give in to you in the end.
You're right, I'm wrong, make no mistake about it,
But knowing that doesn't make giving any easier for me.
You are wonderful to those who need you
To us who remain silent, you turn your face away.
The humiliation of needing you silently
Exceeds the pleasure of possessing you.
You have no shame when you ask
It is I who am ashamed to refuse.
It feels terrible to hurt another
But how strange it is to look forward to the pain.
Instead of giving love and joy to each other,
We have excelled in giving each other pain.
I am unable even to tell you how unhappy I am
For fear of making you unhappier by saying it.
In the end you cry
And your suffering is more real than my grudge.
Again I defer to you
Because unhappiness is an addiction.
This war of attrition tires me out
I fall asleep and dream that we are happy together.
After such an absence
I thought we could do so many things together;
But now that there's just you and me
We turn away from each other and sleep.
While I write this I see your pained eyes
And I know this poem must never be published.
[From The Serene Flame]
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