Some Kinds of Loss


Checkered, framed, lines in sharp angles
Drawn around the faces of those inside.
I stare and they change, get older, like Dorian did
Yet a small sunny spot stays on her forehead, when she
Held up the days with her own two fingers,
When she stood strong, brave and lived the days
That were meant for her. I don’t know why leaves
Turn brown, why my feet are always cold.
Her skin turns white, milky, no longer resilient.


My heart sinks within, dripping a song of lament
Serenading the sidewalk. I  scream “why”–
Yet not a sound is heard, not a peep. We walk
Slowly, stepping forward, heavenward, backward,
Onward, deathward. In the sunny day, I touch
The forehead, warmth surging out from some
bubbling geyser within the mind. God. I have some
questions for you. I’m not mad. But maybe I am.
Just maybe I am. When your foreknowledge
Of injustice didn’t make you step in and stop it. Why?
Thousands cry out, ripping through the skies,
Tearing open the universe and — is it maddening? Sorrowful?
Perhaps it’s the saints on their knees, their pleas
A fragrance, a balm, soothing hot anger.


Walk onward, deathward, toward a distant star in the universe
Heck, why not the galaxy? Why not just go for all of it,
After all, the planets are just magnified atoms.


©Prasanta Verma, 2015