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2 poems by Dhruvi Modi

Art: Amedeo Modigliani


Melancholy finds me standing still amidst the bruised walls of a house lived in and left,  crayon-marked and stale-aired, the kitchen ceiling soot-coated, wispy curtains flicking about, desk drawers stretched open. Soiled rags, a square-heeled little shoe, a crusty razor, a tube of hand cream. How easy it is to leave, how easy to lick away memories of first birthdays (cake frosting off a fingertip) and of belly laughter refilling the dinner plates scrubbed clean. Like nipping off a wishful weed,  like jamming close a swollen door, like setting afloat a paper boat. How easy it is to turn away and flee into the night's shade than fight the scalding daylight in all its visibility.


The curtains close and my lungs spill. Something about the way the tambourine rings rattle shut the daylight that pierces my eyes, much like rememberings of my childhood that clamp close my sight: how I broke that girl’s toy stethoscope and white-lied my way out – I haven’t heard hearts beating since; how I pushed away my Ba, never once letting her touch me –  she won’t anymore, she can’t anymore; how I chose under unjust force whom I loved more: Mom or Dad? – the answer haunts all my nights and superstition is my nemesis. I’ve come to deplore these pages of sunlight that slant through my window, and into my life and wash away  my layers of grown up, unpeeling them to the apple core that they would all throw away.

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