senses: taste

Roasted words on my tongue taste of

Pepper, salt, chili

You

I cook them up in agony and blend it

Under my tongue, mixed with the saliva

Leaving specks of cubes stuck in my teeth

The same way I can’t rid myself

Of you

And the chai that I sip through after

Weeping in startled dreams all night long

To rise to the monsoon droplets on the window

Burns through the tongue

As my tongue burnt yours that night

When I spoke.

Now, I cook. I cook

I imitate recipes from all over the internet

My fingers cut from the sharp knifes

I mix in spices and herbs and cheeses

Cook meat over hot grills

But most often I find myself

Remembering the taste of you

And trying to plate it

I would eat with messy hands

What comes instead is the bitterness

The char of my words seared with blackness.

Your taste, I can’t recreate

My tongue refuses to recognise any other.

.

[Side note – I started a food blog: khanapalette.wordpress.com.]

senses: voice

I called your name out loud so many times
I called your mobile, your landline, even your grandmother’s, such was my plight
A name I’d found a home in – a big bed, two toothbrushes, some macaroons, two hearts
I’d screwed up, big time; I am stupid, so stupid
To hurt you, to make you cry – hell, you cared so much to have cried at my sins

I called your name when I saw you at the metro station
To say a quick hello, slow goodbye
You recognised my voice, my heart, and you ignored it: why wouldn’t you
I’d hurt you, and I’m so sorry
The next time, I waited for you outside your class for two long hours
I called your name with every shred of hope in me left after the barren sun’s caprice, the guard’s malice, the street callous
You saw me, and I swear I saw surprise in your eyes
But you walked ahead, talking of neurotic tendencies
Intended brushes, here and there, to get you to understand
The depth behind my apology
The maple syrup and honesty in my voice as I spoke your name
The night I first met you, I rehearsed that very name, a wide smile gracing my uncouth face every time I would whisper it
And you told me later, ‘no rehearsal, you perfect it’
If i wasnt lying, I’d tell you right now
Your name sings on my tongue like it never has before, like it never will again, and with it, now,
Is attached
I am sorry, I am so sorry
I waited in front of your class, day after day, and stood in front of that very guard,
Communicating with the piercing sun
All I did was ask for forgiveness
I called your name as you laughed at the festival
I called your name while you drank with your friends
I called your name as you collected your tea
I called your name as you bit on your dessert
I called your name as you read your poetry
I called your name as you hummed Linkin Park
I called your name all the time
I made a mistake, but seeking your eyes, every time I call your name
Drenches me
Livens me
And yesterday
You reacted: an year of stopping you, you paused for me
And you beheld, ‘stop,’
And your eyes beheld, ‘please,’
And your hands beheld, ‘this hurts,’
And i called your name
But it died on my tongue.