Vigil at AKU
There were long balconies before the small hostel rooms
and it was barely light enough to see the heavy clouds
drift before the sun could break another day.
Another young man sitting on one of those rooftops
smiled and reassured me saying it will go well,
and I inspired appraisal and air in the same breath.
There were biscuit crumbs and long bones on
a crumpled white bed sheet in my room, and the room
itself was full of dreams which often emerged from
teabags or sugar tins, a set of strings or a dusty book,
and slid into the closet, hushed between a row
of shirts, or inside the knot of a tie I could not tie.
That was the problem – where to look for them, especially
when the wind blew bleating wet and stark, and there
still was a faraway place alive with things that made
it home. They were dreams but all were not as roses.
Some were monsters that I thought if I ever saw,
I would want to die. And most of this time, although
I was not there, as it were, in a world without me,
the indian-red building heaved with allegories
of young minds in sleep and awe, as the body in excess
came apart in their hands. It was strange to know thyself
as body, or to think in those days what beckoned me
to the sounds I did not know and words I could not say.
6:49 pm 11 June 2010