My father was the quietest man; his few words made no sense

in the world’s idiom.


Saddled into a marriage

astride a dead horse of tradition he flogged it too many times

for two children.


He stayed away even when near. He did not belong to anyone, unaware of our favorite colors, our school grades, or

the names of our boyfriends.


He lent money to ruffians at high interest rates and recovered nothing.

Smoothening his hands over glossy brochures, he invested in scams of impossible dreams.


He used to count his coins like I now count my words

I too am falling out of the system. I too belong to no one.

I fear he is growing inside me...

(Are we always pregnant with our parents?)


I fight to brew soup for my daughter To know her grades

and look her in the eye during her babbles.

I know her favorite toys, colors the names of her friends.


I have hidden the broken mirrors of my growing disengagements. I am killing the father inside me,

but he keeps rising.


My language is turning alien in the world’s idiom.


I too have placed faith in scams Of soul, body, and intellect.

The rule being: everyone is duped at least once.


I search for him in other faces and turn mine away

when I find even one similar feature.


But can I run away from the one cell that is the whole Self?