Amnesic Anecdotes Scented in Caffeine

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(i)

tongue scalded
by an absent-minded sip
I bit back both cry and curse,
and gulped down brew
both unsweetened and angry,
aroma rising with
steaming plumes to flavor
a surreal moment
gestating with tension
and anticipation witnessed
by demitasse fragilities,
when two individuals
talked nuptial affiliations
over coffee~
trying to forge a relation
between strangers
who remained as such.

 

(ii)

Cramming unseen chapters
from unfamiliar volumes~
never cajoled in
careless overconfidence,
on the night before final tests,
befriended by adrenaline
and caffeine in overdose,
left eyes red-rimmed,
pulse racing to compete with
electric shuttle or rocket launcher,
mind like scrambled eggs,
fireflies within my rib-cage
~fluttering and burning,
while I blankly stared
at questions refusing
to be answered.

 

(iii)

Within my pocket
were some crumpled notes
and wilted longings,
after a weekend of splurging
I could ill afford,
yet a glow-sign beckoned
with aromatic promise,
‘Madras Café’
and I entered to lavish
the last of my money
for a taste of famous filter coffee,
made from fresh beans,
unlike its instant cousin,
insipid and limpid.

 

(iv)

Forced to drink
an obnoxious excuse
pantomiming as coffee,
pouring from faceless machine
in coughed out measly dribbles
to rejuvenate
tired sighs of routine drudgery,
I oft carried pouches
of coffee granules
to polish tarnished smiles
and erase lethargy’s shadows,
unable to stomach
the free tasteless brew offered
in the guise of coffee.

 

(v)

Over shared
coffee and camaraderie,
on a soggy monsoon evening,
we relived memories
of another time and place,
within a bubble of oblivion
nostalgia adding a glimmer
to echoing laughter,
as new memories
were formed to embellish
a dishwater existence.

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I bought a broken song…

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I bought a song for the silent coin

in my pocket with no kin to

make its jingles with,

~ a wilted, stilted number

with a faded whimsy in its soul,

like autumn’s bronzed whisper

or a dove’s withered feather–

orphaned and forgotten,

dreaming of cloud-kissed flights.

 

It ailed with amnesia,

its lyrics like sepia reminiscences

of an octogenarian,

the words ambiguous, illegible

~letters written

on frosted windows in winter,

or pictures finger sketched

on wet ocean sands.

 

Its tune was an echo~

soft and tired,

after meandering through

the glens leading nowhere,

lingering on tongue’s tip

but too elusive to be voiced,

yet adamant enough

to refuse being recalled.

 

I tried to fill my sullen silences

with its somewhat rancid sweetness,

trying to hum its tattered lines

its vacuous pauses filled

with patch-worked words,

but meaning was lost

leaving minutes stained in

softly crooned gibberish.

 

I sang it with

a self-concocted panache,

as a lullaby to put worries to sleep,

make eyes of insomnia droop,

but the moon and stars

joined in the stilted chorus

to compose a nocturne,

eulogizing the night.

 

I gifted it to my beloved,

sprinkling flowery wording,

to adorn its sparse realms

filling colors of romance within

the insipid lines,

it blossomed with fragrance,

reincarnated as

the symphony of our love.