My father understood numbers, So, he spilled his seven vows on my mother’s 80’s song cassettes. Numbers when pulled apart from ratios, is poetry.
The word ‘father’ is a Seven letter word, Only when pronounced as ‘I – am – busy’. When divided evenly, Six looks like my heart Deciding whether one should jump from ships, if the bruises don’t show.
There are Five points, I hold tension, in my body Like prisoners of war, I breathe and clench my back Tug my shame wrapped in cages of my ribs.
There are Four windows in my house through which sunlight use to flood inside, After him, my mother has fixed iron grills in them. Childhood can be stretched into three empty lines between sanity and watered-down whiskey. There should be Two teaspoons of sugar In my father’s evening cup of tea, Feeble attempts to erase bitter aftertaste of slow poisoning.
It has been One year since, All the love stories became minefields. These blank spaces of paper would stare at me Till I become the anchors he drowned To let his paper boat stay afloat. Instead I try to paint watercolour marigolds, But rains in this house dissolve the pale yellows Till they fill the dents of his footprints. Till he is nowhere. Nil. Zero.
Shreya Nair is a recent postgraduate in English Literature.