Art by Pierre Bonnard
In the lives of ordinary people does emptiness steal in, on regular evenings?
The food has been made, the chalk-stained children are clean,
the floor has been swabbed. Twice. The kitchen top
is gleaming, the vessels shine. What now?

Nervous fingers run over a stray strand of indivisible lint.
The skin of her fingers are like raisins. Oversoaked,
sweet, wrinkled, stained. The edge of the khameez,
rolled between fingers is the only giveaway.
Erect backs, polite smiles that barely touch
the rim of the mouth. Auto pilot mode.

You have to search hard, for they have designed their moves
to blind you from seeing the crumbling interiors of their fortress.
She talks often inside her head. The termites of revenge
slowly gnaw at love. It was there, you know, she reminds herself;
this love was there. You and I, in our ordinariness, we were there.

The winter moon is high in the sky,
not even whole, not fully half. The trees whisper,
hush now, hush.

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