Vacancy

So, with doors locked
and cupboards vacated
and evening fallen
and images intertwined
in a head full of rain on
a cold Los Angeles day
I proceeded to shift rooms
once more, filling new ones,
leaving empty spaces behind.

I stood for a moment,
lost in thought, staring idly
at the cat on my former doorstep
mewing for cat food or opium,
I couldn’t tell which, for
I didn’t speak her language and
my ghosts were all my own.
I’m sure she would’ve had me
lend an ear to the tales of
all her personal hauntings,
given half a chance
and a yellow Babel fish.

Last night in Singapore,
packing an overstuffed bag with
gifts and memories,
leaving a few scattered behind
here and there,
along with scraps of discarded poetry and
some yellow-silver moonlight.
Across the hall,
newly vacant room, populated by
a wrinkled Snickers wrapper,
silhouetted against a sky
the colour of oxidized iron.

Drowning in
a sea of photocopied class notes
and uncertain recollections of
shimmering April heat
in the ramshackle heart of
Northern India. A few stray happinesses
lodged safely in the occasional
corners of luggage not occupied
by books. Long drunken walkways
and fading bird calls.

So, with new closets loaded
and bookshelves stuffed
and posters re-pasted
with cheap tape
on freshly painted walls
I unlocked the old doors
and checked one more time
for things left behind,
just to be certain.
Two IKEA light bulbs in a drawer,
and some dust.
That was all.

Pancham Banerjee is supposed to be doing a Physics PhD at USC, after having almost unwittingly pursued the subject (‘Go with the flow’, as Klimt never said) for 5 years back in India. He fancies himself to be a decent wordsmith, and his friends and loved ones are too polite to say otherwise. His long term goal is to be an Alan Moore impersonator.

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