Aches and Pains

a pain sweeps through me
like a smile
spreading its light
one by one
over the mortal pieces,
which join together
to complete the jigsaw picture
you see of me,
all sewn magically together
under a seamless frame
of protective skin,

i have seen ‘age’
challenge the oneness of the form,
slowly creating cracks
making different pieces
of the puzzle creak
in different voices
as if to announce
their independent presences,
and mark their domains
wanting their own
specific resources,
wanting the ego to resile
from the emperorship
of a unified identify,
wanting it to acknowledge
its cultivated ignorance
and to accept the reality
that it was always
the perfect maths between the parts
which added together
to make the sum alive,

the reality of one day
coming undone
should any one piece fail, fall
is too well known a truth
to require any added thoughts,
but the timing often depends
on the individual well-being
of each piece
and time, one by one
does test them all,
i know it, and i try
but of what value is my concern
for their well-being,
when each piece within the frame
seems soulfully focused
on giving its all to one,
shamelessly pandering to
the atrocious eccentricities
of my perpetually aching heart,
which has them hooked
to its home-brewed,
lovelorn, tainted wine,
cracking the whip on them
like a relentless selfish ringmaster
each time
like an innocuous bubble in the bloodstream
causes another skipped heartbeat,
and so does this circus
keep carrying on,

i hide it all
behind a smile
i’ve learnt to draw on my face,
for i have eventually come to realise
that i do photograph better with it,
but somewhere between
the face and the circus,
like that layer of jam
sandwiched between two slices
of toasted bread,
i too have found a space,
where i enjoy my silence, my peace
knowing i belong
to neither worlds for too long,
without needing to give meaning
to any of it at all,

from behind the
accumulating age lines
my eyes continue
their intake of reflected light,
often setting the stage
for a debate
between the left and the right,
pondering over
the two sides of a story,
which can often find
a meeting point at the bridge of the nose
but then that would be going
against their very design,
maybe, the truth always sits
unmasked, uncoloured
in the clear spaces
between any two written lines,
and therefore, gets ignored
most of the times,

the mind doesn't age
it remains a child
wanting to run around
and play,
explore everything new
which gets added
with each lived day,
though sometimes
it does get lost
in the expanse
of its own growing playground,
thoughts, moments, memories,
like a little fish,
which is born in a glass bowl
grows in an aquarium
and then finally
falls into the sea,

there is an apparent fairness
when the coin of life
is initially flipped,
and most pay
for their first breath
with a cry,
and as the coin rises
shining, dancing, advancing towards the sun
it forgets its breaths
are but measured
by a limited number of grains of sand
flowing down an opaque hourglass,

a pain sweeps through me
like a smile
spreading its light
onto my soul,
and that’s where i hold you,
beyond the reaches
of breaths, and time.

© vidursahdev 2022