Mem

Someone turned on a tap.

Red dipped scars

Followed like ants on line

On translucent window panes.

The night of the fight I

Sat quietly under the bed

As Mem poured kerosene on the chair

On the red pashmina she bought

Recently, and lastly on herself

Taking time to dip each strand of hair

As if buttering a chicken before it

makes it to the plate.

“Mem, don’t.”

She looked at me and

Smiled her dry quarter smile;

Skin lifted just at the edge.

Her eyes gave nothing away

Just a black abyss with memories

Gliding in a whirl.

 

“Someone turned on a tap, Mam. I

Can hear it drip.”

It’s scarring when a word brings back

Years of dusty boxed-up nightmares

And faces you at one go.

Five accusations in one night;

You are going for a ride.

“Don’t Mem.” Mem, don’t.

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