I Hear No Voice
– Lavanya Taneja
This stifled city reeks of silence today;
my own home, a barrage of coughs and sputters and cigarette butts,
smells of a dim family stowed away in photographs and letters.
The world is lonely at large.
I have learnt loneliness amid the arcane stench of bookkeeping
within libraries that whisper masterpieces
in rows of preserved childhood.
Through socially distant stories of curfewed nights,
I have lived a lonely fiction.
The title of my poem should be an empty pair of spectacles resting on a headstone.
I will spell out my epitaph in single, borrowed metaphors
From years of solitary reading.
I would like to die with a readership to some stories of life.
I would then ask those struggling in this swamp we call community existence
to write out aloud.