Commitment Issues

I resigned myself to leaving
In an ivory bathtub full of ivory woes
I resigned myself to leaving
Fifteen long years ago.

Back then, the devil lurked in the bathroom
In a drain covered by thick unruly hair
The cosmic probability of falling in love,
As likely as drowning under momma’s care

She told me about the palmist who promised her
She’d never leave her treasured country
Momma believed till in the arms of foreigners,
She set sail on a glistening, faraway sea

You don’t think of things like loyalty and courage
When you’re five years old and clutching your skinned knees,
And that day in the crimson aftermath,
I thought only of ways to leave.

Because even then, I think a part of me knew
The despised palmist had been right in the end,
The love between my mother and her country
Was torture she’d revisit again and again.

Momma will always be in love with Pakistan
Can never let that thankless lover go
And her daughter can’t seem to do much
But find in every burgeoning friend, a foe

God, maybe this is what it means to be nomadic
Issues with trust or fear of a faulty chromosome
In people or places or paradoxical pastimes,
I admit I’ve never found a permanent home.

The devil still lurks in the bathroom,
But now that devil’s harder to see
A six hour shower spent resigning myself to leaving
After sending that text – “What are we?”

I admit that I found myself hoping
In a parallel universe somewhere far away,
I’d receive the answer I was suddenly sure I wanted –
That for once, someone would plead me to stay.


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