It is late at night.
Silence shrouds the streets
like a thin soft coffin.
I try to listen —
for a motorbike or a car whizzing by,
not a scrap of sound from the flat next to me
infiltrating the thin walls
(sometimes, a woman wails and screams at her husband alternatively,
who then cajoles and beats her alternatively too);
no screeching whistles from the night watchman;
no airplane zipping overhead— no;
not even a water drop
at the mouth of the bathroom tap,
and then falling to the floor like a bomb in the dead of the night;
Nothing! Not a thing.
I like it when it gets this quiet.
When the outside dies down, the inside opens up
I have returned to my private isolation
the lights in the room are out.
In the cavernous darkness is just me
searching for less imperfect words to thread less imperfect thoughts ..
but there is darkness inside me as well,
unmoving and bleak,
it won’t melt and flow into thoughts
it won’t sublimate and drift into words,
but it is not barren or desolate —
I know something stirs there in its black recesses
an animal unshackled,
which flashes his existence at will.
Cruel and hateful,
deranged and mad,
he charges and tears at my civilized mask
with his bloody claws;
he rips and shreds the curtains of my social theater
with his yellow fangs bared;
a flux of fury,
his primal scream reverberates through my every pore.
Then it gets quieter
as he leaps back
into the same gloomy depths as before.
Is he the rage?
Is he the mortal fear —
the growing panic of old age?
Is he the wounded ego
fidgeting sans fulfilment
Is he the soul,
stranded in the wasteland of time,
sick of all the half measures —
the trope of hope,
the private suffering,
and the public masquerading
and the self expression in art —
searching only for salvation?
Beyond a certain point there is no return. This point has to be reached.
Is he that point closing in?
A mosquito is buzzing near me
I flail at it
and it flies away.
A few seconds pass,
and I hear the buzz again.