I found the bookmark
you had gifted me five years ago.

It lay in a paperback
between pages 8 and 9.

The cover hadn’t lost its gloss,
and not a single page had creases.

Odd, considering most of my books
end up with dog-eared pages.
Some have been read so long,
they always stay open
no matter how much I slam them closed.

But this one looked untouched.

I wonder how I had read the first chapter.
Maybe I slept my way through it.

The Dirty Thirty, Poem 11


Drop your tears in the middle of a poem

Drop your tears in the middle of a poem.
See where they run.

Which word do they hang on to?
Where do they roll off the edge?

Do they fill the spaces between the lines?
Settling there in puddles
until they evaporate
leaving their salt behind.

Maybe they meander around some words,
cautious not to erode them.

Maybe they form pathways around lines
too obstinate to give way
by bending themselves
or by just dropping a word.

While you’re here,
listen to the sound they make
while navigating through the melee.
Do you hear sobs and sighs?
Does it sound like heartbreak?

The Dirty Thirty, Poem 10

When a balloon soars into the sky

Goodbye world,
I have to leave now.

Even as I say these words,
some of them might sound too loud,
some might sound like faint whispers,
and you might wonder what was left unsaid.

Some words might have to lie behind the curtain of this farewell,

Goodbye world,
I have to soar. Alone.

And while you look at me, remember
I’m watching you too
while you see me shrink
to the size of a lemon, then a coin, and then a speck.

And when I disappear,
you might dispatch the next balloon
snipping its umbilical cord from the earth.

As you watch it rise,
I will see you from an ocean of obscurity.

The Dirty Thirty, Poem 8

The bird’s eye view from atop a rainbow


I’ll let you in on a secret.

If you jump high enough,
you can land on a rainbow.

If you time your leap to the precise millisecond,
you will have green under your feet.
You may also verify if there’s indeed a pot of gold somewhere.

If you are fast but not fast enough,
you might find yourself dangling from the arch
and then sliding onto a cloud.

Don’t worry.
If you cling to the red,
flex your arms,
and somehow get a toehold,
you will make it.
You will stand tall and cast your shadow on the moon.

But hang on, it won’t be over at that.

Once you get yourself up there,
prepare to look down
and find all the lives you could have led
but could not find when you walked through the tunnel every day on earth.

The life that would have taken you piggyback through the mountains
or around the shoulder of the river.
The life where you could leap from the edge of the waterfall.

Or the life that would have left you in the middle of a basket of colours.

Or the one in which you could shed your hooves and horns
and say goodbye to the pack.

Or the one in which you could have a debate with yourself
and share the dais with anyone who cared to join in.

Let’s say, you could then hop off the rainbow back to your life on earth.
Any of those parallel lives stacked outside the tunnel.
Which one would you pick?

Don’t tell me. I don’t need to know.

And now, I’ll let you in on the bigger secret. The last one.
There is no rainbow.

And those alternate lives?
Oh yes, those are fucking real.

The Dirty Thirty, Poem 7

Lonely Sun


I sit alone in this room.
I’m the sun in a solar system that has lost its planets.
Why should I burn?

My light is blinding me.
It was different yesterday when you were here.

We were binary stars then,
gravitating towards each other,
exchanging our warmth,
our passion fuelling our light.

Now that you have moved,
I might burn out soon,
and collapse into a black hole.

Or just keep burning
without purpose.

The Dirty Thirty, Poem 6

Faces have no edges

Have you ever wondered
why our faces have no edges?

I have;
this is my hypothesis.

Wouldn’t it be awkward
to slide off a lip
and hurtle onto the floor?

Or find your tongue
on the jagged edge of a chin?

Or worse,
discover clunky sounds while making love?

Sure, faces are better off with curves.
Now, if only
we could sandpaper the edges in our words.

The Dirty Thirty, Poem 5