My Last Goodbye

My last goodbye was the smell
Of piping hot lentils
Garlic and chili
Of spiced fish
Wrapped in newspapers,
 
My last goodbye was the sight
Of a jolly man seated at the table
In a pair of dark pyjamas
Clinging on for life
And a sleeveless white vest that near fell off,
 
My last goodbye was the sound
Of cutlery as it clinked at plates
Deathly silence of the people around me
The buzzing in overhead lights or perhaps in my own head
And the drip of curry as it reentered the bowl,
 
My last goodbye was the touch
Of his hand on my pocket
As he slipped me a few bills
Smiled a faraway smile
Said “Work hard”,
 
My last goodbye was the taste
Of salty sorrow and bitter loneliness
Of defeat
Of unpalatable regret
Of the knowledge I’d never see him again.

The Violence of Another Man

The violence of another man never bothered me-
Though it’s true
That I’ve yet to be pricked by the vulagrity of bigotry
By bearers of hate.

So it’s with disbelief-
A sense of remorse
That I succumb to unseen wounds that crept up in my sleep
The vulnerability of knowing that my thoughts aren’t guarded anymore.

And though my impressions are under the rug-
They bellow and scowl,
They’re breathing and scheming
Aching to be let out.