Friday, April 30, 2021

Leaving by Oormila Vijayakrishnan Prahlad

I picked the pattern of the drapes
long hours spent
in artisans’ shops
choosing each thread and weave
of the Kashan rugs
each mirror
each lamp and light fixture
each wrought-iron balcony spoke
of our home that overlooks
the stretch of thicket
panoramic rash of shrub and hedge
a green punctuation
in this otherwise drab and soulless
monstrosity of a megacity

but it is transient
this brief and curated abode
footsteps bound now
for another shore
all the morsels of our lives
lie wrapped
in reams of newspaper
packed into fifty cardboard boxes.

I pause in the hallway
to make peace with the void
booming between the walls
moving trucks long gone
the house stands hollow
starlight struggles
to spear through smog
an ivory glow blooms in the dark

and I wonder
about our midlife madness
knee-jerk one way tickets in our hands
as the murals I painted
wish me Godspeed
on walls that were supposed to witness
the memories we would
have garnered here
ploughing through life
growing old together
receding now
at the finality
of the clang of the skeleton key
echoing through the lacuna.

Oormila Vijayakrishnan Prahlad is an Indian-Australian artist, poet, and pianist. Her recent works have been featured in Silver Birch Press, Visitant Lit, and Underwood Press. New works are forthcoming in Black Bough Poetry, Multiplicity Magazine, and elsewhere. She is Chief Editor for Authora Australis. Find her @oormilaprahlad and

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